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Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

Scott Coley

Dr. Scott Coley has been with the Mount since 2014. This year he accepted a position as Lecturer in our Department of Philosophy. Dr. Coley earned his B.A. in Philosophy and English from UNC-Chapel Hill. He holds two M.A. degrees, one from Notre Dame and one from Purdue. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue as more.

kate tombs

Hello! My name is Kathryn Tombs (pronounced as if the “b” weren’t there), but I’ve always gone by Kate. Fun facts: I am named for my maternal great great aunt who was a child actress in silent films and my last name came to our family through adoption!

I am currently a second semester senior because I am graduating early this December. I am double majoring in Spanish and Theology (which I affectionately refer to as “Spanish and the Jesus”) and have a self-made concentration in Hispanic Ministry. My time at the Mount has truly flown by!!

My heart (and a lot of my time) goes to leadership of the Mount Students for Life ministry and participation in Chapel Choir. My favorite things about these ministries would hands down have to be their orientation towards glorifying God and serving others and also all the amazing people involved! I also love to run (for fun), read (also for fun, but only when I’m not at school), travel, create art, and spend time with my family and in beautiful churches. You’re most likely to find me doing (or procrastinating) homework on my bed, collecting my thoughts in IC Chapel, or enjoying a conversation around campus.

As a member of the George Henry Miles Honors Society, I am currently trucking through the monster that is the senior honors project - the end is in sight! My project analyzes an original play that I wrote based on conversations with a Hispanic kitchen staff at a restaurant. It is inspired by my past experiences as a waitress. Comparing my play with two other contemporary theatrical works that also reflect the Latino immigrant experience in the U.S., I am discussing challenges pertinent to the Latino immigrant experience and responding to these challenges with various statements issued on behalf of the Church.

A list of my favorite things I’ve done while at the Mount would first and foremost have to include my two trips to Latin America: a spring break service and culture trip to Perú in 2016 and summer study abroad in Costa Rica (with a side excursion to Panamá) in 2017. I can’t even begin to describe what incredible and formative trips these have been for me with regards to my two majors and also just as a person. Standing at the top of Machu Picchu for Leap Day 2016, ziplining through the Costa Rican rainforest, and seeing the Panamá Canal live are experiences I will never forget!

Other favorite Mount experiences would have to include service trips through the OSJ, Chrism Mass trips through Camp Min, a field trip to EWTN in D.C., and the “You are Beauty” 2016 Ethics and Culture Conference at Notre Dame in Indiana.

I do not have set post-graduation plans yet beyond returning home to spend some time with family at least for a semester, but my dreams do include spending some more time in Latin America to do mission/service work. I can also see myself being a teacher...and a public speaker...and about ten other things, honestly. I’m open and excited to see where God’s plans for my life lead me.

The relationships I have formed at the Mount have been everything. I have been overwhelmed by support and encouragement received from faculty (both in and out of my majors) and staff throughout my entire Mount journey. Also, the friendships and amazing relationships I have formed with people I have met through ministry, classes, and travel have been incredible. There are a lot of people I am really going to miss next semester!!

As my time at the Mount comes to a close, I feel a deep gratitude for everyone who helped shape and form me these past three and a half years to be the person I am today, and most especially God who carried me through every valley and brought me to every height. It’s been unforgettable!

“Mañana hacemos cosas bellas” - Antoni Gaudí

Kate Tombs

Brendan Dooley

Dr. Dooley did his undergraduate work and completed his master's degree at Loyola University-Chicago. He went on to earn his doctorate degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. ...

Kara Monahan

I graduated from the Mount in 2002 with a major in English and a minor in History. To this day, a well-worn copy of my freshman seminar book, Choices, sits on my bookshelf. That anthology represents for me the essence of my Mount experience—thoughtful engagement with a variety of sources about the important choices that shape our lives: education, values, and more.

-Dr. Loveridge earned a B.A. in English language and literature from Westminster College, a small liberal arts school in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his Ph.D. in English with a focus in rhetoric from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. jordan loveridge

-Before beginning his graduate studies, Dr. Loveridge worked with the Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center. As the Off-Site Programming Coordinator there, he designed and facilitated community literacy workshops in partnership with prisons, women’s shelters, and refugee centers.

-At ASU, Dr. Loveridge taught a variety of courses—first year writing, public argument, professional communication, visual rhetoric and graphic novels, etc. He also helped to train new teachers entering ASU’s graduate programs to teach first year writing.

-While Dr. Loveridge trained in rhetoric, writing, and communication broadly, his area of expertise is the history of rhetorical theory. "So, in terms of my research, I consider myself more of an intellectual historian and a rhetorician." He focuses primarily on how classical rhetoric was understood and interpreted throughout the Middle Ages. More recently, he has become interested in how medieval thinkers grappled with the translation and reintroduction of Aristotle’s Rhetoric in the later 13th century.

-Dr. Loveridge is looking forward to the opportunity to work with students in more than one course. "In my previous teaching experience, it was relatively rare for me to teach a student more than once. At the Mount, I have much more of an opportunity to help students develop their skills in writing, rhetoric, and communication in the long-term."

-As a hobby, Dr. Loveridge enjoys cycling. "I am excited to have moved to a climate that is much more conducive to that sort of activity (it’s hard to bike too far when it’s 115 degrees outside)." He is also a fan of role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. "I met my wife playing D&D! I also enjoy board games (my favorite right now is Scythe), comic books, etc." Dr. Loveridge also loves to cook!

If you walk into Mount St. Mary’s University’s Knott Academic Center at night, you will be greeted by a soft blue light. firmament 1Looking up, you will discover the source of that light, “The Firmament,” a new art piece created by Nick Hutchings. Nick is an Assistant Professor in the Mount’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Paul Miller, graduate student associate for the College of Liberal Arts, recently interviewed Professor Hutchings about this amazing piece.

Q: How did the commissioning of the piece come about?

Hutchings: Originally, I proposed this to Karl Einolf when he was Dean of the Bolte School of Business a few years ago. He was supportive, but the project did not materialize at that time. Last year, Pete Dorsey, Dean of the CLA, asked me about art in the AC, and I told him about my original proposal. He was quite excited about the idea. He reached out to Karl Einolf about the Bolte School’s supporting the funding along with the CLA. Pete brought the project to the attention of Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, the Interim-Provost, who brought it to the attention of President Trainor as well as to the Cabinet. I then proposed the project directly to President Trainor and to the cabinet. Everyone has been very supportive. It was a team effort.

Q: Did you collaborate with anyone else on the piece?

Hutchings: I had two student assistants who helped me construct the piece: Jodie McSparron and Jack Bonner.

Q: What was your inspiration for the piece? Were there other artists that influenced you?

firmament 2

Hutchings: Alain Badiou wrote “through the visibility of artifice, which is also the thinking of poetic thought, the poem surpasses in  power what the sensible is capable of itself.” This work reflects on a series of concepts and questions about our existence in this universe and the boundaries of our understanding. These boundaries are framed by the context of our experience, and they shape our understanding of the universe and our place within it. The idea of the firmament, or vault between the seas as written in the first chapter of Genesis, informs the conceptual scaffolding of this artwork. In Genesis, it is written “And God said, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it.” The firmament, also known as the Raqia in Jewish mysticism, is this boundary.

firmament 3Raqia translates as “to beat or spread out.” This is similar to the image of copper, beaten by a metalsmith, in order to spread out the material into large sheets. This vault, according to Genesis, is where stars of the heaven have been fixed. Similarly, in Dante’s The Divine Comedy, the eighth level of heaven is where the stars are fixed to the sphere above the earth. Thus symbolically, the firmament is the empirical limit of our universe, while the expanse references our known universe—or the space between the waters.

The artwork also echoes imagery of neural synapses in the brain and the elaborate connections between them. The billions of connections in the brain and how our thought emerges from them is a beautiful question, and I wrestle with a way to reflect on that image. While in quantum physics, string theory suggests that particles across the universe are tethered and interconnected. Is this similar to the connections between synapses in a brain?  Thus, can we theorize that the particles in our brains are tethered to the stars in the vastness of space? We are composed of the same particles that formed the stars and exploded in an age long ago. We are all made of stars. Thus the stars reach out towards us and we in return are tethered to them.

Q: Is there a particular response or emotion you want to provoke with the piece?

firmament 4Hutchings: Once I have created the work it is its own. That means interpretation will vary. Yet, I aim to place the  viewer in a  position of conscious engagement with the    artwork. Like writing a Haiku, I remove superfluous  elements from the art to speak in a more succinct and  powerful voice without sacrificing the poetic. This  artwork is a quiet interruption of the ‘noise’ of daily  life,  which allows the viewer’s interpretation to emerge and  grants a space for being present in relation to the artwork.

Q: How do you feel your piece contributes to the overall aesthetics of the Knott Academic Center?

Hutchings: The atrium of the Knott Academic Center is the precise space for the exploration of this artwork. It is my aim with this installation to contextualize a space for an aesthetic experience that reflects the ephemerality of presence yet leaves an indelible mark in the memory of one who experiences it. This artwork will be a wonderful center piece to all who visit our fine campus. Aesthetics can positively influence the way we feel about a space and the AC is in need of an aesthetic revival. It can also influence the way potential students receive the Knott Academic Center and help the community feel proud of our great university.

nick hitchingsQ: What are some ways we can promote the fine arts at our university? How might we encourage our students to consider majoring in the fine arts?

Hutchings: You do not have to be a major to be involved in our department. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in the VPA. From music ensembles, to chorale, to theater productions, to taking an art class and applying for the Simon Brute Juried Student Art Exhibit. The options and levels of involvement can be curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular.


                                                                                                                   Prof. Nick Hutchings                                                                                                                                                                                                


-Dr. Joshua Brown earned his Ph.D. from the University of Dayton, his M.Div. from Campbell University Divinity School, and his B.S. in Religion from Chowan University in Murfreesboro, more.

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