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Ventures | Winter 2017

Ventures | Winter 2017



Design Student Working

Looking Ahead: What Will 2018 Bring?

With 2017 nearly finished, it’s time to get a glimpse of what’s to come in 2018. Stevenson University has pledged to offer students an exceptional college experience, a connection to their career, and a community focused on their success. The university is entering the new year with several programs and initiatives to further meet those promises.


Renovations in Garrison Hall

To further support students, the university is renovating the first floor of Garrison Hall North, located on the Owings Mills campus, to serve as a student club and activities center. Among other exciting new features, the center will include clubs sports offices, three meeting rooms, a fitness center, and a console game room.

The center will also serve as the home for Stevenson’s eSports team, which will have its own eSports room. The team will be covered in the next issue of Ventures, but in the meantime, take a sneak peek at their goings-on at

Arts Initiative

The arts are alive at Stevenson University! From guest speakers, film screenings, and theatre productions to music performances and exhibitions, SU’s cultural events inspire creativity, learning, and discovery.

Additionally, beginning this fall, Stevenson began to supplement the Cultural Programs and Exhibitions schedule with a series of Pop-Up arts experiences, creating a robust, arts-rich campus community. Pop-Ups include hands-on design workshops, impromptu musical and theatrical performances, creative conversations, and more. These arts experiences will be hosted outside of the University’s traditional venues at a variety of campus locations at the heart of student engagement and activity.

To learn about cultural events during the upcoming spring semester, visit


Introducing Professional Minors

In fall 2018, Stevenson will begin offering Professional Minors that can be paired with a variety of majors to give students a professional edge and additional career options through their academic studies. The first five Professional Minors are Applied Management, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, Human Resources, Real Estate, and Software Design and Coding.

Each of the five Professional Minors consists of four courses tied to a specific industry or profession. Professional Minors are intended to give students additional career options, a competitive edge in the job market, and an opportunity to shape their Stevenson experience to meet their specific career goals. Professional Minors can be paired with different majors.

Examples of Professional Minors in Practice include:

  • A Professional Minor in Software Design and Coding can help English majors put their words and ideas to work in emerging careers in gaming, virtual reality, web content design, digital publishing, and creative entrepreneurship.
  • Students majoring in the visual and performing arts can prepare to launch their own innovative enterprise with a Professional Minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development.
  • A Professional Minor in Human Resources can prepare psychology majors for careers in human resources management; employee recruitment, training and development; employee compensation and benefits; or labor relations.
  • Students majoring in Legal Studies can explore opportunities residential and commercial real estate with a Professional Minor in Real Estate, working for such employers as law firms, financial institutions, real estate development firms, insurance companies, government agencies, and more.
  • A Professional Minor in Applied Management can open doors to leadership careers in the scientific industry, clinical management, or business for students majoring in a program in the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences.

Interested in learning more? Visit

New VP for Career Services Announced

The university has appointed Susan B. Gordon as its new Vice President for Career Services. She will start in January 2018. Gordon holds a Master of Science degree in Organization Development from American University and a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavioral Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Two counseling credentials (Licensed Clinical and Professional Counselor/LCPC and National Certified Counselor/NCC) and a certification for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) round out her robust portfolio.

Since 2009, Gordon has served as Director of Career Development at American University where she has played an important role in advancing the integration of career development into a liberal arts curriculum. She is also active in a variety of professional organizations, including the National Career Development Association, Maryland Career Development Association, and National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Three Degrees to Change Names

Effective fall 2018, three of the university’s bachelor’s degree programs will be renamed. Visual Communication Design will become Graphic Design, Human Services will become Counseling and Human Services, and Digital Marketing will become Marketing. These changes were made to better reflect what the programs offer and what degrees prospective students are searching for.


Scholars Programs Promote Success

Stevenson offers three programs that allow students to enhance their educational experience in supportive communities of their similarly motivated peers.

Service Scholars

The Service Scholars program gives students opportunities to extend their civic engagement in the community, reflect upon possibilities for personal and social change, and develop the necessary skills to succeed in the classroom and in the workforce.

The inaugural class of Service Scholars enrolled in fall 2016. Today the Service Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to continue to serve in the community and develop further as civically engaged citizens. Service Scholars work directly with nonprofits in the Greater Baltimore area to support the needs and clients of the community partners.

Honor Scholars

Freshman Honors students can take one to two honors courses per semester during their freshman year with similarly motivated students in small class sections. While approaches differ by course, students work closely with their faculty in Honors courses to take a deeper look at material through discourse and analysis.

To expand the Freshman Honors experience, the University will launch an Honors Program in fall 2019. This robust, four-year program will bring together Honors general education classes and Honors experiences in individual majors to help students become independent, creative, and analytical thinkers. The Honors Program will be a place for students build relationships and make connections between disciplines and with faculty and fellow students.

Leadership Scholars

Leadership Scholars is comprehensive initiative through which students can engage in leadership education through personal exploration, community engagement, and collaborative problem solving. Guided by its theme, “Leadership through Action, Not Position,” Leadership Scholars will develop effective and ethical leadership skills that prepare them to make a positive difference on campus and in the larger global community.

Alumni Helping Students

Alumni Help Students to Start Something That Matters

Start Something That Matters, sponsored by Spark Baltimore, brought together students and alumni for a day of inspiration, soul searching, and defining life goals and ambitions. The one-day conference held on Oct. 10 took place on the Owings Mills campus and aimed to facilitate the goals and passions of Stevenson students in an effort to help them find their story, face their fears, be resourceful, and take their leap in the world of social entrepreneurship. Students eagerly listened to success stories from alumni, who had once been in their shoes and gone on to do amazing things.

The impressive and meaningful work our alumni speakers have done to ignite change and garner support of their companies and organizations across both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, inspired and empowered students to make a difference in their communities and in the world. Following the formal presentation by alumni in the morning, speakers facilitated table discussions during a Social Business Model Canvas training module.

Keynote Speaker:
Chris Federico ’94, President and Co-Founder of Cool Kids Campaign

Alumni Panelists:
Debi Frock ’69 ’01, Founder of Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope
Alphonso Mayo ’14, Founder of Mentoring Mentors
Corey Polyoka ’08, Partner and Director of Operations for Foodshed LLC
Shantell Roberts ’08, Founder of The PAC (Portable Alternative Crib)

Sponsor Spotlight:
Shervonne Cherry ’05, Community Manager of Spark Baltimore

Nick Flowers

Sunscreen Dispensers are a Living Legacy

On Nov. 11, Stevenson University debuted five sunscreen dispensers in Mustang Stadium for the season’s last home football game in memory of SU alumnus Nick Flowers ’14. A member of the inaugural football team, Flowers died in November 2016 from cancer caused by a sun-related melanoma. His mother, Vicki Flowers, has partnered with the nonprofit organization Kelly’s Dream to fund four of the five sunscreen dispensers, with the dispenser company, BrightGuard, donating the fifth for the men’s football locker room.

To learn more about Nick Flowers, his story, and Kelly’s Dream, visit

Happy Birthday, SU!

70 Years of Living and Learning

On Oct. 1, Stevenson University celebrated the 70th anniversary of the opening of Villa Julie College. Starting as a two-year medical secretary junior college for women, Villa Julie became synonymous with career preparation for medical, legal, and information technology fields. At the core was a liberal arts education to ensure a wide base of knowledge, a broad range of thought, and the skills to research and analyze. From its earliest days, area doctors, hospitals, law firms, and corporations relied on Villa Julie graduates. And 70 years later, hospitals, law firms, businesses, schools, corporations, and community services rely on Stevenson University graduates for a full complement of fields of study.

Stevenson may have the residence and dining halls, a stadium, and a theatre that did not exist at the opening of Villa Julie, but what alumni -- both recent and longstanding -- recall is the caring and supportive community, the extraordinary student experience, and the focus on guiding students to a career. These values were all at the heart of Villa Julie and live on at Stevenson. As you think about your experience as a student, a graduate, a current or former parent, or a friend of this University, imagine the kind of impact you can have on students in this 70th year. Every one of us has the power to make a difference in some way, perhaps by endowing a scholarship at $70,000, making a leadership gift of $7,000 to support a program or sport, providing $700 to send two students on a service trip, or giving $70 to assist a student to buy a book for a class. Our 70th year is an opportunity to highlight our history and to shape our future. Please consider making your impact by returning a gift in the envelope enclosed in this magazine.

Happy 70th, Villa Julie College and Stevenson University!

students tailgating

SU is Home During Homecoming + Family Week

Alumni Support Athletics

On Friday, October 20, alumni, parents, students, and friends of the university kicked off Homecoming + Family Week at the 2017 Stevenson University Golf Open, sponsored by Ruff Roofers. For the first time, Alumni Relations and Athletics joined together to combine the annual SU Golf Open, traditionally held in the spring, and the Varsity Golf Alumni Homecoming Tournament. Piney Branch Golf Club, one of the most beautiful facilities in the region and home course of the current Stevenson golf teams, served as the location of this year’s tournament. Volunteers from the current golf teams connected with participants on the course and during the luncheon that followed, while coaches caught up with alumni and friends of the institution.

Proceeds from this event will benefit Stevenson University Athletics. Since our acceptance into the NCAA in 1994, Stevenson has grown our athletic programs from 11 to 27, with the most recent additions of men’s ice hockey and women’s beach volleyball. The men’s lacrosse team won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2013, while the women’s lacrosse team earned its highest national ranking in the program’s history. Each year we strive to compete among the best teams in Division III athletics.

If you were unable to participate and would like to make a gift in support of a team or the general athletics fund, you may do so by visiting Actively engaging in the life of the University and supporting the areas and programs about which you are most passionate helps advance the institution and provide our students with opportunities for success.

Alumni Welcome Mustang Families

Mustang families joined President Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., for coffee and conversation on Oct. 21, just prior to the Homecoming tailgate and football game against Albright (SU won, 26 to 23). The reception featured a dynamic panel of alumni, students, parents, and employers who shared their Stevenson experience as students and illuminated how that experience and preparation led to opportunity and career.

Resident Assistant to Surgical Resident

“Own your education. At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for how it turns out,” says Surgical Resident Kevin Motz, M.D. (biology ’09), who is in his fifth year of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery residency at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Moving forward, Motz plans on completing a laryngology fellowship and becoming an airway and voice surgeon. “I would like to be a clinician scientist at an academic hospital so that I can do research, take care of patients, and train the next generation of otolaryngologists.”

He looks back fondly upon his time as a student at Stevenson University. “I owe a lot of success in life to my faculty, friends, and coaches at VJC. To this day, I keep in contact with them. They are just as invested in my success now as they were when I was a student.”

Motz admits that he did not thrive during his first year on campus. “I’m not sure why I didn’t find my place that year—I suppose I lacked motivation or belief in myself and honestly, I really didn’t know how to study or be a student.” In his sophomore year, encouraged by the Director of Residence Life and his Resident Assistant (RA), Motz accepted a position in the Villa Julie Resident Life Program as an RA. “This was the best decision I could have made. It increased my responsibility and put me into a leadership role—something that I have always felt very natural doing.”

This social turning point was supplemented in the academic realm when Motz identified his academic niche in his organic chemistry and biochemistry courses that same year. He went on to teach his peers in the Supplemental Instruction Program and made the decision to pursue medical school with the support of professor and pre-med advisor Lorie Lana, M.D.

Today, Motz takes great pride in the careers that he and many of his classmates have achieved. “I think the robust global success of students in the science department speaks volumes to the faculty. It’s people like Merrie Durmowicz, Lorie Lana, Joe Matanoski, Ellen Roskes, and Susan Gorman who developed a spectacular department and inspired hundreds of students to chase their dreams and find success in any arena they pursued.”

He also is a proud member of the 2006-2007 men’s golf team that was recently inducted into the Dick Watts Athletics Hall of Fame as the “2017 Team of Tradition.” His experience as a student-athlete has had a great impact on his life beyond college. He wrote his residency application essay about his team’s appearance at the 2007 NCAA DIII tournament. He also formed close friendships with teammates and found a great mentor in his coach, Chris Ramer. “Coach Ramer has always been a tireless friend, fierce supporter, and strong advocate for me.”

It is in honor of his Stevenson family and his student experience, which set him on a path to build his career, that Motz supports the institution by giving back to the areas of the University about which he is most passionate.

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