Empowerment in a Violent Situation

Due to a lack of increasing students or groups making choices and transforming those choices into actions, the Multicultural and International Student Services, in conjunction with Sunrise of Pasco County, Inc. and Counseling Services, organized a presentation on empowerment as a way of educating the students in violent situations.

The presentation took place on Mar. 9 at 6pm – 8pm in Selby Auditorium in which Amanda Markiewicz and Aubrey Hall, staff of Sunrise of Pasco County, were the main presenters. Both agreed that the purpose of this presentation is for students to feel self-caring, and self-esteem.

Other presenters were Jami Ray, a senior psychology major, and Tiffany Nelson, prevention counselor of Saint Leo University.

The presentation commenced with Hall asking questions of what the audience believes Sunrise does.

In response, Ray and Hall expanded on the responsibilities, functions, and resources Sunrise provides.

“Sunrise provides shelter, works with children and works to better women,” Ray said

“We do not just provide shelter, we have an outreach which deals with counseling; our jobs are intervention and prevention. But we are here to talk about prevention after which comes empowerment so that you realized how to empower yourself, and empowerment thereby prevent violence from happening,” said Hall.

Hall posits another question to the students present: “What does empowerment mean to you? Name a time you felt empowered.”

“For me,” said Ray, “Empowerment is being confident in yourself when somebody gets you and being sure of yourself. I feel confidence when I am performing. Like today, I will be [giving a] presentation.”

“Empowerment is being independent, especially in doing your business and the best way to empower others is through technological means, where we not only reach out to a person but we have a lot of social media where you can post a lot of empowering things to other people,” said Mary Kay, a hospitality major

Hall emphasized that there are other things she thinks about when she hears of empowerment, like working together, protesting, and equality of men and women. The opposite of empowerment and one of the ways to bring someone down is shaming.

Hall asked, “What is shaming? Do you see it on campus?”

“Just other females hearing other females making comments about other females, hearing it under the breathe makes it shaming,” Nelson said.

Hall pointed out that, we are culturally worried. What is important is that when people shame each other they are perpetuating the belief that some people deserve certain things. If someone don’t dress well and something happens to him or her, then he or she deserved what happened. If someone hangs out with certain people or someone is with certain types of people, something may happen and others will say that he or she deserved it. It is like cause and effect, but everyone knows that is not how life works because there are agencies that look out for women.

Therefore, when people think about cause and effect in concern to women, what they are really describing is rape culture.

“Rape culture is basically an idea that the societies perpetuate the existence of rape; it means that rape is not condemned,” Hall said.

One or two women may be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Surprisingly, Hall asks if anyone knows a rapist. No answer was given.

“People probably know someone, but the problem is people don’t care about knowing that person,” said Hall.

“A research originally done in the 70’s, and replicated in a huge campus, shows that 25 hundred men on campus, could have sex with a woman even if she didn’t want it and still live with it. Eight percent said yes because the word “rape” was not in there. But what did I describe? I described rape or sexual assault,” Hall, in her presentation, said.

It is believed if people do certain things rape can be prevented from happening to them.

Hall asked, “What are you doing [on a] daily basis to prevent yourself [from being] raped?”

One of the guys at the presentation jokingly said, “I wanna be raped.”

Another guy said, “[I don’t] think about it.”

“Rape can be prevented to a certain extent. For instance, if you go to party, never drink with a stranger and always walk with someone in [an isolated] place,” said Kay.

Hall concluded her presentation by saying that sexual assault or rape happens when consent is not given.

Markiewicz, a core presenter, described consent as the ability to say yes in a certain situation and when it is not given in terms of sex, it results in sexual assault or rape. Consent is something that can change at any time, and people can say yes or no when someone wants to get their consent.

In the presentation, Markiewicz used a video of drinking tea to describe consent.

“Just imagine in a certain situation, you are making a cup of tea. You said, ‘Hey, would you like a cup of tea?’ ‘Oh my God, that will be lovely.’ Then you will know that they want a cup of tea,” said Markiewicz.

“But if the person answered, ‘No I can’t,’ or ‘Not really sure.’ But you make a cup of tea knowing that she might not drink it. If she doesn’t drink it, (this is the important part of it) don’t make her drink it just because you made her tea. [It doesn’t] mean that she must drink it,” said Markiewicz. If she says ‘No, thank you,’ then do not make her drink tea or do not make tea and get angry.”

“She might say ‘Yes, please,’ but when the tea arrives she actually does not want the tea anymore. This is another annoying part. If after making tea, she does not drink it, she is not in any obligation to drink the tea,” said Markiewicz

Markiewicz reiterated that everyone has a choice, and everyone needs to understand and be respectful of a person’s choice. Forcing someone to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, or is not in the right state of mind to consent to, is wrong.

“Some people change their minds and that is okay because they may have been unconscious when they gave their original answer. So don’t make them drink the tea and don’t ask them why they did not drink the tea, even if they took tea in your house the last time. Don’t force them to have tea. That is how to understand it when it comes to sex. Whether tea or sex, consent is everything,” said Markiewicz.

At one point during the event, Ray came up with her presentation. She presented on the celebration of being a woman. Women being on fire, being ambitious and confident in their selves.

“Women should not let any imperfections within them bring them down because they are born beautiful, they are born intelligent, and women should be perfect in their imperfections” said Ray.

It is on this note that Hall said, “Women are born great and should remove shame in their life.”

Kay added, “Shaming can result in gossiping, that women can sometimes stay together and gossip than talking about positive things. Like if someone looks nice, you can tell her.”

Before the conclusion of the event, Nelson gave a presentation on self-care. Caring for yourself in order to empower others in a violent situation.

“The idea is if you take care of yourself, you will be able to help others,” said Nelson.

Nelson pointed out that it is important to listen to one’s inner responses, one’s internal dialogue about self-care and making one’s self a priority. Take particular note of anything one would like to include more in one’s life.

According to Nelson, there are various ways of self-caring: Physical self –care, such as eating regularly, eating healthily, exercise, getting regular medical care for prevention, and other things that will help one physically.

Psychological self-care, like taking day trips or mini-vacations, making time away from telephones, email and the internet, writing in a journal, doing something at which one is not an expert or in charge of, and making time for self –reflection.

Emotional self –care, such as spending time with others whose company one enjoys, staying in contact with important people in one’s life, loving one’s self, allowing one’s self to cry, and finding things that makes one laugh.

Spiritual self –care, like making time for reflection, spending time in nature, meditating, praying, singing, having an experience of awe, contributing to causes in which one believes, reading inspirational literature, or listening to inspirational talks and music.

Relationship self-care, like scheduling regular dates with one’s partner or spouse, making time to see friends, calling to check on or see one’s relatives, allowing others to do things for one, and staying in contact with faraway friends.

Workplace or professional self –care, like taking time to chat with co-workers, making quiet time to complete tasks, setting limits with clients and colleagues, having a peer support group, getting regular supervision or consultation, and taking a break during the workday.

“All [of] these self-caring methods, if cultivated in [one’s] life, should help one to empower him/herself and also be able to empower others,” Nelson said.

In concluding the presentation, Hall said that one has to realize that one person can change things and make it better. She encouraged the students that they can change Saint Leo, thereby helping others to come out from the shadow of an inferiority complex and deal with any situations they find themselves, especially in violent situations.

Math Circle Outreach Program

The Department of Mathematics and Science, since 2013, have been having their normal weekly Math Circle Outreach program held Thursdays at Saint Leo University Campus in Lewis Hall, Room 207. This program was established by Monika Kiss, associate professor of mathematics.

The weekly program usually takes place from 6pm to 7pm. One of the students who helps lead the sessions spoke on the preconceived notions surrounding mathematics.

“Sometimes there is this stigma that mathematics is hard, and as mathematics majors we love mathematics, and Dr. Monika Kiss, the professor of mathematics, loves maths more than anyone. The purpose of this program is to promote the subject of maths and have students admire and to appreciate mathematics,” said Rachel Cunio, a junior mathematics major.

“It my way of reaching out to middle school students, encouraging them to like mathematics, it is free program. It is a national organization that we are part of, it is a large organization, so you can Google National Math Circles and we are listed under Math circles, it is one of the four Math circles in the state of Florida. What we do is […] hands on activities to encouraged girls and boys to like Maths. We just want to spread the world with math fun and is not just work sheets they get to do […] to study for exam,” said Kiss.

Kiss went further by speaking on how successful the program has been.

“The unfortunate fact is that most of students that are motivated to do something like this are also involved in so many other after school activities, so it is hard for them to get to campus. I think we are not advertising it enough, I don’t think we have enough people know about us, but it is also the fact that we meet Thursday nights, people are tired, [and] kids have athletic things going on,” said Kiss.

“Some people suggest that if I charge money people will come, but I don’t want to do that, I want to do these for free, I want to help our community. We don’t have enough opportunity like this for kids in the neighbourhood of Saint Leo University,” Dr. Kiss added.

Cunio, said that that this program is done every week on Thursday night; it is about an hour long.

“We start [in] the fall as soon as we start school and we end before summer. And I am actually doing my apprenticeship under Dr. Kiss and starting this program is part of the apprenticeship,” said Cunio.

In acknowledgment Kiss said, “I usually just come up with an idea, sometime Thursday morning. In Jan. and Feb. we did graph theory. So every Thursday we did a different part of graph

theory, in the fall we did a lot of geometry. We did a lot of preparing for the E.M.C Exam, which is the national mathematics test for middle and high school students, so it is a sort of random ideas that I think kids will enjoy.”

Kiss also said that she created a website for the math major, saintleomathematics.com. There will see some of the pictures from the past activities; people can see also see what kind of things the program has done before.

“We have pictures of the past kids and we have permissions for us to use their picture. And it’s just topics that I put on there, titles for the day events. [The program] is open to anybody who wants to come, it is completely free, and we just want to encourage mathematics fun,” said Kiss.

In order to show a high level of achievement of math circle on Saint Leo, Cunio, on Mar. 24 became the instructor of the day and taught M&M’s Mathematics.

“It means making predictions, calculating percentages, and comparing our individual percentage to what M&M’s […] have in a bag,” Cunio said.

On this Kiss said, “It [is] probability and that is much deeper than just the ratio. They were addressing what percentages of blue M&M’s in an average bag of M&M’s [there are]. It’s fun for the kids because it is hands on math.”

“Probability is credibly important, statistics is very important. People want to know what we do. What we do in maths circle is, we do seriously high level of math at a level that the students can understand. We do high level of geometry, we do sequences, we do series, we do mathematics they don’t see in middle school, and we do it in way they can relate to. Graph theory is something that some maths major never see or see very little of, but we do it in a level the kids can understand,” said Kiss.

Kiss pointed out that the program is to intrigue some students to see that maths is not just algebra, is not just computation, is not just hovering, it is a beautiful subject. Maths is everywhere, which is what math circle is all about: problem solving, critical thinking, working in teams, talking to each other, being in a place where people are accepted for liking math.

Cunio started her instruction by opening a bag of chocolate containing a total of 48 M&M’s and differentiated it by colours; 9 blue, 7 brown, 6 green, 11 orange, 6 red, and 15 yellow. Then she placed the numbers according to their colours in a sorting sheet. She calculated it according to the percentages of the colours and analyzed all the individual pack’s data to verify M&M’s claim. Later she put the percentages in a graph form and compared it with what the M&M’s Mars, Inc have on their website.

“[It] is not just that we are learning [mathematics] but we are applying it to a [real life situation to] double check the [company’s claim] to make sure they are in line with us, thereby using it to improve our knowledge of mathematics,” said Mel Shevy, a junior biology major.

In acknowledgment, “This M&M’s Mathematics has given me the opportunity to develop my knowledge of calculation and teach another form of calculation, which I have not learned in my mathematics class,” said Anna Gorman, seventh grade student of Paschal Middle School.

Conclusively, Kiss encourages anyone who is interested in sharing something they think is math related to come out and be a part of the program. So if there is a student or faculty that wants to do a presentation, they are always invited to participate. It is a great way to give back.

“The beauty is, in my humble opinion, math is everywhere. Even in theology, you can probably find maths. Theology and Philosophy kind of all sort of goes back to some similar ideas, like logic. That’s the only requirement, that there has to be some kind of mathematical flavour to the presentation,” said Kiss.

A honored guest Marshall Larsen

On Mar. 10, the Student Community Center boardroom was fully packed and attendees were excited to hear from the former CEO of Goodrich Aerospace, Marshall Larsen, in the first International Business Conference of Saint Leo University. Former Second Lieutenant at West Point Military Academy and the first “boss” of Saint Leo’s president, Dr. Lennox who was First Lieutenant at the same time, had tremendous success in business.

Larsen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970 at West Point Military Academy and graduated with a business master degree from Purdue University, Indiana in 1977. He had served as the CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board of Goodrich Corporation from 2003 until its acquisition by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in 2012. He had worked with Goodrich for 35 years and now he is on the Board of Directors at UTC.

Since he started in the mid-1980s, he occupied many different positions in the Goodrich Aerospace business from Director of Planning and Analysis, Director of Product Marketing, Assistant to the President, and General Manager. In 1994, he was promoted to Vice President of Goodrich and Group Vice President of Goodrich Aerospace and a year later he was Executive Vice President, President and Chief Operating Officer of the aerospace division.

Larsen went through a big change in the business from an oil company with a lot of negative aspects to acquiring many segments in the aerospace business and ultimately changing the face of the company’s primary sector of business. The aerospace business includes supplies of aerospace products as well as defense products. Goodrich was involved in commercial, regional, business, and military products. For example, helicopters, aero planes, and aerospace products for space programs in the United States and the World. The reason of the change was because of the higher margins between revenues and costs in Aerospatiale.

Over the time he was with Goodrich, they made 40 acquisitions for over 8 billion dollars and they sold for over 4 billion dollars. Indeed, with all these acquisitions, Goodrich had to deal the multiple of cultures. In other words, the different values and missions between all the bought companies meant there was no unifying theme within the organization.

He emphasized that they needed to define the culture of the organization otherwise the company would have let time pass and the culture would have been defined by itself. As a result, the culture of the organization might not have been the one wanted by the Board of directors, the shareholders and the managers. Within all the consolidated companies, the culture needed to be established and it was a priority. A leadership culture was installed and he said at the start of the presentation “It’s all about leadership.” A few key leadership points were said about Goodrich that made the company successful: an ethical behavior by feeling free to do the right things, customer-founded improvements, an accountability and teamwork mentality, and an openness and inclusion approach.

Larsen believes that people by nature have the value of integrity, want to work hard toward their objectives to which they are committed, assume their

responsibilities, have a desire to achieve, are not passive and submissive and ultimately want their organization to succeed. This belief in the human qualities dictates a mutual respect within the organization, identifies and eliminates negatives, promotes learning and development, fosters a two-way communication from employees to managers, and engages the employees to participate fully in their work.

In fact, Larsen cared deeply about his employees and believed in them. For example, before establishing a common culture within all companies at Goodrich, employees had six sick days per year.

“What if they were sick seven days?” asked Larsen to the audience.

The company changed that rule and believed in the honesty of their employees.

“When you’re sick, you’re sick, comeback and get better,” said Larsen.

This trust showed significant results since employees were missing fewer days due to sickness and were more committed to their organization. Moreover, it gives a competitive advantage in the industry because the culture was established precisely and made everyone work for the same goal.

“Go do what you want to do! If you fail, you got time on your side,” said Larsen as advice for the students in the auditorium.

He suggested to the students to go out there and do what they want to do now when they graduate. According to Larsen, in order to become a successful entrepreneur and start a good small business, you must have the right business and the right product or service. To grow, he warned the students on the challenges ahead concerning contingencies, cash flow and the immediate effect of the product.

At the end of the presentation, one student asked Larsen about his political affiliation for this year’s election. Larsen does not know who will he vote for yet, but did not seem to be a fan of the current democrat president.

“What about Donald Trump?” Someone asked in the audience.

Larsen believes he has no clear policies or any ideas of where he stands. Then again, he has not made up his mind.

Jammin’ For Life

Saturday Night November 16, 2013, the Jammin For Life Concert was held. Majalukah (MJ) Berry (Senior), put this event together for her internship and she chose to spread awareness around campus about the importance of HIV/Aids. She said, “there was nothing about HIV/Aids being noticed around school.” In preparation for this event, it look MJ two months to plan and to get the show going. When planning a big event there will always be some bumps in the road. “It was a lot of people dropping out and many plan B’s; people who started with me most did not end with me, but the event was successful”, MJ said.

Students and family members of the performers came out to support and enjoy the concert. There were different acts and performances, from dancing and singing, to battle rap and battle DJ. There was even a fashion show assembled by Kimberly Garcia (Junior) and Kofi Lee (Senior).  Suzelene Louis-Charles (Junior) said, “the fashion show was moving and it was as if they walked to the right songs to keep the event at a flow”. Jodecia Parkins (Junior) and Antron McCullough (Grad Student) were the MC’s of the night. “The MC’s did great with introducing the performers and they had a lot of energy”, said Nia Nixon (Freshman).

All of the performers were students at Leo having fun and showing off their many talents. The students that came for the concert enjoyed every act as they applauded and cheered. “The concert was great! It was so much fun and I love to see all the talent Saint Leo students have. The University should definitely do this again”, said Marlene Camache (Freshman).Among some of the performances, Jasmin Nash (Junior) performed a song along with a flag dance and the Lioness Dancers showcased their new dancers who are now SGU recognized. “All of the dancers were phenomenal and they put on a great show”, said Brandi Henry (Junior).

The line was long at Sweet “G’s” BBQ food truck, which provided food for the people who attended the concert. There were different kinds of BBQ like pulled pork and nachos with sausage and cheese. Valaree Wilcox (Freshman) said, “this BBQ is so good. The pork was tender and the sweet BBQ sauce topped it off.”

The special guest was Big Daddy Jeff and his band. He is an artist from the Virgin Islands. He was interactive with the crowd and instructed them to dance with him. He had a lot of energy and the music made people move, jump and dance. He called people on stage to dance with him and even had a small dance contest. La’Queshia Henderson (Freshman) said, “He did a good job performing and I like how he interacted with us.”

There was a table for the Francis House with information about the organization and gifts to take home. The proceeds from the show went to Francis House.  It is a center in Tampa FL, for victims and families that are diagnosed with HIV/Aids. They provide food, group therapy and case management for the victims. Stephanie Carr, Housing case manager said, “the proceeds will go to the new building we are working on and the food pantry”. One of the representatives of Francis House Mike was 17yrs old when he contracted HIV. He said “it’s a rough life out here living with HIV and I’ve been through a lot but I am here”.

FIFA 15: Bringing Soccer to the Indoors

FIFA 15: Bringing Soccer to the Indoors
Photo courtesy @EASPORTSFIFA official twitter

The FIFA’s hit soccer video games has just had its latest release, FIFA 15, on Sept. 23, 2014. The FIFA series is known for its simulation of the soccer, and changes the sport into a more competitive way to play indoors.

The graphics in the FIFA games have gotten more detailed with every installment, and this upcoming new addition for the next generation of consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 with graphics better than ever before. Many of the players look very realistic and the physics look more fluid and fast paced like a real game of soccer.

The game’s main field is very wide and both sides can see their players clearly. Whenever a certain maneuver, penalty or goal is made, the camera pans into stunning, life-like images of the players. Sometimes the players show frustration from getting a penalty or the excitement for scoring a goal. Goalkeepers have also gotten more detailed expressions and movement with the addition of fifty new goal saving animations.

The commentary in the games has also been enhanced as fans in the stadium also have emotional behaviors and chants for each specific country’s team. Country’s teams in the game are also up to date with recent players that most soccer fans would know of such as Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. Each player on a team comes with their own statistics and roles making the game more immersive to the player and giving the game a more strategic feel. With different strategies to score a goal and many obstacles standing in the way of the player, it will take a cool mind and a good team to win the game. The game also has a hub to stay connected to other players online and get the latest in soccer news on their favorite teams and leagues.

With multiple fields of all of the countries available to the players, they can choose whether or not to challenge themselves with the new weather effect system.  Rainy weather makes the field wet and slippery making the player’s movement’s slicker and the ball easier to escape the player’s feet. Snow has also been added which slows the player down making it more likely that the opposite team can catch up faster. The wind during both of these effects can also effect the game, slightly changing the direction of the ball when it is kicked.

With the World Cup ending only a few months ago, the excitement for this game is still large and the thrill for competitive soccer is still in some of the fans minds. If you happen to be one of these fans or are just a person looking for a way to play sports without all of the exercise and skill, then this game is definitely up your isle.

Saint Leo City Limits

Saint Leo City Limits Pic

The School of Arts and Science hosted “Saint Leo City Limits” on Apr. 12 in the new Black Box Theatre. This concert showcased standard tunes and vocal jazz performed by students, staff, and faculty. The night featured thirteen acts from Just the Facts and the Saint Leo Chamber Singers, both of which were directed by Cynthia Selph, an instructor of music, as well as the Jazz Ensemble and their director Mauricio Rodriguez.

The Jazz Ensemble, a student group, opened the night with a rendition of the upbeat Latin song “Oye Como Va” by Tito Puente. This performance set the stage for an evening of wonderful music. The Jazz Ensemble also performed right after- this time accompanied by the Chamber Singers, another student group. They sang, “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima, a piece from the “Swing” era of music. On their own, the Chamber Singers sang “Eleanor Rigby” by Lennon and McCarteney.

Just the Facts, a faculty and staff chorus, entertained the audience with three pieces. First, a crowd favorite by Duke Ellington, “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” and later a more soulful piece, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Jerome Kern.  They also closed the show, along with Adam Shoemaker, associate professor of business, and his wife Amy Shoemaker, singing “I’m Beginning to See the Light” by Duke Ellington.

The other seven performances were soloists that were just as good as the groups. The Shoemaker’s were the first of the soloists, performing a passionate song called “La Vie en Rose” by David, Piaf, and LouiGuy. Next, Rosemary Luyex, a student, performed “My Funny Valentine” by Rodgers and Hart.

These soulful jazz pieces continued throughout the evening with William Mondy, adjunct professor of biology, singing “Someone to Watch over Me” by I. and G. Gershwin, Joey Gilbert singing “Fly me to the Moon” by Bart Howard, and Jennifer MacDonald, a student, singing “Trust in Me” by Ager, Schwatrz, and Wever. Lastly, another student, Marquise McGill, changed the tempo a bit with his rendition of “I Got a Woman” by Ray Charles.

The band that accompanied the singers were skillful musicians and did an excellent job at recreating the instrumentals of the songs. The band included Inna Korotkevitch, the staff accompanist, on the piano, Mauricio Rodriguez on bass, the guest artist, Carl Roa on guitar, and Debra Sailer, a student, on percussion.

There was a superb turnout of family, students, and other faculty for the event. Members of the audience were captivated by the displays of vocal and musical talent as they constantly rewarded the performers with applause.

Rebecca Hugh, a freshman marketing major, expresses her satisfaction with the concert by saying, “The performances were superb. I think they were able to really capture my attention and make me feel the music.”

When asked if she had a favorite, she responded, “I enjoyed all the performances, but I really liked ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing’ by the Jazz Ensemble.”

This showcase of Saint Leo’s talent was a great event. The hard work and dedication the students and faculty participating in the ensembles put in was evident in their almost flawless execution of every note, string, and chord.

King of the Lions: Hear Him Roar

King of the Lions

“I love Saint Leo,” said Masterson Dempsey, graduating senior and 2016 commencement speaker.

Dempsey was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives in Wesley Chapel. He had played football, ran track and performed in school musicals throughout his high school years.

Q: How was high school for you? Did you enjoy it?

“I loved high school and I discovered a lot of my musical talents and passions in high school. I even graduated as my class poet laureate and got to rap at graduation for about two thousand people.”

Q: Why did you choose to come to Saint Leo University?

“There are too many reasons to list of why I picked Saint Leo but mainly the tight knit classroom size, the positive environment, and beautiful campus scenery. Also, being myself raised Catholic and it being a Catholic University was also another helpful factor in my selection of Saint Leo. When I got selected to lead scholars and the honors program I was confident that Saint Leo would be the best home for me collegiately.”

Q: Over your four years here at Saint Leo how do you feel your experience has helped you?

“I have loved my experience over the past four years here. I have grown as a leader. I have become better than I would have hoped for. I have met the best teachers and had fantastic classroom experiences and going on conferences has been amazing with different teachers, as well. I have been to New York twice, to San Diego once, to Washington D.C. once, and also to Orlando, and that was with the Leadership Club that I helped create on this campus, and then with ITC I grew as a leader, International Tourism Club, where we put on events and what I am going to do with my career is events, entertainment, hospitality.”

Q: How many clubs/events have you been involved with on campus?

“I have been involved in two clubs, President of both of them. I just passed them on, both of them, to the new president. A new girl in charge of leadership and a new girl in charge of hospitality and tourism ITC. I have had a really good chance to run meetings with that and have a team, building a team that has a goal.”

Q: What would you claim to be your greatest accomplishments on the Saint Leo campus?

“The greatest accomplishment is networking around here, because if I hadn’t done all that I wouldn’t have been supported enough by the community to be voted King of Saint Leo and be voted commencement speaker. So, keeping good karma, and positivity, and meeting a lot of awesome people, and never burning any bridges.”

Q: Considering the core values of Saint Leo do you feel like you’ve really grown here? How do you get everyone to remember you?

“The biggest one in my speech, I touch on all of the core values, and the speech has already been submitted and I am very excited to deliver it once they approve the words. The most important one in my opinion is personal development because when you’re here you develop yourself and if you do that authentically people can tell and if you’re an authentic version of you it inspires other people and it keeps you happy because you’re not being fake to anyone. I think that the truth shines through.”

Q: Who inspires you most? Both in the real world and in the Saint Leo community?

“My biggest inspiration in life is Pharrell Williams because he is very happy, positive, talented, and a really successful person. Pharrell Williams, the artist and producer, he is on the voice as well. On this campus, I’ll list the main teachers that have influenced me the most; Dr. Duncan, Dr. Ashley Castle, Dr. Judy Holcomb was my advisor and carried me through the whole process, and Peter Marian, and, as well as, John Heather because I spent a lot of time with them and grew as a man with them.”

Q: What do you plan to do immediately after graduation?

“I am going to take a nice mental break, for about a month or so. Personally, I am going to finally handle a surgery I have needed, for my breathing and my nose, because once school is over I finally have time to address an urgent medical need that, while I was in school, I had to just put on the back burner. Then, as well as that, I am going to address my passion for making music and I am going to start making music and getting positive messages out. I am going to continue working at Saddlebrook Resort, where I have been for the past five years, and I am just going to grow there and take everything one day at a time. But, the first thing I need is a break to recharge and process all the things that have happened in the past four years, that I have loved, but have really tired me out.”

Q: Do you have any advice for the freshman coming in the fall semester?

“My biggest advice to people who are coming here – and I love the opportunity that I have met a lot of freshman and I have given them advice – is to never do anything alone and always take an opportunity to walk into the lunchroom or anywhere and just meet people, because you never know who you’re going to meet. The people I met and became best friends with here I met in the [cafeteria] just by talking or at an event with the same interest in music – and those are friends that I’ll probably have forever but if I had not gone out of my way and met them, then I would have never had that friend. So, to network is the main thing.”

Q: If you could go back to your freshman year to tell yourself one thing to do differently, one thing you would change, what would it be?

“If I could have gone back four years ago, there is not much I would change because I love how everything played out. I would have just attended more of the Saint Leo events so that I could have even more memories. With that being said, I went to a lot of them and I was very busy, I just always wished I could have gone to more events and enjoyed all these opportunities that Saint Leo gives you through Campus Activities Board.”

Dempsey’s classmates, peers, and professors had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. Consensus says that Dempsey is a unique, eccentric, prioritized, and all-around stand-up guy. People believe that his commencement speech will be remembered for many years to come and that he will not be forgotten.

“I’m wishing him well, and to not be a stranger. This is his home away from home. You all are part of the family. This is your alum, this is your home away from home even when you graduate and move on,” said Peter Marian, a professor at Saint Leo, when asked to comment on Dempsey.

Dempsey will be speaking at commencement on Apr. 30. The graduation ceremony for graduate students begins at 9 a.m. while the undergraduate ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m. at the Marion Bowman Activity Center.