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CAUS Connections: October 2012


Registration for Winterim and Spring 2013 to Open Next Week Back to Top



All College of Adult Undergraduate Studies students should mark their calendars for Friday, October 26th – the day that registration opens for the Winterim and Spring 2013 semesters!


By the end of this week, course schedules should be available via Web Advisor at http://advisor.ndm.edu. All students will receive an email when the schedules go live.


It’s extremely important to register early for classes. Registering early ensures that you have a spot in the class and also lets department chairs know that there is interest in the class.


Students should look for courses that fulfill their major requirements first and then look for additional classes that fulfill general education requirements. Major-specific classes often cycle around less often than general education classes, so individuals should take major-required classes (provided they have the pre-requisites) when they are available.


Students are highly encouraged to schedule appointments with their advisors if they need assistance choosing classes for the upcoming semesters or reviewing their remaining requirements. To schedule an advising appointment, please call the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies Office at 410-532-5500.





Academic Catalogs Find New Home on NDM Web Site Back to Top


For the first time, Notre Dame of Maryland University’s academic catalogs can now be found exclusively online.


In an effort to be “greener,” to become more efficient and cost-effective, and to provide students with the most up-to-date and easily accessible academic information, the University will no longer print physical copies of academic catalogs; instead, Notre Dame will display and store current and previous academic catalogs online at http://catalog.ndm.edu.   


Housing the academic catalogs online ensures that current students have continual access to the academic policies that govern their course of study. It also helps prospective students enhance their knowledge of Notre Dame and its various academic offerings when they are choosing schools.


Online, students can quickly access various parts of the catalog with just a click of the computer mouse. Need a course description? It’s there! Trying to locate the name of a department chair? You’ll find it quickly here! Looking to brush up on your knowledge of Notre Dame’s 117-year history? That’s there, too!


So go ahead, explore, and don’t forget that all students must follow the academic catalog that was in effect at the time of their matriculation.






Determined Mother of Three Finds Time in Her Busy Schedule to Study Special Education Back to Top

An interview with June Holland, CAUS student


June Holland, an elementary education cohort student in the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and a single mother of three boys (one who is 18-years-old and twins who are 14-years-old), can still remember the exact moment when she decided that she wanted to return to school to pursue a degree in special education.

“I was sitting in an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for my son. I remember them telling me why my son had an incredible intellect and vocabulary, butcouldn’t tie his own shoes because of Asperger’s syndrome. I witnessed the learning tests that were done on my son and I was fascinated by the entire process,” says June. She had found her calling and she knew that it would require a degree.

June excitedly selected the elementary education cohort program offered at one of Notre Dame’s off-campus sites – Arundel Mills. “Accelerated classes worked well for me,” says June. As a full-time mother, a teaching assistant at a local high school and a youth group teacher, June enjoyed the accelerated classes that the program offered and loved that she could complete an entire degree program by going to class once a week.

“For me it was like a dream come true,” remembers June. “What do you mean I only have to go to class one night a week? Surely it can’t work that way! This is awesome,” she thought.

It did work that way. Transferring into Notre Dame from a local community college, June quickly adapted to the “more mature learning environment” that the University affords and found that she benefited from a “stimulating classroom experience” at Notre Dame – one that fostered discussion and the sharing of real-life experiences amongst her classmates. “It’s a ‘we’re in this together’ type of community and we can do this,” she says.

Citing religious studies professors Andrea Springer and Donna Bilek as a few of her favorites, June admits that it is difficult to pick a favorite professor at Notre Dame. “There have been so many professors whom I have enjoyed. They all bring something to the table that I wouldn’t trade for the world,” reveals June.

As an adult student, June finds herself motivated to succeed. Currently maintaining a 4.0 cumulative G.P.A., June makes an effort to set aside time in her busy schedule to devote to schoolwork. “Twenty-something years ago when I started college, I lacked drive. I didn’t care if I got an A, B, or C,” confesses June. “Now, I set aside time every week – Sunday afternoon is mine. I carve out specific time for me to concentrate on my schoolwork. I turn everything else off. Besides my family, school is my priority,” June says.

Still, June recognizes the unique challenges facing today’s adult students. “Adult student are unique because of what is on our plates. I don’t know any adults in my cohort who do not have jobs, families, or other important responsibilities,” says June. “We are unique because we find the motivation to balance it all.”

June has learned much about herself during her time at Notre Dame so far. “I’ve learned that it’s never too late to do anything,” June says. “I can’t think of a better gift to give to my children than to say ‘Look what mom’s doing.’ They share in the experience with me. I show them my grades. It’s something important that I carry with me.”




The Sky's the Limit Back to Top

President of Notre Dame of Maryland University James Conneely, Ph.D., shares his thoughts on higher education, adult students, and the future for NDM


It’s a humid Friday morning in late September. Colorful leaves are plastered to the parking lot and sidewalks, evidence of the quick rain shower that accompanied the morning sun.

 Cars are pulling into the parking lot. Office doors are opening. Students are heading to their first class of the day. The campus is waking up with an almighty stretch of its arms, and the president is taking some time out of his busy schedule to meet with newsletter staff.

No. Not that president.

President James F. Conneely, Ph.D. – the first male president of Notre Dame of Maryland University.

It’s hard to believe that Dr. Conneely is just now completing his third official month as the 12th president of the University. His impact on faculty, staff and students here has already been well-documented and applauded, and his steadfast commitment to fostering the growth and mission of the University is already underway. 

Formerly the Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Provost for Enrollment at Eastern Kentucky University, Dr. Conneely was unanimously selected by Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Board of Trustees as president of the institution.

Knowing that he would be the first man to lead the University in its 117-year history, Dr. Conneely embraced the opportunity (and challenge) wholeheartedly. He instantly identified with the mission and values of Notre Dame as a small, private and Catholic institution, and admired the warmth of faculty, staff and students on campus, while applauding their commitment to the community of Notre Dame.

Describing Notre Dame as a “caring and supportive” learning environment that offers “rigorous academic programs,” Dr. Conneely is quick to praise the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSNDs) for “building a legacy based on innovation and inclusiveness.” Acknowledging that the Women’s College is the foundation of the University and predicting a bright future ahead, Dr. Conneely also recognizes the ever-changing and diverse population of individuals on campus.

“We are a small institution,” says Dr. Conneely, “yet, we serve a diverse population – a population that runs the gamut on campus, spanning roughly 80 years from A Child’s Place to the Renaissance Institute.”

As such, Dr. Conneely is dedicated to creating “an environment of success” for all students on campus – regardless of their division or program of interest.

Dr. Conneely is no stranger to the struggles and challenges facing the adult student. A former adult student, himself, Dr. Conneely completed his Ph.D. in 1992 after three-and-a-half years as both a full-time student (attending classes at night) and a full-time employee.  His wife, Dr. Becky Conneely, also achieved her Ph.D. as a working adult, balancing her professional life with her academic aspirations and familial obligations as a wife and mother of two.

“Maintaining a good support system is key,” says Dr. Conneely when asked if he has any advice for our adult student population. “Returning to school as an adult can impact the entire family, including children. Adult students should keep in mind the long-term benefits of the discipline and hard work that they are putting into their education,” he says.

In addition, Dr. Conneely advises students to look at the long-term benefits of returning to school to complete their degree. “Higher education is not just about finding a job,” he asserts. “The time that you put into achieving a degree will benefit the rest of your life.”

The road to achieving a bachelor’s degree is not always easy, nor is it predictable. Dr. Conneely recognizes the unique financial and personal challenges facing adult students in today’s world and the diverse needs of the adult student. “Adult students have very different needs than the traditional student,” he says. “Among other things, they worry about paying bills, balancing their professional and personal lives, and finding time to do their homework.”

Among his many goals, Dr. Conneely lists “meeting the needs of all of our students” and providing a “convenient and inclusive atmosphere” for all populations. He recognizes that the University may need to adjust some of its systems and processes to encourage the growth and development of such an environment.

Describing adult learners as “unique individuals” who bring “richness to the classroom and campus as a whole,” Dr. Conneely proudly applauds the determined mindsets and various contributions that adult students bring to Notre Dame.

“Adult students are very motivated and determined with a unique sense of focus and a heightened level of determination. They are committed to getting it done. They bring their life experiences into the classroom and serve as successful male and female role models for the entire population of students on campus,” says Dr. Conneely.

Dr. Conneely admits that such a diverse population may sometimes challenge and test Notre Dame as an institution. “We’ve created a broader framework of interaction, but that’s life,” he attests.

A mixture of youth and maturity, greenness and experience, Notre Dame of Maryland University is very much a microcosm of real-life interaction in the everyday “outside” world. Dr. Conneely realizes the importance of such diversified interaction. “You may be a 22-year-old just out of college teaching a classroom of adults, or you may be a newly graduated student working in a company with older employees who have been there for years and who have earned their stripes,” he explains. Life does not always group similar types of individuals together and neither does Notre Dame. The interaction – the daily experience and process of shared learning – is a fundamental part of Notre Dame’s educational mission.

Envisioning a University that is a bit more “brash and bold” with regard to its strategic initiatives and plans, Dr. Conneely hopes to both maintain and improve key areas of the Notre Dame education. What are some of the items on his to-do list? He wants to enhance student life, appropriate resources to meet diverse needs, ensure the efficient and effective delivery of education, show the continued relevancy of the Women’s College, highlight the value of a Notre Dame education, diversify Notre Dame’s revenue stream, and fulfill the mission of the institution while keeping its legacy “engrained in our DNA.”

With high hopes for the University and solid plans for its future, Dr. Conneely is a busy man. Although there is no such thing as a typical day in his role as president, he enjoys the various tasks and activities that each new day brings and makes it a point to walk around the campus when he’s having a less than perfect day to put things into perspective. Although his day to day tasks include numerous meetings, and budget and fundraising activities, Dr. Conneely emphasizes that his first love has always been personal interaction with faculty and staff members, students and alumni.

Outside of the office, Dr. Conneely enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, Jessica and Caitlin, and exploring the diverse neighborhoods and vibrant communities within Maryland.  A triathlon competitor who likes to stay active, Dr. Conneely also enjoys piloting planes and can sometimes be seen flying out of Martin State Airport with his flying club.

That piloting license may come in handy over the next several years, as Dr. Conneely steers Notre Dame of Maryland University into the future, the University’s legacy and mission firmly intact as it soars onward into a bright new horizon of opportunity and growth.




Online Writing Tutorials Assist NDM Students with Writing Papers Back to Top



Having some trouble remembering how to properly cite resources? Need a brief refresher on the major components of a research paper?

Look no further!

Katey Earle, Tutoring Coordinator in ACE, has partnered with the School of Nursing and the Loyola Notre Dame Library to develop online writing tutorials for students.

These easy-to-follow, step-by-step video demonstrations combine PowerPoint slides with clear verbal explanations and examples from a real paper.

You can view the current tutorials online here: http://www.loyola.edu/library/ref/Tutorials/drafting_paper/drafting_demo.htm. If you have any suggestions for future tutorials, please contact the ACE Center at 410-532-5387.

Don’t forget that all CAUS students are also welcome to use the University’s Writing Center for help with their papers. Appointments can be made by calling 410-532-5113.




University to Discuss Immigration and Social Justice on Community Day Back to Top



Mark your calendars for Notre Dame’s annual Baldwin Community Day on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The theme of Community Day 2012 is immigration. Issues surrounding immigration will be discussed from a social justice and Catholic Social Teaching perspective. The keynote address will begin at 11 a.m., followed by lunch and an afternoon of specialized workshops.

This year’s speaker is Father Richard Malloy, SJ. A Jesuit priest and cultural anthropologist, Father Malloy is no stranger to Notre Dame. He participated in Community Day 2007, blending his guitar riffs with inspirational messages during the course of his speech. His 2012 message is sure to be just as thought-provoking.

Find out more about Father Malloy by visiting his online blog, A Jesuit’s Jottings, here: http://jesuitjottings.blogspot.com/




Planning to Graduate in May 2013? Back to Top


All students who are planning to graduate in May 2013 are required to submit a graduation application. Although the deadline was officially listed as Oct. 15, 2012, the Registrar’s Office has extended the deadline until Dec. 1, 2012.

Please note that you must submit a graduation application even if you do not plan to participate in the graduation activities. If you do not submit a graduation application, you will not receive your diploma in May. The awarding of your diploma will likely be delayed until the next graduation period.

Graduation applications are available online at http://www.ndm.edu/offices-and-services/registrar/forms/. Once you’ve completed the form, please drop it off at the CAUS main office (Fourier Hall, Room 002) or fax it to 410-532-5795 so your advisor can sign off on it.




Volunteer Opportunities for Students Back to Top


Get involved and share your time for a good cause! Check out these volunteer opportunities:

Our Daily Bread: Saturday, Oct. 20, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Race for the Cure: Sunday, Oct. 21

My Sisters Place: Thursday, Oct. 25, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Food for Thought Halloween Party: Friday, Oct. 26

Moveable Feast: Saturday, Oct. 27

For more information, please contact Melissa Lees at MLees@ndm.edu




Former Student Becomes Professor Back to Top

Susan Holian reveals her personal journey from RN to BSN student to RN to BSN nurse educator


Newsletter staff recently had the opportunity to sit down with Susan Holian, a graduate of both the RN to BSN program (’07) offered through the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and the MSN program (’11) offered through the College of Graduate Studies. A former adult student who achieved her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees while working as a bedside nurse, Susan is now a nurse educator, working with RN to BSN cohort students at Notre Dame.

Susan’s passion for both the nursing field and her alma mater is undeniable. When she speaks about her experiences as a nurse educator, her face lights up and her enthusiasm bleeds through her words, capturing the listeners’ complete attention, regardless of their own background or knowledge of the field.

Susan graciously took  time out of her busy schedule to share some of her experiences and knowledge with us.   


Victoria Gue: Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Susan Holian: I’ve been a bedside nurse for 15 years with a background in Emergency Room nursing. I received my Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Harford Community College. Previously, I worked with a hospital organization that helped support me in continuing my education through the RN to BSN program and, later, the MSN program at Notre Dame. 

I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Notre Dame in 2007. After that, I returned to Harford Community College to become a clinical instructor. I enjoyed the experience there and then decided to return to Notre Dame for my Master’s Degree.

This has been a year of transition for me as I’ve moved from being a bedside nurse to a nurse educator. This has been a year of transition for me as I’ve moved from being a bedside nurse to a nurse educator.



V.G.: Why did you initially decide to return to school to complete your BSN?

S.H.:  I had always made it a personal goal to complete my Bachelor’s Degree. It may have taken awhile, but I did it.


V.G.: Why did you choose to continue your education at Notre Dame?

S.H.:  Convenience played a big part in my decision. I had ruled out online programs; they just weren’t for me. Having been out of school for seven to eight years, I needed to find a program that would help me transition back into school. When I found out that Notre Dame offered the RN to BSN program to my hospital organization, I jumped at the opportunity.


V.G.: What made you want to teach at Notre Dame? What are you teaching?

S.H.: The philosophy of the University, itself, and the School of Nursing really captured my interest and inspired me to teach at Notre Dame. I learned a lot through my undergraduate and graduate programs. The instructors really opened my eyes and encouraged me to think about my long-term career goals and the type of organization for which I wanted to work.

I’m currently teaching Transitions to Professional Nursing at the RN to BSN level. I’ve also taught Family Nursing and Nursing Informatics (online).



V.G.: Can you remember your favorite professor or favorite class as a student?

S.H.:  Barbara Friend was one of my favorite professors. In particular, I remember that she taught the last class in our program – Nursing Leadership. From that class, I learned about all of the opportunities for baccalaureate-prepared nurses in today’s world. I learned about many different areas in which I could make a difference as a nurse. It was really a turning point in my academic and professional life.

Really, all of the classes were meaningful in their own way and have made an impact on my life. I remember bits and pieces of information from various classes every day.

Now, as a professor for the RN to BSN program, I’m finding myself remembering sitting as a student in the classes that I’m currently teaching. That’s really hitting home. Sometimes, you don’t always know the value and importance of what is currently in front of you until you look back and appreciate the experience.


V.G.: Have you learned anything about yourself while at Notre Dame?

S.H.: Absolutely! I’ve learned that no matter how scared, nervous or intimidated I feel at first, I can do it. It needs to be done. I just have to give it my best and go in there and do it. I have to learn from it.


V.G.:  How busy is your personal life outside of school?

S.H.: It’s very busy. I’m learning how to adjust my schedule, but I enjoy keeping busy. Currently, I’m a nurse educator at Notre Dame and I oversee clinicals at Harford Community College.  I enjoy doing both. I’m also the mother of two children – a son who just started high school and a 21-year-old daughter in college.

In the future, I hope to be able to transition within Notre Dame to assisting Women’s College students with their clinical experiences in their junior year.


V.G.:  What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of the academic world?

S.H.:  I’m a big Baltimore Ravens fan (writer’s note: Her nails are painted Ravens’ purple!). I also enjoy keeping up with the Boston Red Sox.



V.G.: In your opinion, what makes adult students unique?

S.H.: I find that adult students are more motivated. Regardless of whether they have to be back in the classroom for their jobs or they are doing it for personal fulfillment, they want to be there. They bring a totally different perspective to the classroom. Many adult students are already working in the field they are studying. In that case, they bring their own personal experiences to the classroom. This allows for more real-world interaction and discussion. Instructors can basically say: “Here’s the concept. Now how does it apply to your workplace?”


V.G.:  As a professor, do you have any recommendations for current students?

S.H.:  Get to know the Learner’s Guide and get to know your cohort. They are two of your biggest resources. Read as much as you can. Keep going; stick with it. It’s doable.

When I teach NUR 402 (the first class in the RN to BSN program), I often see nervous expressions on so many of my students’ faces.  I’ve been there. I was also working full time, raising a family, and going back to school. I use that personal experience to encourage my students and emphasize that it can be done.


V.G.: Anything else that you would like to add?

S.H.:  I am honored to be working with some of my former instructors in the School of Nursing. It’s encouraging to see that they practice what they teach. It motivates me to keep teaching and growing, as I emulate their practices. The nursing faculty is awesome and personable. They’ve made my transition from a student to a faculty member so easy; they have accepted the change much easier than I have! For so long, I’ve called them “Dr. So-and-So,” so now I find it difficult to call them by their first names. They have so much knowledge!



Reminder Corner: Important Dates and Events Back to Top


Oct. 16 – Resume Building Workshop at Noon; Presented by ACE (ace@ndm.edu)

Oct. 18 – Baldwin Community Day

Oct. 24 – Bible Study/Faith Sharing at 7 p.m.; Marikle Chapel

Oct. 26 – Registration opens for CAUS students

Oct. 27 – Sea Chanters, U.S. Navy’s Premier Chorus at 7 p.m.; LeClerc Auditorium