Saint Leo Savannah Center receives new staff member with an Interesting background

Saint Leo Savannah Center receives new staff member with an Interesting background

Scot Hamilton is a new faculty member at Saint Leo Savannah Center with a long history of accomplishments before arriving at Saint Leo. Hamilton has worked closely with Mother Teresa, and served as the admissions director and coordinator for Mother Teresa’s Missionary of Charity Organization in Washington D.C. Hamilton has also lived and worked in Japan at the Miyazaki Educational Institute, where he was the Assistant Professor of Psychology and Comparative Culture from 2011-2013.

Prior to these achievements, Hamilton was born in Scotland, where he went to school. He left school at the age of 16 to work in the coal mines, in order to earn money. After six years of working in the coal mines, Hamilton got a late start on his education and became a non-traditional student. Despite this, he received his PHD from Georgetown University. Since then, Hamilton has taught in both the U.S. and Japan.


Now, Dr. Hamilton has starteds a new chapter at the Saint Leo Savannah Center, where he is the Assistant Professor of Psychology. Hamilton is interested in working with non-traditional students because of his background, as a non-traditional student.


“My experience at Saint Leo thus far has been a positive one,” Hamilton said. “I’m comfortable at Saint Leo. The Savannah Center is a really progressive community and the students have no problem keeping up a discussion. This is the place for me.”


Saint Leo is pleased to have Dr. Scot Hamilton as part of the Savannah Center staff.

Freedom is not Free: SLU Honors Veterans

Freedom is not Free: SLU Honors Veterans

Nov. 11, 2015 the University honored America’s veterans through ceremonies and music.

At 11 a.m. in the SCC Boardrooms, the University’s President and retired Lieutenant General of the United States Army, Dr. William J. Lennox, Jr., welcomed special guest speaker, Marine Major General James Hartsell to speak on what Veterans Day means to himself and other veterans.

“Veterans Day is a day that pulls us together regardless of our race, our gender, our creed, how we were raised, whether we’re republican, democrat, or independent; that doesn’t matter on this day. We gather on this day as Americans to remember and pay honors to those who volunteer to our nations call to serve,” Hartsell said.

Some students found Hartsell’s words to be passion driven and honest.

“You can tell he felt very passionate about [Veterans Day] and the United States,” said Kayla Dialosio, a freshman criminal justice major.

Opening remarks were given by the director of veteran student affairs, Tedd Weiser. From there, SLU Army ROTC students presented the colors and ROTC student Todd Burnap sang the national anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Dr. Lennox welcomed everyone in attendance and dedicated a moment of silence to honor the fallen soldiers. Saint Leo music student Jennifer MacDonald sang “God Bless America” to introduce Hartsell.

Hartsell talked about what it was like to serve our nation in good and bad times.

“Veterans Day should be a day that collectively pulls our nation together in a time when many [people], both inside and outside of our nation, seek to tear us apart,” Hartsell said.

Many students enjoyed Hartsell’s speech and felt inspired.

“The guest speaker truly spoke of what it means to be a veteran. People gathered in awareness of how great America is and that really opened my eyes,” 2nd Lt. ROTC student, William LaPierre, said.

“[Hartsell] gave me more understanding as to why we celebrate [Veterans Day] and what it actually means to veterans,” Dialosio said.

Benediction was then given by Father Stephan Brown. The Saint Leo Chamber of Singers and Just the Facts closed the ceremony with “Song for the Unsung Hero,” but the celebration was not over yet.

In the courtyard in front of the Student Activities Building around the statue for fallen heroes, four SLU ROTC students, including LaPierre, released doves to symbolize world peace and send a prayer to God for peace, wisdom, and inspiration.

“I thought that the doves were nice and symbolized America’s freedom,” said LaPierre.

After the doves and guest speaker, the University continued the celebration with more activities such as live music and sending messages and goodie bags to the troops who are currently active in the military.

The University invited local classic rock duo J2, which consists of Jennifer Frazier and Jim Morris, to play at the outdoor event to keep people entertained while they packed bags for the active troops.

“My husband is a marine and [Jim’s] father was a b52 bomber, so we both have veterans in our family and we thought it would be a good thing to do to honor them,” said Frazier.

Many students enjoyed the festivities.

“It was my first Veterans Day event and I thought it was nice. I liked the pictures and speech that the guest speaker had,” Dialosio said.

Press and Preparation for – Mock — Presidential Hopefuls

Press and Preparation for – Mock -- Presidential Hopefuls

A group of administrators, professors, and students involved with the A.R.L.E. stopped by the studio of Faith Talk 570 AM, a faith-based radio station with a show hosted by Bill Bunkley. The idea of the Alternate Reality Learning Experience fascinated him, and he addressed Frank Orlando, the Political Science professor, in the middle of the action.

“[My college Political Science class] was a great class but it didn’t have much to do with reality,” said Bunkley. “Your kids have already learned the way, haven’t they?”

Orlando didn’t hesitate to answer. “This is my favorite time to be a professor. Any time you get a chance to get students practical education, that’s a lot better than just reading something in a book or just a lecture,” he said.

The A.R.L.E. has slowly been gaining exposure in media outlets as the time approaches for the big debate. Bunkley’s interview kicked off the busy week of press and preparation for the candidates and their campaign teams. Jeff Borden, the Chief Innovation Officer; Frank Orlando, a Political Science professor; and the two candidates, Burke Tomaselli (R) and Zoe Mathieu (D) sat down with Bunkley to discuss the educational opportunity.

“We brought together seven different disciplines, and nine different classes,” said Jeff Borden.

Bunkley posed a question to the Democratic candidate: “If you were elected you’d be the first woman president…has that been part of your stump speech?”

“I just want to be a voice for the things that I care about most: education and healthcare,” Mathieu said diplomatically. “Sometimes I’m not taken as seriously as I could be.”

Mathieu was homeschooled by her mother, a teacher in the public school system.

“She always wanted us to have a broad perspective. I would have debates with my dad in the kitchen when I was seven years old,” said Mathieu.

While education is one of the Democrat’s main focal points in this debate, the Republicans, according to Tomaselli, are focusing on the domestic economy and foreign affairs.

Bunkley turned to the candidates with a gleam in his eye, intrigued by what he heard. Although pressed for time, he wrapped up with the candidates’ most memorable moment throughout the A.R.L.E.

“Our scandals; it was really fun to have these scandals thrown at us – having something come out of left field, you don’t know what’s coming next,” said Mathieu.

The experience, although dubbed “alternate reality,” is extremely realistic – students gain full immersion into the lives of politicians. From late-night Twitter wars with Charles Franklin’s supposed extramarital partner to packed schedules of interviews, the students involved invest their time and effort into creating believable, well-respected reputations for their candidates.

“[I remember] telling my friends, ‘No I can’t go out on Friday because I have to meet with my education policy adviser,’” said Tomaselli.

“They’ve been meeting around the clock with their policy advisers and having mock debates with their vice presidential candidates,” Orlando added.

As the semester winds down, most students are focusing on finals while students in the A.R.L.E. are focusing their efforts on Nov. 13th. The debate started at 7 p.m. in the Boardrooms, and voting occurred at the end of the event.

“The president will essentially be voted for and crowned by 8:15,” said Borden.

Come out and support the students involved with the A.R.L.E.

Leaders in the Industry Webinar

On Nov. 5, 2015, the University presented a webinar that was hosted by Jason Linkes, namesake of the professional speaking organization “Jason Linkes Speaking.” Mr. Linkes also happens to be a Saint Leo University Alumni.

The webinar was focused on the subject of mastering job interviewing skills and self promotion. Linkes is currently the Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, as well as the Co-Chairman of the Communications of the Saint Leo University Alumni Association Board of Directors.  His presentation, entitled “Leaders in the Industry,” was an hour long talk on various interviewing skills that one can use to get ahead of the game when it comes to landing the career they’re after. This becomes especially useful with the current job economy, which pits graduates against the rest of the working world in the search for employment.

“When I graduated from Saint Leo in 1999 I was competing against other graduates for jobs, not forty-year-olds like you all [current students] have to now,” Jason Linkes said, as he explained his background to the listeners.

A brief look into the history of Linkes shows an ardent passion for performing to the best of his ability in whatever he does. While at Saint Leo, Linkes was a member of the baseball team, a role in which he performed phenomenally, eventually earning an induction into the Saint Leo University Athletic Hall of Fame. His ensuing journey into the working world was an arduous, but worthwhile one.

After he graduated, Linkes plunged head first into the professional world, taking interview after interview. But after he didn’t land a job right away, he wondered what was going wrong. He explained how he would go in, think he did well in the interview, but then figure out that the employer had decided on another candidate for the job.

In this state of confusion Linkes decided to get some advice to overcome this problem. He went over to a recruiter from a job placement agency.

“She told me that I wasn’t selling my resume the right way. That I completely shied away from the fact that I played baseball,” Jason said.

So he tailored his resume to fit that experience and got a job in sales shortly afterwards. The career path that followed would lead him to work for companies such as Simplex Time Recorder, ESPN Cadbury Adams, and AMG Resources. The experience he garnered in these environments became the curriculum for his presentations with Jason Linkes Speaking.

“If you don’t know how to dress, overdress,” Linkes said on the subject of the on-site job interview. This tip was one of many shared to help young graduates compete for jobs in today’s economy.

“Make sure you know the company, the person you’re meeting, the location and time of the interview, the position you’re applying for and what is required of it when you walk in,” Linkes said, citing humorous and surprising incidents of people walking into job interviews in sandals, or t-shirts, or with their mothers.

“And whenever you can, leave the salary block blank,” said Linkes.

He claims that this way one can get their foot in the door to a good job rather than getting hung up on negotiating salary with the hiring manager.

“It’s generally not the hiring manager who decides the salary anyways. It’s HR. You can save the salary negotiation for once you have the job,” Linkes stated.

For more information on Jason Linkes Speaking you can go to his website:

Celebrate Love By Stuffing a Plush

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When Valentine’s Day approaches, individuals spend hundreds of dollars buying their significant others gifts to make them feel special on the special day. Like a significant other, Saint Leo uses their allocated funds to cater to the heart throbs, their students. Leo Love Week is dedicated to the students; therefore, various activities and free items, such as Stuff – A – Plush, stuffs away the stress between classes to stuff love in these adorable furry friends.

The idea of Stuff – A – Plush first struck the eyes of the Campus Activities Board (CAB), a subsection of the Student Government Union (SGU), members at the activities conference held every year in Tampa where they get activities ideas.

“They are nice, soft, high quality animals and felt like it’s something the students would love to do,” said Tara Centeno, assistant director of Student Activities.

Centeno said the school gets money to fund the various activities, such as Stuff – A – Plush. She indicated it is solely from the students’ activities fee that is a part of the tuition. In addition, they get special discounts from the vendors for the activities and they save money by collaborating with different schools in the area.

When asked if students knew how the school gets the money to fund huge events, many students like Kayla Corday, a freshman psychology major, said they knew the university allocated the funds from the tuition but they were unaware of the process for having an event like Stuff – A – Plush.

Every week the school always partakes in activities that take place on campus in order to relieve the stress and tension from the students.

“Last semester a student was so stressed from an exam she just flunked and she decided to Stuff – A – Plush. She then told me that it makes her so happy and that she needed to step away from classes as she had a really tough time,” Centeno explained.

One of Saint Leo’s core values is Community in which faculty, staff, and students become like a family through activities such as Stuff – A – Plush. Another core value is Integrity. Centeno discussed the process of attending Stuff – A – Plush in which students must check in using their IDs so that each student is limited to one stuffed animal. However, some students were able to cheat the system by either taking two animals or coming back for a second time.

“People shouldn’t be rude and abuse the system like that,” Centeno said.

When asked, Centeno said the importance of having activities such as these and explained that, “It’s something fun that gets you excited about being here at Saint Leo. It breaks in your day that will relieve your stress.”

On the day of the event there were long queues in front of the Student Activities Building (SAB) Loggias. It was surprisingly one of the few nice, sunny and warm days of the semester as the toys warmed the hearts of people who were happily stuffing them. Many of the people interviewed said that they made one for themselves. However, Brandysha Russell, a biomedical major, said that there had been a couple in front of her that made a toy for each other. No one was really aware of the purpose of the event, they just thought it was nice to possibly cuddle with a handmade toy.

You Look New. Are You A Freshman?

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Transferring can be inherently difficult. Transfer students all over the world have common issues when moving to a new place with new people and new schooling curriculum.

The most common issues faced by transfer students are a lack of connections both professional and personal, a lack of knowledge of both the campus and the surrounding area, and being thrown in a room for a year with people they do not know. Not having a vehicle can also make this a fairly difficult transition.

While all transfer students around the world face these common issues, here on the Saint Leo University campus there are a few more issues that some of the transfer students have noticed.

The first experience transfer students have when moving to the Saint Leo campus is orientation. The orientation is primarily geared towards freshman, which is understandable but it pushes transfer students to the wayside.

What Saint Leo fails to recognize is that transfer students who have already attended some sort of collegiate level schooling do not want to go through the whole orientation process a second time if they can avoid it. For a transfer student coming to Saint Leo, this just seems to be a waste of their time if not repetitive at best.

Many transfer students feel that they would be better off not going to orientation due to the fact that they feel they do not learn anything important through this process.

There should be a separate orientation, or something like it, for transfer students. Something like a shortened version of orientation or a “how to” basics meeting for the most important things students need to know how to do.

To help transfer students transition more smoothly into the university, Saint Leo University may take into consideration some things they could do to better prepare their new pupils.

The university could have small optional tours of the campus to figure out where things are or just give out a map, which pinpoints key locations.

On the other hand, with the technological side of things, students should be taught how to use the appropriate websites upon receiving their laptops. The freshman may have been taught what to do but upon arrival, transfer students were told to leave and come back “later or tomorrow.”  This means that those who were turned away were not instructed on what to do and had to figure it out on their own.

As a transfer student, one receives an older more outdated laptop, which many find to be unfair. Just because a student decides to come in at a later time does not mean that they deserve less than that of the other students coming into the university.

Many transfer students feel that the trips during orientation were the only good thing that came from the whole process. Overall, some individuals found orientation to be a helpful experience whereas others did not.

Sophomore business undecided major, Is’ra Saadat says, “The transfer process was smooth and Saint Leo did a wonderful job with grouping the transfers together and it was very easy to make friends that way.”

On the other hand, Junior international tourism and hospitality management major, Mary Cait Denning says, “I liked the transfer program in general but I didn’t care for being mixed in with the freshmen so much considering how much younger they were. I also was not a fan of getting older laptops just because I transferred, it didn’t seem fair in my opinion.”

Another struggle that transfer students face is fighting for funds against other students. Transfer students can earn a transfer scholarship but often struggle to find funds other than this.

The competition for scholarships and other funds are often listed where transfer students do not know to look. A lack of knowledge of the websites and policies makes it hard to meet deadlines and qualifications.

Housing is a whole different ball game. As a transfer student you have no idea which building is which and where you should live for being an upper-level student but just coming in. It is difficult to pick a place to live between the pricing and not knowing who you are going to live with and how clean they are.

Trying to get housing was a difficult process but overall with the help of residence life, it was not overly painful.

Another issue that has come to the attention of many is how difficult it is to transfer in coursework done at another university prior to attending Saint Leo. Many classes have a curriculum, which is strictly followed. This means that it is inherently difficult to swap it out with a class that one may have already taken.

For some students, this means that they may have to stay longer just because they could not transfer coursework.

Many transfer students have noticed that the general education requirements just add to the list of classes that extend their years here.

For those students who are unaware, it is possible to test out of some classes as long as you score above a set number. A collection of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams can help students graduate on time or ahead of time. For more information on this speak to your advisers.

The main thing transfer students have a problem with is being mistaken for a freshman. Yes, it happens. People do not like it when they feel like they are being downgraded after having put in hard work to get where they are now.

It is hard to walk around on such a small campus and not be asked if you are a freshman when someone sees a new face.

Transfer students struggle in and out of the classroom. Being a transfer student and walking into some upper-level courses on the first day, students are immediately faced with the assumption that they know what to do.

The professors automatically think that if you are in an upper-level course that you have been here for years and know all the policies and procedures whereas you sit there and think to yourself, “What are they talking about?”

In this case, the best thing to do is just speak to your professors and let them know your situation. The professors here are fairly flexible and understanding. They were in your shoes years ago and can often relate to what you are saying.

Not all transfer students feel this way and not all experiences as a transfer student here at Saint Leo are bad ones. Some experiences are better than others.

As a current student at Saint Leo who had recently transferred here, I believe it is the best decision I have made in a long time.