Suse Sampaio Simoes Fulfills Dreams, Finds Adventure at Chaminade

The beauty of traveling is in understanding that no matter what you do, something amazing will happen, and no matter where you go, you will end up somewhere unforgettable. – Suse Sampaio Simões

Suse Simões, a Communication major from Brazil, is a self-described “dream chaser.” At Chaminade, Suse has been  involved in the Spanish Club, Zumba, social media, and service-learning but is especially addicted to travel. She has been able to fulfill her dream of studying while traveling through Semester at Sea, and will pursue a career as a diplomat. Suse’s adventure blog is: SuseTraveler/Wordpress.com

An interview with Suse:

You describe yourself as a “dream chaser.” What dreams have you  fulfilled since you have attended Chaminade?

Getting a degree from Chaminade has fulfilled several dreams. Just coming to Hawaii was a dream. [As I was growing up] it didn’t seem possible, financially and emotionally, to move to a distant place, where I would most likely struggle far from family and friends. But Hawaii seemed to be such a magical place that for me it was worth it. Today, I call paradise my home.

Attending Chaminade University was also another dream come true. I found the opportunity to grow academically and professionally, pursuing a degree that had seemed out of my reach. Now, I will be the first person in my family to graduate from an American institution.

I always knew traveling was one of my greatest passions, but I never knew how to make it happen. Semester at Sea, the study abroad program that takes students around the world on a ship, had at first seemed financially out of my league. Nevertheless, with scholarships and the support of my family and Chaminade faculty, it became a reality.

Now, I am leaving Chaminade with not just simply new dreams, but also with the passion and faith that I can accomplish them.

What was the most inspirational or meaningful event or moment that has happened to you on your travels?

The beauty of traveling is in understanding that no matter what you do, something amazing will happen, and no matter where you go, you will end up somewhere unforgettable.

I traveled to Morocco to volunteer last winter break by myself. People thought I was crazy — really, crazy. I went anyway, and volunteered at a humble day care for a whole month. When I got there, I thought I would meet some amazing little kids and that I was going to learn so much about them. I did; but it was so much more than that. I never expected to get so close to the children’s teacher, who invited me to her home to meet her family. The moment when I was sitting at the table with all of them, sharing a huge plate of Moroccan food, surrounded by Moroccans that cared so much about me, and did not care about our differences, reminded me that there are so many good people in the world just willing to help without anything in return. It touched me to do the same.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or thought?
“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it,” by Hardy D. Jackson. All of us, at some point in life, feel unhappy about something we are doing, making our lives and those next to us miserable. Life is meant for us to do things that we love and are passionate about. The more passion we have for our life, the more beautiful it will be, in our eyes and others’. Being true to ourselves, and respecting others the way they are, makes the world more pleasant. It does not hurt to inspire others and motivate those that have lost their passion along the way.

What’s next? If you could go anywhere, in any role, where would you go, what would you do?
My plans are to go back home and pursue a career in diplomacy, where I hope to keep traveling the world for the benefit of my country and others. However, there are many places I would still like to visit and discover. If I could go anywhere right now, it would be Cuba. I love history, which makes Cuba a winner, since it seems to have been “stopped” in time. I am also a dancer, and the Salsa Cubana is my favorite music style. Despite the struggles, Cuba still manages to be alive in such a beautiful way. I will make it there someday.

Sam Galloway Recognized as Outstanding Hogan Entrepreneur & Student Athlete

Everyone is motivated by personal reasons that the leader cannot control, but by giving everyone a platform to achieve the results THEY want – that is how leaders operate. – Sam Galloway Junior Samuel Galloway, a Business Administration major from Copley, … Continue reading

Devan Rostorfer is the Outstanding Hogan Entrepreneur of the Year

 

I’ve changed from being a curious young woman to maturing into an individual driven with a passion to make a difference in this world. Devan Rostorfer

Senior Devan Rostorfer, a Biology major, was awarded the “Outstanding Hogan Entrepreneur of the Year” award for 2013. Devan’s experiences in the Hogan program helped her define a passionate direction for her life.

The Hogan Entrepreneurs program is a certificate program in very practical business studies. Open to all majors and undergraduates as well as graduate students, (not just business majors), the program recognizes that any graduate has the potential to start something new. New ideas that contribute to society and the well-being of communities benefit everyone, but also can make for successful, thriving businesses. The Hogan motto is Doing business things that make social sense. Doing social things that make business sense.”

This spring, Devan will graduate with a  degree in Biology and will receive an entrepreneurial studies certificate from the Hogan Program. At Chaminade, she has worked in the lab of Dr. Helen Turner, Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, studying immunology, and also conducted pharmaceutical research with Dr. Joel Kawakami, Associate Professor of Chemistry. Devan has been involved in numerous service projects.

Devan says the Immersion Program in India with the Hogan Program was a life changing experience. In all, she was in India over two months, spending her first five weeks working with the poor and another two weeks experiencing the various cultural and historical sites. The two-week Hogan Program followed afterward and saw her delve into the business side of India and look into how the country was coming along economically.

Devan in India

Devan in India

 

“Traveling to India had a huge impact on my studies, direction, and perspective,” she noted. “I know now I want to do something in water sanitation, waste management, and food security, which are desperate areas of need for parts of India and other developing countries.”

Devan’s immediate plan after graduation is to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She has been accepted into a master’s program to study Environmental Planning and Policy, with a unique emphasis on resource management, industrial ecology, water sanitation and urban development.

Her dream is to create an environmentally-sound community development plan, which can be tailored and used in countries everywhere, starting with India. The essence of this plan would be to use local residents to clean up their own communities, which she feels would generate jobs, improve public health, and enhance social development and education.

Lofty goals for sure, but Rostorfer believes her Hogan Program studies have begun to prepare her for success. “I’ve changed from being a curious young woman to maturing into an individual driven with a passion to make a difference in this world,” she said. “The Hogan Program allowed me to blossom and grow, changing my life and making me a better person.”

Devan and classmates at Chaminade clubfest

Ashley Baldauf ’12 Accepted to Innovative Medical School Program

Ashley Baldauf graduated with a degree in Forensic Sciences last fall and will begin an innovative medical school education this July at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.

The AT Still program begins on the Arizona campus for the first year, and then students move to one of 11 special community health center-based campuses across the country to finish their training with CHC faculty.

Students learn in small group settings, learning clinical presentations, observing patient care, and gaining an understanding of the local health system and community health practices. Later, students complete their clinical rotations at their community health center, in associated hospitals, as well as with affiliated healthcare providers at select healthcare institutions.

The centers are a boon to the communities they serve and help students develop a focus on patient care in underserved communities. Ashley will graduate as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

Ashley was thrilled to discover that one of the 11 centers is Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, where she will spend years 2,3, and 4 of her training. She will be in a class of only 10 students at Waianae. She is looking forward to staying close to home and family, but also says, “I want to make a difference in the community”.

People have fears of not succeeding. I tell them, you CAN do it, have faith in yourself, don’t let anyone downgrade you or tell you who you are. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t do well because you can do well.

Ashley herself is a graduate of Waipahu High School, and is hoping to be an inspiration to her relatives and friends from her hometown to dream big and make a difference too.

“I really encourage people from my high school to go to Chaminade; I talk to my brothers too.
People have fears of not succeeding. I tell them, you CAN do it, have faith in yourself, don’t let anyone downgrade you or tell you who you are. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t do well because you can do well.”

“I want to have a future, for my family. I am the first one to get a college degree in my family.”

Ashley worked with Chaminade’s Office of Health Professions Advising and Undergraduate Research to plan for a career in medicine. It was through the office that she learned about the opportunity with AT Still University. Ashley firmly believes that the close relationship with instructors and the extra attention she was able to receive at Chaminade have helped her succeed:

“I wasn’t a chemistry fan until I took chemistry. It opened my eyes to what is possible. Joel Kawakami is a great teacher, a great advisor; he encouraged me. At Chaminade, there are a lot of partnerships with institutions on the mainland, and a lot of research going on here too. There is always the opportunity to do something. Going to the conferences, such as ABRCMS, helped to build my confidence. You can’t be shy about presenting your research!”

“The special thing here is that the faculty at Chaminade wants you to succeed. There is always help.“

Blaze Mancillas ’09 Lands Role in Golden Boy on CBS

Profile

Chaminade Alum Blaze Mancillas (BFA Communications, Performing Arts Minor ’09) will be guest-starring in the new CBS police drama Golden Boy (midseason premiere on Tuesday February 26 at 10pm EST) as Arroyo Jr., a cocky rookie NYPD officer who is the son of veteran officer Tony Arroyo. Blaze will debut in the episode titled “Young Guns,” airing Friday, March 8. Mancillas’ acting career began at Chaminade.

I think the hardest part about following your dream is figuring out what your dream is. Chaminade is a great place to discover your dreams because it’s a supportive environment that really empowers students to try everything… Once you figure out what your dream is, surround yourself with like-minded dreamers, never give up and don’t forget to have fun! – Blaze Mancillas, Actor

An Interview with Blaze:

What inspired you to become an actor?

Acting started off as a happy accident. A dear friend of mine and Dayton Exchange student Joe Melendrez sat me down on a bench at the Courtyard in Henry Hall and begged me to take his part in a show because he couldn’t manage the time commitment. I went in for a rehearsal just to try things out and the director, Bro. Gary Morris, liked what I brought to the table and took a leap of faith and cast me in a production of “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney. At age 17 I played a married man going through a midlife crisis who falls in love with a stray dog. I’m not sure if I was very good but I had a lot of fun. Before I knew it I was changing my major and trying to sponge up all the knowledge I could from our talented and supportive performing arts department (Bro. Gary Morris, Fr. Robert Bouffier, Prof. Timothy Carney).

What would you say to someone (a student) who wants to follow their dream?

I think the hardest part about following your dream is figuring out what your dream is. Chaminade is a great place to discover your dreams because it’s a supportive environment that really empowers students to try everything. At Chaminade I competed on the Cross Country, Golf and Soccer teams as well as working in student government, the school newspaper and doing plays and musicals. That’s what college is all about: trying everything and thus learning about others and yourself. Once you figure out what your dream is, surround yourself with like minded dreamers, never give up and don’t forget to have fun.

I started at Chaminade studying Biology with ambitions to one day go to medical school. When I graduated I completed a degree in Broadcast Communications with a minor in Performing Arts on my way to getting my MFA in acting at Columbia University in New York City. If you had asked me if I would become an actor during my freshman year at Chaminade I would have laughed. You never truly know your potential until you give yourself a chance to succeed as well as a chance to fail. I find that I learn more about myself when I make mistakes.

What is the most interesting or remarkable thing to you right now about your participation in Golden Boy?

Aside from the endless tables of snacks and food on set I would say the most interesting part of being a part of project like this is the great deal of focus and attention everyone puts into their job. Being on set may seem a little overwhelming because there are a ton of people running around but each person has a very specific job that when done well enables others to do their own job to the best of their abilities. I didn’t need to worry about my costume, make up, hair or even what I was going to have for lunch. Not only was this liberating but held me accountable for my work. I was able to focus on the one job I was hired to do: act.

Do you have any anecdotes to share about Chaminade?

During my first show at Chaminade it was nothing short of a miracle that I didn’t fall asleep in rehearsals. After a long day of class I would have a sweat-drenched practice with the Cross Country team and then shuffle into the Loo Black Box Theater where I would rehearse and shovel cold Chef Boyardee down my throat. The Silversword Cafe wasn’t open after cross country practice so despite his disdain for lukewarm, canned pasta, Bro. Gary would allow me to eat my modest dinner when we had breaks between scenes.

Jessica Vork Receives International Study Abroad Award

Student profile

Jessica Vork, a Senior majoring in Biology, spent a semester immersed in the culture and language of Denmark. She received the Platinum Award Certificate for Intercultural Leadership from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.

I chose to take risks, knowing they may very well be out of my comfort zone, accepting that I would be known as “the American.” To this day, I have yet to regret any of my choices. –Jessica Vork

Jessica Vork writes:

Upon my arrival in Denmark, I chose to strongly channel Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous words “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” While I should apply this mantra to my life as a whole, I saw the DIS study abroad program as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will never get a chance to redo and I refuse to have moments where I will wonder “what if” or “I should have.”

Fortunately, my study abroad experience was quite the opposite of being filled with terrifying moments. However, I do believe I have confronted fear in the face in a different sense. I consider myself to have a fairly passive personality and can be considered one who avoids confrontation. While I do still believe I possess some of those characteristics, I believe being in Denmark has made me a stronger, more courageous and confident women. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful.

I chose to take risks, knowing they may very well be out of my comfort zone, accepting that I would be known as ‘the American.’ To this day, I have yet to regret any of my choices. Each experience, whether it be living with a host family, volunteering at various events, or attending seminars I normally wouldn’t, has molded me into a person I have always wanted to become. I feel fearless, confident in my own skin and more active in pursuing my dreams whether it is to find my way to the nearest Lagkagehuset, to do better on my exam, or to take in every bit of Danish culture that time allows. It would have been much easier to take part in activities I was already accustomed to and comfortable with, while simultaneously immersing myself in the Danish culture. For example, at my home institution of Chaminade University, I was the captain of my soccer team before I chose to study in Denmark. Instead of relying on activities I was already extremely familiar with, I chose to immerse myself in those completely out of my realm, such as the Creative Painting Workshop with Anna Birk. I found these types of decisions to be very important in initiating my own cultural immersion.

Find out about Study Abroad opportunities at Chaminade.

Dominique Bocanegra Receives Founder’s Award

Student Profile

The Founder’s Award is annually presented to a student who has exhibited a commitment to Marianist values by his/her outstanding generosity, respect for others, and spirit of faith and who is an exemplary role-model for the Chaminade community. Chaminade University presented this year’s Founders’ Award to Dominique Bocanegra (Senior, Criminal Justice and Criminology with a minor in Business Administration).

My favorite inspirational saying is “don’t limit yourself.” Opportunities are endless, so don’t give up too easily, but also don’t be totally satisfied with what you have or what you’re doing because you can keep striving for more! –Dominique Bocanegra

Bocanegra has been an outstanding scholar as well as an athlete on the women’s soccer and softball teams, has served as the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and has been a peer mentor and orientation leader since her sophomore year. Her faith values have been expressed in her participation in campus ministry activities, especially through the Los Angeles Immersion Program in January of 2012.

Bocanegra serves with a smile. A staff member wrote of her: “Dominique doesn’t belong to just one group of friends. She’s an athlete, staffer, student leader, orientation leader and immersion participant. Most of all, she’s friends with everyone. I think this is a unique and special skill to have.”

Interview, Domnique Bocanegra:

What is your career goal?

I want to work in the Corrections department, jails & prisons, to help those who want to change for the better and help them find a more promising life for after incarceration. I’d like to start/continue the programs that do this for inmates. In the end I just want to support those who need help getting back on their feet. If I could be able to intertwine the Criminal Justice field with the Business world somehow, I would be satisfied.

What inspires you to help people and make friends?

Diversity. Think about it. Every single person has their own family, interests, culture and stories just waiting to be told, and that is what inspires me to make friends. I want to experience and learn all about their lives so I keep an open mind to every person I come across. My inspiration to helping people just comes from the heart. Everyone deserves to be nothing but happy so if I can help do that I will. Happy people make for a happy world!

What is your favorite inspirational quote or thought?

My favorite inspiration quote is “don’t limit yourself.” Opportunities are endless, so don’t give up too easily, but also don’t be totally satisfied with what you have or what you’re doing because you can keep striving for more!

What makes you the happiest?

I like to be around happy people. Seeing and feeling the love in the air lets me know everything is okay and that it’s only appropriate to be happy with them.

What has been your high point at Chaminade so far?

Meeting and making life-long friendships. The culture here in Hawaii is so embracing that I am beyond blessed to have made some really strong relationships with people whom I call my ‘Ohana now.

Photo above: The Rev. George Cerniglia, S.M., Dominique Bocanegra, Brother Bernard Ploeger, S.M., Chaminade President.
News Release