SJCS GRAD MADELINE FRIC FOCUSES ON ROLE AS MISSIONARY

By Bob Castello
SJCS Director of Communications

Madeline Fric didn’t know until a little over a month ago that she’d be heading off to Benedictine College in Kansas, nearly 1,000 miles from home, and she doesn’t know where she’ll be a year from now, and she’s not really concerned.

She has God as her compass.

“I’m really just an instrument of whatever God wants me to do,” Madeline, a 2014 SJCS graduate said during a recent stop at her alma mater.

Madeline, who graduated from Samford University in December, recently committed to volunteer as a missionary with FOCUS — Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It’s been a long, interesting journey, one that she travels with a smile and with her faith in tow.

Upon graduation from St. Joe’s, Madeline enrolled at the University of California, San Diego, but she transferred after one year. She began at Samford in the spring of 2016 and became involved with FOCUS that fall.

After graduating from Samford in December, Madeline accepted an internship with FOCUS in Denver this past spring, after which she was asked to work at its summer training program.

“It was about halfway through training and I had four days to pray and discern if this was what God was asking of me,” she said, “and through Mary’s Fiat and the Blessed Sacrament — I think those were the two things — it was very clear that God was inviting me to be a missionary this fall, and I decided to go to campus as a missionary with Focus.

“I couldn’t be more excited or more certain that this is what God has asked me to do.”

She’s headed to Benedictine, “another surprise she didn’t see coming,” but despite the distance, she’s excited to follow God’s plan for her.

As for her daily activity, Madeline said it will consist of Mass, praying a holy hour and praying a rosary as a team. She’ll be encountering students on campus, meeting girls for meals and Bible studies and fun events in the evenings like basketball and bonfires.

“I think the biggest part for me is the community aspect, the call to be friends and grow together and encountering a deeper love for Christ through friendship,” Madeline said.

As for a long-range plan, Madeline said she knows only that she has a two-year commitment with FOCUS and that she’ll be at Benedictine for at least a year.

“I know that Benedictine is where I’m supposed to be for this next year, so that is where God is deciding to work His will,” she said. “But I’ll probably take it year by year and see if I’m called to stay longer.”

Madeline said St. Joseph’s continues to have a huge impact on her experiences.

“I think St. Joe’s is where I discovered what it means to have faith and the desire to continue to pursue that throughout my life,” she said. ” I don’t know who I would be without my experience at St. Joseph’s.

“I definitely attribute it to the teachers as being role models for what it’s like to live the experience of the Catholic faith and the desire to show that with us. I can see that as a gift I received here. And I still keep in touch with some of the amazing friends that have journeyed with me since I graduated.”

For more about Madeline’s work with FOCUS and about supporting her journey, go to:
https://www.focus.org/missionaries/madeline-fric

SJCS GRAD SALLY CADE HOLMES HAS BIG NIGHT AT TONY AWARDS!

Hadestown, a musical produced by SJCS graduate Sally Cade Holmes (Class of 2006), won eight Tony Awards during Broadway’s biggest night Sunday at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Hadestown won a total of eight categories, the most of any nominated show, and also had the most nominations with 14. The show won for:
  • Best Musical
  • Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
  • Best Scenic Design of a Musical
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical
  • Best Sound Design of a Musical
  • Best Direction of a Musical
  • Best Orchestrations

Sally Cade was back at St. Joe’s in November, talking with students about her experiences as a Broadway producer. She produced Anastasia, which was touring the country and was showing at the Peace Center at that time.

Congrats to Sally Cade on her big night!!

SJCS GRAD BROOKS McCOY RECEIVES NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP

Brooks McCoy (SJCS Class of 2015), a recent graduate of Kenyon College and a four-year member of the Lords’ swimming and diving team, was among the winter sports recipients of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Brooks will receive a one-time, nonrenewable grant of $10,000 after being chosen from a pool that includes all three NCAA divisions. Each sports season (fall, winter, spring), 21 scholarships are available for men and 21 for women for use in an accredited graduate program. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.

Brooks, who majored in economics and was a 2019 team captain, plans to attend the University of Georgia School of Law.

While competing for the Kenyon swim team, Brooks was a three-time NCAA qualifier. He specialized in distance events, as well as the 400-yard individual medley, and won three NCAA All-America awards and one All-North Coast Athletic Conference honor.

Congrats to Brooks and best of luck in law school!

 

SJCS GRAD A FINALIST IN SONGWRITING COMPETITION

For those of you who may be interested in attending and showing support for Maddie Starks (SJCS Class of 2018)…

Maddie is one of six finalists in the “1 Voice Hub City” singer-songwriter competition at the Wild Wing Cafe in Spartanburg.The specific theme of the contest was overcoming adversity. Maddie used two poems that she wrote during her creative writing class with Megan Koon.  She pulled them together and then added music!

The event will be at the Wild Wing Cafe in Spartanburg at 7:00 PM tomorrow night (Thursday, May 23).  Tickets are $10 and all proceeds from the contest go to Safe Homes, a rape crisis center.

Good luck to Maddie!

SJCS GRAD EARNS LEUKEMIA LYMPHOMA SOCIETY AWARD

Lauren (Hawkins) Dion, a 2006 SJCS graduate, was named Leukemia Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year during the organization’s annual gala May 4 at the Charleston Convention Center.

Each year, local business people run a 10-week campaign to raise money for this worthy cause. It became of particular interest to the Hawkins family after Dawn and Andre’s son, John (Class of 2013), was diagnosed as a 14-year-old student at St. Joe’s.

Lauren ran as one of the 12 candidates in the Lowcountry. She raised $55,700 for the cause and earned 2019 Woman of the Year honors. Andre Hawkins ran in Greenville in 2012 and won Man of the Year. Lauren’s husband, Chris Dion (Class of 2005), ran last year in Charleston, and John Hawkins will run in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2020.

Congrats to all in the Hawkins family!

SJCS GRADS EARN COLLEGE HONORS

St. Joe’s Class of 2015 graduates Katrina Konopka and Imani Grace King have been honored by the University of Arizona and Furman University, respectively.

Katrina was recognized as the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Outstanding Senior of the Year. She also is the recipient of the Merrill P. Freeman Award, one of two presented annually to seniors by the University of Arizona administration, taking into consideration character, popularity, receipt of athletic awards, membership in organizations and service on committees and as officers.

As a member of the Arizona swim team, Katrina was a three-time All-American, six-time honorable mention All-American and three-time Scholar All-American.

Imani has been chosen to give the commencement address at Furman.

A special congrats to these former Knights!!

Leah Saunders (SJCS ’17) Claims National Championship with Emory University

Emory’s volleyball team won its second-ever national championship on Saturday, Nov. 17, where Knight alumni Leah Saunders (SJCS ’17) contributed eight kills to help her squad claim the title!

Following the UAA Championships earlier in November, Saunders was named to the 2018 All-University Athletic Association Team, where she was awarded the conference’s Most Valuable Player. See below for her excerpt from the full write-up on emoryathletics.com and congratulations Leah!

Sophomore Leah Saunders (Simpsonville, SC), highlighted Emory’s selections by being tabbed as the conference’s Most Valuable Player, the eighth member of the program to earn that distinction. The 5-foot-8 Saunders earned her initial first-team berth to the all-conference team, and has averaged 2.67 kills and 2.36 digs over 91 sets of action. The owner of 11 contests of double-figure kills and five double-doubles (kills/digs), Saunders is coming off a solid showing at the UAA Championships, hitting .303 (29-5—78) while registering 11 terminations against Carnegie Mellon in the semifinals and 10 vs. Chicago in the finals.  She has ranked as the club leader in both kills and digs in three matches this year.  She has come through with eight outings of 10 or more digs and is fourth on the team with 27 service aces.

‘He’s earned everything’ – Andre Stoddard (SJCS ’14)

‘He’s earned everything’
Wofford fullback Stoddard overcomes missing fingers to be a force on the field

By Todd Shanesy – Article from the Spartanburg Herald Journal

In youth league football, Andre Stoddard sensed that other kids — adults as well — were rudely staring at him with unabashed curiosity and sometimes even making shameful comments.

Stoddard was born without the three middle fingers on his left hand.

“I noticed people doing that,” Stoddard said. “But I always thought it was just because I wasn’t very good at football. Actually, I was terrible.”

People stare and talk about Stoddard now because he is so good.

Stoddard, a senior fullback at Wofford College, was preseason All-American and recently named first-team All-Southern Conference. The Greenville native (St. Joseph’s Catholic) has rushed for 912 yards this season and 1,737 yards in the past two seasons. His career total of 1,884 yards ranks among the top 20 in program history.

With 88 yards Saturday in a 2 p.m. second-round FCS playoff game at Kennesaw State, he would become only the fourth Wofford player to reach 1,000 in a season during the school’s Division I era. He would join Kevious Johnson (2004); Eric Breitenstein (2010, 2011, 2012); and Lorenzo Long (2016) in accomplishing that feat.

“That’s just a byproduct of playing and winning,” Stoddard said. “I just want to be a better version of myself and give this team an opportunity to compete for a national championship. I want to get better as an individual. Whether that means rushing for a thousand yards or not, I’m comfortable as long as I’m helping my team.”

Wofford senior fullback Andre Stoddard has rushed for 912 yards this season. [JOHN BYRUM/FOR THE HERALD-JOURNAL]

Stoddard is certainly a grown man now. He is 5-foot-10 and 240 pounds, with legs so powerful they move entire piles of bodies toward the first-down marker.

Wofford head coach Josh Conklin, a former college linebacker, was asked how he would try to tackle Stoddard.

“With a lot of people,” he said.

Stoddard’s body, even one like his, has taken a beating this season. That’s what happens to Wofford fullbacks as they absorb brutal hits on every snap, whether they have the ball or not. And when he is tackled, teams have gone with the Conklin line of thinking and done it with a lot of people. Stoddard didn’t play in the final regular-season game against Presbyterian and had 11 carries last week against Elon for only 44 yards, including 20-yarder, with a 17-yarder called back because of penalty.

Freshman fullback Nathan Walker has played a key role this season and especially during the past two weeks with a combined 175 yards on 22 carries. It could be that Stoddard plays a lesser role again Saturday with hopes of him healing up even more for a possible third straightquarterfinals game or beyond.

“Andre has just been a staple for us,” Conklin said. “He’s a guy who has that consistent mentality and attitude. He just goes about his business. When he gets his touches, he gets the big yards, the tough yards. … He doesn’t expect anything. He just believes that he is going to go out and earn it. In football and in life, he’s earned everything he’s gotten.”

That mentality certainly goes back to his youth days.

“I started playing when I was 5 years old,” Stoddard said. “I was always the smallest on the team. My dad is a huge football fan. We’d always play in the back yard. With me being so small, it took some convincing for my mom to let me play on a team. My dad and I finally convinced her. But I wasn’t very good. I played defense and I would just kind of get smacked around. At some point, I challenged myself to not get smacked around anymore.”

The challenge of having seven fingers inspired him to practice harder.

“It definitely forced me to work 10 times as hard as the other kids because I was being forced to make up for the lack of three fingers,” Stoddard said. “I’ve always convinced myself that it was just about putting in the extra time. It will never slow me. I know that whenever I put my mind to doing something, I can do it. I may have to do it a different way. But I can get it done.”

Knights in Action: Caroline Lovett, SJCS Class of 2016

Our students and parents understand the need for time management! There are only so many hours in a day, and with a multitude of competing interests, it can be difficult to know where and how to invest ourselves beyond our immediate responsibilities. 

Caroline Lovett, 2015

Thanks be to God, there are always many Knights who set beautiful examples of generosity and love for us in how they choose to spend their energies! In this recurring feature, Knights in Action, we will highlight students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends to our school who exemplify our mission and bring joy to those around them. Stay tuned for more stories throughout the year!

In this first edition of Knights in Action, we would like to celebrate alumna Caroline Lovett (SJCS ‘2016). Throughout all four years of high school at St. Joseph’s, Caroline mentored a young student at nearby St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School through our Campus Ministry program. Caroline visited St. Anthony’s every week to work with her mentee, tutoring him in his studies and spending quality time together on the playground with other students. 

Caroline Lovett, 2018

Graduation from St. Joseph’s, however, was not end to the friendship! Caroline has continued to stay connected with her young friend and made sure to stop by St. Anthony’s to say goodbye before heading back to Georgetown to begin her sophomore year. Caroline is a beautiful witness to the blessings that follow simple acts of generosity, and we are thankful to the students of St. Anthony’s for the way they enrich our lives and bless us with their friendship!

Interested in mentoring at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School? Contact Campus Minister Gabe Lewis.

Broadway World: Interview with Sally Cade Holmes (SJCS ’06)

Photo Credit: Whitney Browne

Excerpt from broadwayworld.com.

“Finding the art in forward motion.” That’s how producer Sally Cade Holmes describes her work, and it’s an apt – and elegant – description of the nebulous, multifaceted world of theatre producing. From festival credits to the off-Broadway favorite Puffs, or, Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic to the Broadway hit musical Anastasia, Holmes has often found herself working on productions that tap into audience’s hearts and minds.

The way Holmes tells the story, producing wasn’t exactly something she planned for, but rather something she slowly realized was right for her.

Read the Full Article at broadwayworld.com

SJCS Alumnus Visits Med-Club Students

Alumnus Alex Burnikel (Class of 2011) came back to St. Joe’s recently to speak with the current Medical Explorers Club on campus. Alex graduated from Clemson University with a degree in microbiology and is currently in his 3rd year of medical school in Greenville. He shared some of his experiences as a medical student, and answered questions from club members. Thank you to Alex for being available to your fellow Knights! We look forward to celebrating your graduation and calling you Dr. Burnikel in the future.

 

 

Keyes Gilmer (SJCS ’15) D. William Brosnan President’s Scholar

Source: gatech.edu

Keyes Gilmer (SJCS ‘ 15) is currently studying at Georgia Tech in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs as a D. William Brosnan President’s Scholar. Read full interview on the link above.

Keyes Gilmer1What degree are you pursuing in the Nunn School? Are you being supported by any scholarships or fellowships? If so, which ones?

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs. I am also double minoring in economics and law, science, and technology. I am currently able to attend Georgia Tech due to the generosity of the Stamps President’s Scholarship Program. I am extremely thankful to be a D. William Brosnan President’s Scholar and a Stamps President’s Scholar, both through the continued support of the SPS program.

If given the opportunity, why would you choose the Nunn School again for your education? What motivated your choice or has been the most impactful so far?

I have spent the majority of my life torn between the two professional paths of law and medicine. My draw to both of these fields only increased when, in high school, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder and hospitalized for four months. As soon as I was discharged, I knew that I wanted to become an international advocate for mental health awareness; I wanted to stand up for others who were facing similar struggles as me. When I came to Georgia Tech and toured the Nunn School, I realized its phenomenal program would prepare me for this dream. As a result, I dove headfirst into the legal field and decided to major in International Affairs. Until recently, I have been very private about my eating disorder diagnosis. However, the community at the Nunn School has allowed me to build confidence in my abilities as an advocate, and eventually share my testimony on a national stage on the Ellen Degeneres show. I would never change my decision to join the Nunn School. It is where I have found I belong.

In an environment of increasingly complicated global challenges, what do you feel the Nunn School has done to prepare you to tackle these challenges?

I have quickly found that, as a whole, Georgia Tech is an institute that knows how to prepare its students for the future, no matter what it may hold. The Nunn School is no exception to this idea. I have acquired more hands-on experience with my major than I would have at any other university or institution. The first example that comes to mind is a Global Issues and Leadership class that I enrolled in last fall. This class pushed me to the breaking point in more ways than one; I presented international policy recommendations to military leaders, international ambassadors, and even the current President’s counterterrorism policy advisor – who was skyping us from the White House Situation Room. I worked with Masters students from around the world to present briefs on topics for which we had only weeks to become experts. Since this class, I have used the skills I learned to succeed in multiple facets, including my current internship with a major national law firm. This experience is invaluable and one I could only achieve at the Nunn School.

[READ FULL INTERVIEW at gatech.edu]

Jamila Johnson (SJCS ’15) Named Offensive Player of the Month

22281695_10156804425504782_6403965031335678909_n

Source: Furmanpaladins.com

Greenville, S.C. – Furman’s Jamila Johnson has been named the Southern Conference Volleyball Player of the Month for September, it was announced by the conference office today. The award is the first monthly award of her career and first of the season for the Paladins.

Johnson helped guide the Paladins to an 8-5 record in the month of September, including a 3-0 start in Southern Conference play. The junior racked up 205 kills in 48 sets, including a career-high 28 kills in a five-set loss at Tennessee on Sept. 16. Named to three all-tournament teams in September, Johnson recorded double-digit kills in all 13 matches and averaged 4.27 kills per set. Johnson ranks second in the conference with 4.22 kills per set and third with 270 kills. Defensively, the Greenville, S.C., native recorded 144 digs and 11 total blocks, averaging 3.00 digs per set.

1 2