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Mary Beth Erskine

Recent Posts

Highlights In History: The President And The Abbot

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jul 17, 2014 12:05:00 PM

A chance encounter forges a lifelong friendship with the commander-in-chief.

This is the fifth in a series of feature stories, profiles, and anecdotes recounting the significance of important events in the history of Saint Leo University, which is currently commemorating the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1889.

By Kim Payne, University Communications

Oct. 21, 1905

Abbot Charles Mohr of Saint Leo Abbey and College was in town to meet with State Senator James Taliaferro of Tampa and several others.  He was about to have an encounter with the president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, who was in the first year of his second term and was scheduled to speak at the Seminole Club in Jacksonville.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Veterans in Higher Education

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jul 17, 2014 8:20:00 AM

When it comes to providing effective support services to help veterans achieve academic success, is “military friendly” enough?

By Tedd “Gunny” Weiser, Office of Veteran Student Services

Last month, I had the pleasure to be part of the team that hosted the second national Military and Veteran Social Work Conference, which took place here at Saint Leo’s University Campus. 

Being a 20-year veteran myself, it was an extreme pleasure to see so many devout professionals dedicated to helping veterans succeed in higher education. The program of more than 50 speakers and presenters that attracted attendees from around the nation and from several countries was inspiring.

While there was so much to learn from these social work experts, two simple points that came up time and again in presentations and informal discussions really hit home for me. Maybe that’s because they represent casual assumptions that I, myself, have been guilty of when working with our veteran students here at Saint Leo – at least until now.

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Topics: Military

How To Be Successful In Your Online Class

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jul 8, 2014 9:44:00 AM

Ready to take an online course? Here are four things to keep in mind.

By Eric Hill

Online classes are wonderful, and I believe strongly in them. I’ve literally lost count of the number of online classes I’ve taken—and no, not the same one over and over! You can’t beat the variety or flexibility. But one should understand that to be successful in the online environment, one must possess at least four qualities.

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Topics: Academic Success

Highlights In History: A Strong Sports Tradition For Eight Decades

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jun 18, 2014 10:49:00 AM

Today, Saint Leo Athletics boasts 19 teams for male and female student-athletes. See how this solid program began.

This is the fourth in a series of feature stories, profiles, and anecdotes recounting the significance of important events in the history of Saint Leo University, which is currently commemorating the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1889.

By Kim Payne, University Communications

The first inter-school football game was played in 1923 when Saint Leo was defeated by Jesuit Sacred Heart College. A year later, the Saint Leo Lions played their first full football schedule.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Online Degree Programs | Popular Pathway To College

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jun 17, 2014 8:45:00 AM

Increasing enrollment in Saint Leo’s online degree programs reflects belief among Americans that a college education is very important.

In 1978, Gallup asked Americans for the first time how important they thought a college education is.

At that time, just 36 percent of Americans considered a college education to be very important.

Today, the percentage of American adults who believe a college education is very important has reached an all-time high of 70 percent.

According to Gallup, the reason Americans value a college education more than ever before may reflect evidence that Americans with college degrees earn significantly more over their lifetimes than those without degrees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), college graduates earn 39 percent more annually on average than those with just a high school diploma: $55,432 vs. $33,904.

In addition, BLS statistics show that by the year 2020, approximately 30 percent of all new jobs will require some college education.

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Topics: Getting Started

Earning A Saint Leo Degree Online In Nigeria

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 29, 2014 7:57:00 AM

The challenges that face adult online learners are universal. Whether living in Nigeria or the United States, juggling work and family with educational goals requires sacrifice and time management.

Originally from Imo State in southern Nigeria, Chukwudi Achonwa has lived and worked across the Niger River in neighboring Delta State for more than 20 years. His home is in a city called Warri, which is not far from the Gulf of Guinea.

His entire life, Achonwa had never travelled outside of Nigeria.

That was until this May when the Saint Leo University online student – and now alumnus – boarded a plane and travelled for nearly 24 hours to arrive in Florida to attend commencement at University Campus.

Despite jet lag, Achonwa couldn’t get to campus quickly enough. Arriving several days early, he was eager to meet faculty and staff, to walk the grounds, and to see first-hand the university he had come to love.

“While in Nigeria, I always imaged how the school would be,” he said. “When I arrived at the campus, what I saw was beyond my imagination. I was so thrilled.”

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Topics: Academic Success

Cybersecurity Reality Check: 6 No-Brainer Tips

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 27, 2014 8:19:00 AM

If you’re an online student, your computer is your lifeline to your coursework. So you must be vigilant to prevent it from being hacked.

If you’re enrolled in an online degree program edging closer each term to earning your college degree, then you might want to offer a nod of thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Who?

For all of you trivia buffs, he’s the British computer scientist who created the World Wide Web, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of his invention. His brainchild made the Internet truly accessible and useful, changing the world, including how people teach and learn.

As a result, students such as you have the opportunity to earn your degree on your own time, from the comfort of your own home.

The Web is a powerful communications medium. But just as you snap on a seat belt in your car or on an airplane before taking a trip, you need to take precautions while traveling online to keep your computer protected.

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Topics: Academic Success

Highlights In History: The Many Names Of Saint Leo

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 19, 2014 8:43:00 AM

The institution has changed its name frequently over the years.

This is the third in a series of feature stories, profiles, and anecdotes recounting the significance of important events in the history of Saint Leo University, which is currently commemorating the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1889.

By Kim Payne, University Communications

1889

June 4 is the official founding date of Saint Leo College and Saint Leo Abbey. (Holy Name Academy is established on March 11.) Over the years, Saint Leo changes identities nearly a dozen times – from a college to a military college, to a preparatory academy, back to a college, and finally, a university.

Along the way, there have been numerous incarnations of these various institutions.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Poetry Contest Celebrates Saint Leo’s 125th Anniversary

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 15, 2014 7:49:00 AM

What about Saint Leo University’s rich history impresses you – touches your heart or inspires you? Share your thoughts and feelings through poetry. Participate in Saint Leo University’s  anniversary poetry contest.

American poet James Tate said, “Poetry is everywhere. It just needs editing.”

If that’s true, then a profusion of poetry can be found in Saint Leo University’s 125-year history – and English instructor Gianna Russo, a poet herself, is looking for members of the university community who would like to do some “editing.”

To help commemorate Saint Leo’s quasquicentennial, the university is conducting a poetry contest, and all members of the Saint Leo community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – are invited to create and submit a poem that embodies the spirit of Saint Leo.

Sponsored by the Department of English, Fine Arts and Humanities, Sandhill Review, Lightning Key Review, and The Sandhill Writers Retreat, the contest welcomes a broad range of reflections, experiences and memories in all poetic forms.

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Topics: Saint Leo News

Mother And Daughter (Plus One) Share Graduation Stage

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 8, 2014 7:49:00 AM

Online degree experience at Saint Leo spans generations and underscores commitment to lifelong learning.

Lorene Mervis, 73, always knew she wanted to go to college. But there were things she had to take care of first – like raising 11 children, with 24 years between them, and setting them on a path toward higher education.

It’s no wonder Mervis didn’t take her first college class until she was well past the age most people retire. And while her age presented some unique challenges, it also brought an unexpected opportunity: the chance to earn a college degree at the same time her daughter, Danielle Bunin, was earning hers.

On May 2, Mervis and Bunin received their diplomas – Mervis, a bachelor’s in sociology, and Bunin, a bachelor’s in psychology – at Saint Leo University’s Center for Online Learning 2014 Commencement Exercise.

“I’m so proud of her; it’s not very often you get to graduate with your mom,” says Bunin, who at the graduation ceremony was just days away from becoming a mom herself. “It’s such an accomplishment; she had no preparation and managed to pull a 3.85.”

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Topics: Academic Success

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