Dr. Richard Dittus


How long have you been teaching at Ave?

I have been working at Ave Maria for over 16 years. Besides teaching math I have taught business and education courses and have also served as the director of admissions. I first got involved with this school through providing brochures to Catholic conferences and college fairs as a way to voluntarily support Ave Maria’s growth. It was very exciting to be among the first pioneers working toward developing our Catholic university. 


What is you favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Sweet potato casserole


What is your favorite memory at Ave?

In 2003, we celebrated our first Ave Maria thanksgiving on our Naples campus, which was a great feast that all the students and faculty shared together. It was our first festival feast together as a campus and it’s amazing to see this tradition carry on today through the numerous feast day celebrations that the school puts on.  

In 2004, on the Feast of the Annunciation, we celebrated our first mass at our beautiful church on campus, and the Vatican Choir provided the music.  


What do you like most about your students?

I love how my students are such enthusiastic learners and how they are all willing to study and work hard together. They put in so much effort in the class and I really admire the students that put the extra time in to come to college algebra club. 


Can you tell us about the College Algebra Club that you started? 

Many students need a supportive environment for not only learning College Algebra but also in the college transition process. College Algebra Club gives students a learning community where they can build confidence in their math skills with math tutors and a professor available. This gives new students a chance to get familiar with their fellow classmates and also allows them to get used to working with tutors in the hub.


Fun Fact?

Before our children were born, my wife and I travelled with backpacks by train and bus across Canada and the United States for 40 days. My favorite location during this adventure was Jasper National Park because we were able to hike on the snow topped mountains in summer. 

Luke Chasuk


Household: Fishers of Men 

Grade: Senior 

Major: Biology 

From: Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

Who is your favorite saint and why? 

Saint Raphael, I want to be a medical doctor and he’s the patron saint of healing, so he’ll be a huge player in my life. 

Tell us about your household

Every week we do a member led holy hour meditation, we go to mass as a household, and have a meeting and discussion. We have night prayer which is led by a different member every night. We also have what we call “Fishing Trips” where we get together with a different member every week which fosters brotherhood. 

Why did you decide to join Fishers over other households? 

I joined Fishers because I was so impressed with the brotherhood I saw in the household. Also, when I was checking out households during freshman year Fishers felt the most right. This choice I think has been Divine Intervention, the friendships I’ve made in Fishers are some of the best I’ve ever had. 

If someone was interested in joining your household or another household, how do they join? 

Come find any Fisher on campus! On Thursdays we wear white polos so we’re not hard to find. 

What is one of your favorite household traditions? 

DEFINITELY the end of year awards show, the Fishies, when we award the members with ridiculous recognitions and roll a slide show of all the graduating members. It’s a hilarious night and we still tell stories about the Fishies from three years ago. 

Any upcoming events we should lookout for? 

At the Household Fest coming up on Novemeber 18th Fishers will be hosting a spikeball tournament! Come out if you think you’re good! 

What virtues does your household focus on? 

Patience and Humility. 

How do you plan to live out what you’ve learned through Fishers outside of Ave? 

I plan to keep the virtues that household life has instilled in me. I also will keep in touch with the guys from Fishers. The household has instilled in me a deep and abiding faith life that will stay with me the rest of my life. 

Joe Traver


What grade are you/What is your major? 

I am a 22-year-old sophomore double majoring in Biochemistry and Health Science. I took 3 gap years after high school to volunteer with NET Ministries, a Catholic youth ministry organization, traveling the country doing over 350 retreats for high school and middle school youth. 


Are you planning on working in the new coffee shop in the library? Are you excited about it opening? 

Actually, I’m managing the new coffee shop! I’m incredibly excited for it to open- I’ve put tons of hours into planning and product researching, and it’s great to finally see everything coming together. The room will still be a 24-hour room, with the coffee shop staffed at certain intervals throughout the day. The vision, which is becoming a reality quite nicely, is that the coffee shop will be entirely student staffed. I’m working closely with a local roastery in Fort  Meyers to create a custom coffee roast exclusively sold at our Ave coffee shop, and I’m excited to put some new twists on our blend. Our final step for permitting with Collier County is this coming week, so hopefully we will be open in the next two weeks! 


What is your favorite aspect of Ave Maria? 

Honestly, I had never thought that I could be happy going to school at Ave.  I traveled the country for three years and saw countless cities and met incredible people, but I never found a place that felt like a home. I left Ave to find a home, and it wasn’t until I came back that I realized that it was here all along. My favorite thing about Ave is the authenticity amongst the student body. People are real here. They are vulnerable, honest, and ultimately loving. This campus culture has allowed me to blossom where I’ve been planted, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. 

Gene and Junior

Left: Junior, Right: Gene

Left: Junior, Right: Gene


Where are you from? 

Gene: I am from Haiti. I go back every year in the summer. My wife and three kids still live there, so I am excited to go home.

Junior:I am also from Haiti and I go back twice a year. Once during Christmas, and once during the summer to visit my wife and daughter who are there. 


Where did you learn to whip up a mean omelet? 

Gene: When I got to Ave over nine years ago. I started working in the kitchen and then got promoted to the omelet station. 

Junior:  I also got promoted and I learned my ways from the best— Gene. 


How long have you been working here? 

Gene: For about nine years, I’ve seen the company grow a lot! 

Junior: I have been here for three years. 


What is your favorite part about working here? 

Gene: I just love to stay busy and work. 

Junior: I also love to work. I am very satisfied when I know I make a good meal. 


 Biggest pet peeve about students? 

Gene: There isn’t one. The students are great. What really makes me happy though is when people are very polite. 

Favorite meal to make and eat? 

Gene:  I love to cook and to eat Haitian food. My favorite meal to make for my wife is turkey, rice, chicken, sauce beans, all Haitian style. 

Junior: I also like to cook and eat Haitian food, but I make some pretty good mashed potatoes. My favorite American meal is a hamburger and fires, and chocolate ice cream cake. 

Harrison Catalano

Harrison Catalano, Resident Assistant and Member of the Golf Team

Harrison Catalano, Resident Assistant and Member of the Golf Team

Hometown: Augusta, GA 

Class: Senior 

RA project this year:

Throughout the semester Resident Assistants are required to put on events with the intent of building a stronger campus community.  For Harrison's RA project, he is planning to distribute T-shirts for the first one hundred students to come tailgate for the October 27th home football game. His reasoning was that he believes that it will build stronger relationships among the students. Harry says, "We had something very similar at my high school. It brought the students together, and helped us win some football games."


Harrison is a member of the men's Gyrene golf team. He believes that the team this year is different from years past. Harry mentions the camaraderie that the guys have. He says his favorite memory of the golf team is "watching the 2016 Ryder Cup with the boys." 

Plans for After College: 

Harrison plans to attend law school after is last year at Ave Maria. His top three schools are University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Funny Childhood Memory: 

"When I was around five years old, my parents took me to watch my sister, Decker, perform in her ballet recital, 'The Nutcracker'. After returning home from watching the performance, my curious self decided if I could do one of the dance moves that looked so cool on stage. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and landed straight on my face, knocking out my two front teeth. Well as the saying goes, 'curiosity killed the cat,' and that it did."

Resam Moghimi

Resam Moghimi, Senior Captain

Resam Moghimi, Senior Captain

Position: Defense 

Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand

NEXT GAME: Saturday, October 13that 6:00pm! (SENIOR NIGHT!)


1)   What has been the highlight of your college career thus far? 

The highlight of my college career thus far has been going to battle with all my teammates over the years. Win, lose, or draw, it’s been an honor to represent Ave Maria University alongside these young men who I’m privileged to call my brothers!

2) If you could go back to your freshman year, would you do anything differently? And if so, what would that be? 

Honestly, everything is as it should be, but I could have done without tearing my ACL my freshman year.


3) How have you seen the team change throughout the years? 

So much has changed in my time here, we have an incredible coach and mentor in Eddie Gaven and the program is by far the strongest it’s ever been. Men’s Soccer at Ave is taking off! Watch this space! 


4) Any advice to the underclassman on the team?

I would tell my underclassmen this quote: “When you guys come back 15, 20 years from now, we know what kind of men you are, and we know what kind of husbands you become, what kind of fathers you become, then we'll know how good this [Soccer] team is."


5) Are there any team traditions that you hope will carry on after you graduate? 

Our program is young so that traditions are still few but I do hope that the lads continue to love God, to love one another like a family, and to have each other’s backs always!



Joe Swehla

Joe Swehla, Captain of Ave Maria’s Ultimate Frisbee Team

Joe Swehla, Captain of Ave Maria’s Ultimate Frisbee Team

About Joe 

Currently senior at Ave Maria University, Joe comes from Cobb, CA, 

which is about 2 hours north-east of San Francisco.  

He is an Exercise Physiology major. This is Joe's first year as

Captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team.  

About the Team 

The Ave Maria Ultimate Frisbee team was started on campus five years ago. 

It is now an official club. This year is starting out strong for the team, with 16

members and 7 new recruits!

As Captain of the team Joe's favorite part is that,"It's a great group of guys 

who want to go out, play and have fun. 

The team has some of the best sportsmanship 

on campus, everyone is respectful. 

We all love the game." 

Want to try out for the team? Practices are held on Monday, Wednesday 

and Friday at the practice football field from 5-6:30! 

Julia Wool

Executive Board member for the American Enterprise Institute

Executive Board member for the American Enterprise Institute

Class: Junior

Major: Economics and Politics

Fun Fact: Julia, along with Max Bodach and Ryan Rasins, is on her way to Washington, D.C. now for a leadership conference with AEI!

What is AEI?

American Enterprise Institute is an academic club here at Ave Maria that promotes responsible public policy in D.C. The club promotes substantive conversations about public policy on campus by hosting events and activities throughout the year. Julia is looking forward to her events that promote civic duty and educate students on public policy that directly impacts them. She hopes to bring Mark Perry, an economics policy expert to Ave Maria for a night at The Pub. The club hopes to grow and make even more of a positive impact on campus discourse in the years to come.

Interested? Meet them in the Student Union Hub every Wednesday, or contact Julia at julia.wool@my.avemaria.edu.