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Encounter Summer 2021

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President’s Letter

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to learn new technology competencies at a rapid pace. Our enlarged digital existence can be scary but it also offers UST the chance to serve humanity at a larger scale, the ability to increase the impact of a mission or sometimes even to save lives.

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The World Through Max Kolbe’s Eyes

Saint Maximilian Kolbe built a large media apostolate using the mass media of his time, including newspaper and radio. He was a man on a mission to spread the word of God. What would Kolbe do today if he were alive?

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MAX Digitizing the Dream

Inspired by Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s deeds and dreams, UST recently launched multiple digital ventures in the spirit of Kolbe’s ministry. It began in 2018 with the Maximilian Kolbe Innovation Network and now includes the University of St. Thomas MAX Studios and the USTMAX Center in Montgomery County.

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Realizing the Digital District

Greatness begins with a BOLD dream. UST is part of such a dream. Read on to discover how the vibrant vision continues to unfold.

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DIGITAL BYTE: Meet Lenny The “Catbot”

A smart, text-based AI bot helped students connect with UST 24/7 during the winter storm that left Texas paralyzed for a week. Learn how UST used this new technology to facilitate record-time human interaction and be of service to students impacted by the storm.

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Truth Will Prevail Even in a Cancel Culture

UST Political Science Professor, Dr. Christopher Wolfe, examines our current “Cancel Culture,” which is an unfortunate consequence of our social media technologies. Americans should protect freedom of speech. Even when our culture does not stand up for free speech, we, as Catholics, should.

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Meet Mishal Kanoo

Mishal Kanoo ’90, MBA ’94, chairman of Kanoo Group in the UAE, sat down with UST President Richard Ludwick to talk about his critical formation as a human being and leader in connection with his UST liberal arts education. Learn how “the magic flows” when you understand and apply what you learn in philosophy and theology.

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Irresistible Revolution

What is esports, and why is it a big deal? This is not an uncommon question. Forbes answered the query this way: Esports is a “quietly massive entertainment phenomenon” with viewership surpassing traditional sporting events.

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GAME ON

UST formed a varsity team that began competing in esports tournaments fall 2020 under the SCAC umbrella. As part of it academic opportunities, St. Thomas will offer its first minor in esports coaching this fall. Meet the varsity team and their coach.

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DIGITAL BYTE: Let’s Press Play

Fr. Jim Murphy, CSB, president of St. Thomas High School, reminisces about his gaming days on the Atari 2600. He believes that UST’s interest in esports, viewed through a Catholic lens, is a way to embrace new technology and spark the interest and imagination of many students.

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SCORE! Berkman at Bat

Baseball legend Lance Berkman joins UST as assistant coach of Baseball, giving the team an edge on the field with his knowledge and love of the game. He is working with Coach VanderLaan to build a championship program. Also, learn how you can join the Champions Club.

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DIGITAL BYTE: Disruptive Technology

HP Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Transformational Officer, alumna Marie Meyers, MBA ’96, gives us her opinion on how technology is driving major change, especially with the pandemic, and forcing every industry to adapt, including ready-for-the-challenge St. Thomas.

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Earn a Family Life Certificate

Earn a Family Life Certificate offered through the UST campus or USTMAX Center in person or online, beginning fall 2021. The certificate program is for people who are currently employed—or considering careers—in ministry or secular professions serving families: teaching, medicine, social services, human resources, family law and many other fields.

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Engineering Program Rockets to New Heights

Adding up the figures, mathematician and coastal expert Lee Butler ’60 saw the time had come in his financial life to give back by “paying it forward” for the scholarship support he had received from UST. He wants to help students pursue their dreams.

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PEAVY LEGACY: A Story Woven into the Fabric of UST

Carol and Odis Peavy, friends and benefactors of University of St. Thomas, gave generously to re-establish the Peavy School of Nursing. UST continues to feel their passion today. With a simple bequest in their will, the Peavys make an ongoing impact.

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ABSN Exceeds Expectations

Last year, UST launched an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It’s for prospective students who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and are ready to do big things in a new career caring for others. This program is the shortest route to becoming a nurse.

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Welcoming New Alumni Leadership

Deep affection for their alma mater drives the 26 members of the University of St. Thomas Alumni Association Board to serve with enthusiasm and ideas. Meet some of the newest Directors and read what drives their mission-aligned service.

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From Crucial Conversations to Global Cybersecurity

A first-of-its kind program brought the world to University of St. Thomas and brought UST to the world. On Oct. 2, 2021, the Center for International Studies will celebrate 40 years of transformational change. Read about the anniversary gala and the Center’s outstanding work to inspire leaders for our changing world.

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It Takes Two

Legacy family members John Marion Carrabba ’79, owner of Piatto Restaurant, and his daughter Jessica Carrabba ’14 are giving back their time and talent to co-chair this year’s Two Saints & a Taco Tasting event on its 10th anniversary. The two credit personal relationships as the secret to their work success, something they valued when attending St. Thomas.

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Cameron School of Business

Cameron School of Business turns 40 and celebrated its birthday with alumni, faculty, staff and friends at a symposium presented by favorite professors and a special dinner. Dean of Business Mario Enzler greeted the 400 guests and shared new degree offerings. Alumni had a chance to network and share their business success.

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MFA in Creative Writing

UST announces its newest program, the first of its kind and one that seeks to transform the life and spirit of contemporary literature. With the founding of its master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, UST proposes a revival of the literary arts in our day. Read more about this online program founded by renowned Catholic writers.

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Max Studios Presents Agape & Eros

UST MAX Studios explores romance in the age of tech with its new Agape and Eros podcast. Learn how love, relationships and digital courtship in the 21st century can be complicated. The show explores how Catholic Christians live out relational love in our culture.

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Rising Stars

In this tech issue, read about two students participating in the Rising Stars program who are learning new skills in their internships with HP Inc. and Corva AI. Also, learn about the program and how you can support a student to realize the dream of a college education and future employment.

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