Aquinas College is proud to announce that Catie Rietsema, from Rockford High School, will continue her running career as a Saint. The former All State performer has led the Rams to four top six finishes at the MHSAA Division I state cross country meet, including a third-place finish during her senior season. Rietsema has a personal best of 18:30 on the cross course and career bests on the track of 5:19 (one mile) and 11:28 (two miles). Coach Mike Wojciakowski stated, “Catie comes from a tradition-rich program that focuses on team success. I believe she is an excellent addition to our core group of runners which is being formed here at Aquinas College. Catie has the ability and the work ethic to make an immediate impact on our team.”
The men’s distance medley relay record has stood at Aquinas College since 1972. The quartet of Jerry Gumbleton, Mike Sweeney, Wayne Steanich and Ryan Sexton had the record of 10:16.34. Fast forward 39 years to Saturday, Feb. 12, when the foursome of (pictured l–r) Grant Gunneson of Rockford, B.J. Klotz of Forest Hills Eastern, Nick Thelen of Grand Ledge and Dustin Heiler of Fowlerville eclipsed the record by 11 seconds at a meet at Grand Valley State University. The new record now stands at 10:05.95 and currently is the third fastest time in the NAIA.
Becca Ryan was recently awarded the R. Paul Nelson full tuition scholarship offered by Aquinas College. Based on high school grade point average and ACT scores, Becca was invited to the Aquinas campus to participate in the Spectrum Scholarship competition along with roughly 250 other students. The testing consisted of multiple choice, team dynamics and essay components. Becca finished fourth overall. “I have had many positive experiences while meeting with future professors and admissions counselors,” Becca said. “The small size of the college creates a personable atmosphere that I want to be a part of. I know that the academics will challenge me and push me to become the best version of myself.” Becca currently keeps herself busy as an active member of the Our Lady of Consolation Peer Ministry team, participating in many charitable causes, including working at North Kent Service Center, God’s Kitchen North, and a mission trip to New Orleans. Her other hobbies are running/exercise, spending more time with family, and being goofy with friends. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She looks forward to life on the Aquinas campus, particularly meeting new people and finding her niche in the work force. She currently plans to work toward a degree in psychology. Becca’s proud parents are Mike and Patty Ryan of Rockford. Her siblings are Mike, Christopher and Jessica.
Aquinas College professor to receive award Susan Haworth-Hoeppner, Ph.D., director of the Aquinas College Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center and Associate Professor of Sociology, has been selected to receive the 2009 Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award. Haworth-Hoeppner is being honored for her outstanding contributions to community service-learning and to Girls Empowering Together (GET). GET is an after-school leadership program for Grand Rapids high school girls. The award was presented on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the Grand Traverse Resort. Haworth-Hoeppner is a Rockford resident.