What a year! Check out 2019’s happenings at Newman University

Dec 19, 2019

As we welcome in a new year with all its many adventures to come, we look back and celebrate all the great things 2019 brought us.

Join in a journey down memory lane in our Year in Review and peruse some of our most popular stories about students, athletes, alumni and more.


Newman University opens School of Catholic Studies >>

Newman University announces the formation of a new School of Catholic Studies, which houses theology, diaconate and pastoral ministry programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

The new school also includes formation programs for seminarians in the dioceses of Wichita, Kan. and Little Rock, Ark.

Cadaver Lab is important training tool >>

Cadaver labs are a rare find in Kansas. Newman University boasts one of only two in Wichita and one of the only cadaver labs in Kansas’ private schools.

The Bishop Gerber Science Center (BGSC) is full of incredible equipment and large labs, but many don’t know that a state-of-the-art cadaver lab lies in the southeast corner of the new building.

Connecting with home-schooled population >>

The Teaching Parents Association (TPA) hosted its 2019 TPA Conference home-school fair April 12 and 13 at Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center. Guest speakers, workshop sessions and vendors, including Newman University, will all be present at the event.

From Genocide to peace: a teaching perspective >>

Professor of History Kelly McFall is known for teaching genocide studies.

His courses in genocide and memory are highly sought after but he felt that his teaching lacked a certain depth that only experience could provide.

Offering education options in Western Kansas >>

Students located in western Kansas are able to gain a Newman University education without traveling to the main campus in Wichita, Kansas.

Dodge City is home to a small Newman University campus that offers teacher education programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s level.

Navigator: the new student experience >>

Newman University will implement a personalized, guided college experience for all undergraduate students starting fall 2020.

As a university, Newman strives to stay ahead of the wants and needs of our current and potential students. Through this effort, Newman has created an exclusive student success and support system, which uniquely empowers Newman students to soar.


Anthony Dozier ’08 receives Building Bridges Award >>

Newman alumnus Anthony Dozier recently received the Building Bridges Award as part of National TRIO Day on Feb. 21.

TRIO programs were created to offer federally funded college opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Renee Duxler ’04 takes over Douglas Design District >>

Renee Duxler graduated from Newman University in 2004 with a master’s in social work, which has led her through a variety of career opportunities.

While working as a social worker, Duxler said she has had many opportunities to expand her career, including working in the HIV/AIDS field for a number of years as well as in early childhood education of art. She also provided mental health and behavior services in homes and has been an executive director for multiple nonprofits such as Positive Directions and Alzheimer’s Association.

Jenna Dreiling ’11 honored as Teacher of the Year >>

Newman alumna Jenna Dreiling is one of the many treasured alumni of Newman University. Within 11 years of providing child education, Dreiling has changed children’s lives and taught them valuable lessons, and has now become the Great Bend USD 428 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Dreiling graduated from Newman in 2011 after completing an English as a second language (ESOL) endorsement and Master of Science in Education. She now teaches at Riley Elementary School in Great Bend, Kansas.

Quinton Bonnell ’19 knocks data internship out of the ballpark >>

Many people think that athletics and academics are completely different fields, but alumnus Quinton Bonnell is bringing together baseball and data through his data analysis internship with Lion Graph.

“When I started learning about data, I started actually with baseball because that’s been a passion of mine since I was very young … and how advanced statistics can work in baseball,” he said. “And then I started applying it more to my major in business-related fields.”

Austin Lavin ’19 places in top 1% of NYC Marathon runners >>

Long-distance running is more than just a college sport for alumnus Austin Lavin. He achieved great success on the Newman cross-country team and graduated in 2018 with a degree in applied mathematics.

One year later, he was preparing to participate in one of the largest marathons in the world. Lavin first ran the Phoenix-Mesa Marathon in February 2019 to qualify for one of the six major marathons: the New York City (NYC) Marathon.


Athletic Hall of Fame 2019 inductees announced >>

The Newman University Athletic Hall of Fame will induct five new members Feb. 9.

The 2019 class is Dana and Larry Fugate, Laryssa Ferreira Booth, the 2006 men’s cross-country team, Kent Boomsma and Billy Murphy.

Joanna Pryor named new athletic director >>

After a national search, Joanna Pryor has been named director of athletics for Newman University, effective July 1, 2019.

Pryor, who has spent the past eight years as associate director of athletics and NCAA compliance coordinator at Newman, will take over department leadership duties after current director Vic Trilli retires.

JETSPYs celebrate student-athletes >>

The 2019 Jetspy awards ceremony took place Wednesday, May 1, at Newman University.

The ceremony, which mirrors the format of ESPN’s ESPY awards, honors and celebrates Newman University student-athletes who have given their all in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

Newman’s first MIAA Player of the Week >>

Newman University sophomore Jackie Lari, a graduate of Crean Lutheran High School in Irvin, California, is the first Newman student-athlete to earn MIAA Player of the Week status.

Lari earned her Goalie of the Week nod as a result of two non-conference soccer games played Sept. 13 and 15 in Colorado, during which she did not allow either opponent to score against her team.

Women’s soccer team reaching its goals >>

The Newman University women’s soccer team has soared to new heights in the first half of its season while overcoming challenges, said Head Women’s Soccer coach Aaron Avila.


Cori Vigil overcomes tragedy to achieve dreams >>

Counting blessings has become a regular part of Newman University student Cori Vigil’s routine.

In May 2016, the Vigil’s house in Dodge City was completely destroyed by a tornado. Less than two years later, Vigil’s husband, Clay, was in an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Students present original research at history conference >>

Newman University was well represented at the 2019 Kansas Association of Historians (KAH) Conference with seven students presenting original research.

According to KAH officials, Newman had the largest representation of any university at this year’s conference.

Academic Awards Banquet recognizes student achievement >>

The Honors and Academic Awards Banquet was held on Wednesday, April 17. More than 50 students, faculty and staff were recognized for their academic achievements and involvement throughout the year.

The banquet started with an opening from Provost Kim Long, prayer by University Chaplain Fr. John Fogliasso and comments from President Noreen Carrocci. The ceremony began as dinner was served.

A summer of service with the ASC >>

With school out of session, students must find ways to fill their summer days. For three Newman students, this means giving back to those in need by helping the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC), sponsors of Newman University, care for refugee families.

Martina Viale, Dania Jumpa and Carolina Bianchi have spent numerous hours at the ASC Wichita Center helping with refugee families that the ASC sisters are sponsoring.

Gabrielle Altenor receives national conference scholarship >>

Newman Honors Program student Gabrielle Altenor has been awarded the Freddye T. Davy scholarship by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).

Altenor is the first Newman University student to receive an NCHC scholarship. The scholarship will cover the cost of attendance for this year’s NCHC annual conference, held Nov. 6-10 in New Orleans.


Social work students participate in homeless count >>

Newman University Master of Social Work (MSW) students volunteered to make a difference in the homeless community of Wichita last month.

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Continuum of Care (WSC-CoC) conducted the Point-In-Time (PIT) Homeless Count on Jan. 31, and MSW students were eager to get involved and gain experience advocating for those in need.

Medical Mission at Home offers services to community >>

More than 40 Newman students, staff and faculty members volunteered at the third annual Medical Mission at Home.

The event took place April 13 at Mueller Aerospace Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas.

Mom saves the day for Newman mission trip travelers >>

Every other year, a group of students embark on the Guatemala Study and Serve mission trip. However, without the help from one mom, six students would have missed out on part of the journey.

When Wendy Conrad, mother of student Madelyn Conrad, heard about a canceled flight that would have kept the students from arriving on time, she took action.

Medical doctor connects faith, health care and theology degree >>

Newman University has always been known for its Catholic heritage, offering a faith-based liberal arts education with the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society.

Its newly formed School of Catholic Studies houses degrees in theology, ministry and philosophy, to name a few.

Newman community members attend namesake’s canonization >>

A pilgrimage of 34 Newman University staff, board members, friends and alumni led by President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., traveled to Rome where they witnessed the canonization of university namesake St. John Henry Newman.

The canonization took place Oct. 13 in St. Peter’s Square in front of an audience of more than 50,000.


Gail Gettman retires after 34 years at Newman >>

Gail Gettman joined the Newman family in 1984 as a cashier in the business office. But that wasn’t her first time setting foot on the campus.

Gettman earned her high school diploma at Sacred Heart Academy in 1966 when the academy was still housed on the Sacred Heart College — now Newman University — campus. She then transitioned into her freshman year at Sacred Heart College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1972.

3D printer arrives at Newman >>

The Newman University STEM club made it their goal during the 2018-19 academic year to raise enough money so they could purchase a 3D printer for the university.

With two major fundraisers and the help of the Student Government Association, the chemistry and biology departments and library staff, club members achieved that goal.

Newman announces retirement of its president >>

President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., is set to retire at the end of 2019.

Teresa Hall Bartels, chair of the Newman University Board of Trustees, announced May 14 that Carrocci will retire Dec. 31, 2019, capping a successful tenure that featured first-time student growth, increased retention and graduation rates, expanded business partnerships and the construction of the region’s top science facility and nursing and allied health labs.

Alumnus returns to Newman as chaplain >>

Newman University welcomed back a friendly face in June 2019 — alumnus Father Adam Grelinger has been assigned as the new chaplain.

Grelinger was ordained a priest in 2017 and spent two years at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church as the parochial vicar before he was called to meet with Bishop Carl Kemme.

Beata Benefactor Banquet thanks donors >>

The annual Beata Benefactors Banquet to thank and honor those who have supported Newman University throughout the year took place Nov. 8 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.

The evening began with a social hour and a welcome from Vice President for University Advancement J.V. Johnston. Father Tom Welk led a prayer from Saint John Henry Newman before dinner and the ceremony.

To all the Newman University community — students, faculty, staff and supporters — we wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!