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Ask the Alumni Expert

In an effort to support our alumni and add value to the lives of our community, we introduce to you the new series, “Ask The Alumni Expert." From recipes, podcast suggestions, gardening tips and more, we're excited to share advice and other tidbits from JCU Alumni, to JCU Alumni.

We hope these helpful tips from various members of the JCU Alumni community provide some comfort, distraction, and joy during these difficult times.
Stayed tuned to @JCUAlumni on Instagram and Twitter, at #JCUAlumniExpert as we share this series with you!

August 31, 2020 - Real Estate Investing Tips from Jessica Gioitta-Ivans '12, Licensed Realtor at Keller
Williams Greater Metropolitan and President of JLI Holdings, LLC

Passive income. You may be thinking that sounds cool...but what does it mean? In short, it means that your money is going to work for you. Sounds great, right? Absolutely! I am here to give you some tips on how to achieve passive income through real estate investing.

Investing in real estate is one of the oldest and low risk ways to put your money to work. Now, even more than ever, with the uncertainty of the stock market and jobs, it is a great time to start planning for your future. While it sounds simple (and, trust me, it really is), you do need to prepare and have a plan of action. These are my top tips and recommendations to get you started on your investing journey:


1. $AVE, save, save!: It is never too early to start saving your money. Whether you plan to

pay all cash for a property or obtain a loan, you will need money to start investing.

Maybe to you that means setting aside an extra $50 a week, or an extra $2000 a month.

Birthday gift cash? Save it! Look at your budget, make adjustments, and plan out what

you can start to save and when. Whatever it is, there is no right or wrong. There are

many great financial advisors out there who can help you, too, and form a great savings

plan that is right for you.


2. Leverage money: Whether you plan to borrow from a bank, use 401K funds, money

from stocks or a mutual fund, refinance another property, or obtain gift money from

family - there are many ways to leverage money. While you may have cash to pay 100%

out of pocket, that might not be the smart choice at that time or for that particular

investment. Mortgage rates have hit ultimate lows in 2020 and there are a ton of great

mortgage lenders who can help you and discuss your financial options. Many people

don’t realize a down payment for an investment property is much higher than a property

you plan to live in, which is why saving and leveraging are key for many people looking

to get into real estate investing.


3. Determine your goals: Once you have the financials sorted out, you’ll need to

determine your investment goals. Questions such as: “when would I like to purchase my

first property?”, “what type of property am I looking for?”, “do I want to buy and hold or

renovate and resell?”, “where would I like my property to be located?”, “how much would

I like to spend on my property?”, “how much return on the property do I need for it to

make sense?”...and many more! Having a consultation with your local real estate

professional will help answer these questions, determine your goals and what ultimately

makes sense for you and your investment.


4. Different ways to invest: “Buy and hold”, and “renovate and resell”, are two commonly

used phrases throughout real estate, and two totally different ways to invest. While some

people prefer to buy property to hold onto and rent or use as a vacation rental (such as

Airbnb), others may be interested in buying something to fix up and resell for profit.

Either way is a great option, and talking with your local real estate professional can help

to determine what is the best route for you at that time, and in your market.



5. It takes time: While real estate is a fantastic way to build your future, it takes time to see

your investment pay off. The words “low and slow” are a great way to describe this type

of investing because of its low risk, and slow reward. It is something to think about

before making the decision to begin your investment journey. If you plan to “buy and

hold”, it can be years before you are 100% debt free, and if you plan to “renovate and

resell”, it could be a while before you find the right property, or complete the renovation,

and, if we're being honest, not all sell immediately or for a profit. This shouldn’t deter you

from real estate investing, these are simply the realities to prepare yourself for.


6. Build a team: It is important to build yourself a team of trustworthy professionals to help

in your real estate investing. For example, a great local realtor will help find, negotiate,

and secure the properties you are interested in. A lender to help and handle the

financials. Perhaps you plan to be a landlord and you might require a good property

manager. At some point, you will require help from a contractor, or a plumber or

electrician. Having all of these people on call and in your back pocket will be extremely

helpful. Think about who you may already know now. Additionally, once you identify your

local real estate agent, they will already have a list of people they know, like, and trust

and would recommend for almost anything you may need.


7. Expect the unexpected: Let’s face it, owning a home comes with unexpected projects

at typically inconvenient times. For example, it is the first day of winter, and the furnace

in your new investment property decides to stop working! Going back to tip #1, having

money saved up to help fix the issue is important, you should always have a reserve

fund, and #6, knowing the right people to help you right away. Your local realtor should

also discuss home inspections and the option of home warranties with you to help avoid

these unexpected things before you buy a property.


8. Real estate investing is a business: When you start making money on your

investment, it is truly a beautiful thing! After all, that is why you started to invest in the

first place. While it may be tempting to use profits towards a vacation or a new pair of

shoes, if your goal is to run this as a business, that might not be the smartest idea.

Instead, set that money aside and start to save for your next investment! (See how we

came full circle?)


The best thing to remember when thinking of getting started with real estate investing is that you

are building your future. There are not many ways that you can invest your money that can work

for you on a low risk level. Many people have the thought in mind of having property they can

have for a long period of time, that will eventually be all profit and something to pass down to

family members, or resell when the time is right. Others have found a knack for renovating

homes to resell, or buying large commercial property. Whatever your goals are, there’s no right

or wrong. Talk with your local real estate professional, and determine if investing in real estate is

the right thing for you! 

For questions or to get started on your real estate investing journey, visit my website,

July 7, 2020 - Michael Samerdyke '83, Bugs Bunny History

Michael Samerdyke graduated from John Carroll in 1983 with an AB in English.  A lifelong fan of Warner Brothers cartoons, he especially liked Bugs Bunny, who starred in over 150 cartoons between 1940 and 1964.  To celebrate Bugs' 80th birthday, Michael Samerdyke has written "Wascally Wabbit," a history of Bugs' career.

When considering 150 cartoons, it's hard to pick five favorites, but as of today, these are on Samerdyke's list.

"What's Up, Doc?" (1950) directed by Bob McKimson.  Made for Bugs' 10th Anniversary, this cartoon gives Bugs a full-fledged show biz biography, showing his "origin" in New York as a Broadway chorus boy, then a vaudeville second banana to Elmer Fudd, before arriving in Hollywood.  It's a delightful send-up of biopic cliches, and gives Bugs the chance to appear with caricatures of Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, and Bing Crosby.

"Falling Hare" (1943) directed by Bob Clampett.  Some people think Bugs Bunny never loses.  In this World War II cartoon, Bugs tries to prevent a little gremlin from wrecking a bomber and quickly becomes a hysterical mess.  This cartoon is breathlessly fast fun.

"Bugs Bunny Rides Again" (1948) directed by Friz Freleng.  Thinking Elmer Fudd was too foolish an antagonist for Bugs Bunny, Friz Freleng designed Yosemite Sam to give Bugs a tougher fight.  In this cartoon, Sam is a Western outlaw determined to drive Bugs out of town.  The action is frantic, and Bugs proves more than capable of getting the best of the bad man with the red mustache.

"Rabbit of Seville" (1950) directed by Chuck Jones.  Many people admit that Bugs Bunny introduced them to classical music.  Here, Elmer chases Bugs through a production of Rossini's Barber of Seville.  Dialogue is kept to a minimum, the action is timed to the music, and the viewer never stops laughing, as Elmer's dignity takes drubbing after drubbing.

"Duck! Rabbit, Duck!" (1953) directed by Chuck Jones.  Before Bugs Bunny came along, Daffy Duck was the zany star of Warners cartoons.  In the Fifties, Chuck Jones cast Daffy as a jealous foil for Bugs, and here Daffy tries to persuade Elmer that it is really Rabbit Season, but Bugs keeps convincing Elmer to blast Daffy.  The expressiveness of the characters is a joy to behold as Daffy gets more and more hysterical.

To read about the origins of Bugs Bunny and his 1940-64 career, you can read "Wascally Wabbit:  The History of Bugs Bunny" by Michael Samerdyke, available in paperback and Kindle.  The book provides both a narrative of Bugs' career as well as individual comment on all of Bugs' cartoons in alphabetical order.

June 18, 2020 - 5 Simple Ways to Redecorate Your Home from Natalie Meyer ’06 CEO and Designer, Owner of CNC Home & Design

We’re spending more time than ever in our homes these days, and home should be an inspiring place that helps us thrive and be energized, but also feel relaxed and rested. If you’re looking to refresh or add some new vibes to your home, here are 5 ways you can do just that…so simple, you can do them in a weekend!

  1. Repaint your walls: Nothing changes the feel and tone of a room like a fresh coat of paint. Whether you’re going for a soothing neutral or a bold pop of color, paint is one of the easiest DIY ways to perk up a room. (Hint: Once you’ve picked a few favorite paint colors, buy the small quart size paint samples to paint swatches on the wall to see how the color changes in your room throughout the day. This will help to make sure you love the color before going all-in on a gallon of paint.)
  2. Switch up your textiles: Adding in new fabrics can completely change the look of your room. Replacing heavy, dark curtains with white or ivory linen, or swapping out an old, worn-in rug for a fresh one with a new pattern, or even adding new pillows or a cozy throw blanket can instantly make your room feel like new. To perk up your dining room, add a splash of color with a new table runner or table cloth.
  3. Just add flowers (real or faux): Adding some flowers to a coffee table, shelf, dining room table, or even a bedside table will perk up any room. Looking for fresh flowers? Trader Joe’s or Heinen’s have a wide variety of budget-friendly mix and match bouquets. Want something a little more no-maintenance? Try faux potted succulents, eucalyptus, artificial grass, or even a tree like a fiddle-leaf fig. And don’t forget about wreaths – besides your front door, adding little green wreaths (like magnolia) to windows or on the inside of your front door will help bring the outdoors in to your space.
  4. Update your lighting: Switch up your lighting (and instantly change the mood of your room) by adding a new table or floor lamp, or add style and charm with a new chandelier or pendant light. Prefer to go the DIY route? Give your current lamp a second chance - you can remove the shade and bulb, tape off the hardware and cords, and spray paint the base a new shade. Pick up a brand new lampshade, and you’re good to go!
  5. Mix in new décor accents: You can easily refresh your room by adding fun, new décor items - anything from candles to coffee table books, lanterns, or trays. Or you could find a statement wall hanging, or create your own customized art collection with a framed gallery wall of your favorite photos or prints. Fill your home with what inspires you, and helps you to love the space you’re in.

To learn more about interior design and home decorating, or get more insider decorating tips, visit or follow on Facebook (CNCHome&Design) or Instagram (@cnchomedesign).

June 10, 2020 -  10 Resume Tips from Matthew Warzel ‘03,  CPRW and President, MJW Careers, LLC

Looking for a job is an unpredictable process. It may last for a couple of days or years, it may go smooth or instead feel like a roller coaster. Everything depends on your professional skills, job market dynamics, and… pure luck! That old adage, who you know, still exists. And since you’re unable to change the rising unemployment rate and influence your luck, you have to learn how to sell your professional talents. Especially during these troubling times. What shall you start with? With an excellent resume, and it’s the right time to get to know some tips for making a fantastic first impression on your potential employer! 

1. Follow the suitable format

Even though creativity is in fashion now, it may not always reach your initial goals. You have probably seen some of the striking resumes that were made with no template. However, what’s the chance of it capturing one’s attention… in a good way? For instance, do you imply the strategic use of fonts? Does the section in italics differ from the one written in bold? At some point, you may think that you don’t want to put a great deal of effort into creating a one-page document, however, you’ll realize its value as soon as you are hired. Just like a business card, it may either contribute to your success or failure. So you don’t actually need to take it as a burden but rather an opportunity to get hired by the company you’ve never dreamed of. Two pages are fine too if you’re mid-level, but leave anything beyond two pages for the academia CVs or federal resumes.

Your format should be as follows, and in order:

A. Contact information

B. Summary

C. Core competencies or skills

D. Key contributions, accomplishments or transferable aptitude

E. Experience

F. Previous work history list (for jobs beyond 10 years)

G. Education

H. Certification

I. Affiliation or volunteerism

J. Technical list

As far as the aesthetic visual appeal, I think the format’s unique to each candidate's background, but I do see a majority of career changers utilizing a combinational resume over the other two types. This is because it allows for the writer to position your skills, qualifications, credentials and PAR (problem-action-result) impact statements for the experience section a lot more competitively than a traditional resume format. It draws eyeballs to the important transferable items first. I stick to the traditional format when the client has a solid work history. A shaky work history usually means a functional resume format to help offset some of the red flags. Remember though, infographic resumes with too many borders, pictures, graphs, etc can bog down the applicant tracking system (ATS), which is the software recruiters use to store your resume for later retrieval (via keyword searches) by all stakeholders (more on ATS later).

2. Don’t lie

There are various tools to make your resume look stunning. And lying is not nearly one of them. Since the recruiter will hold an interview based on the information they got from your resume, you may be asked some questions that are not relevant to your hands-on experience. Since you don’t want to be caught lying, it’s better to avoid fake info on your resume. Undeniably, you may not get any type of legal punishment for your non-professional behavior, but just imagine how your reputation will suffer!

3. Be smart

It's amazing to me, but my first answer when someone asks about writing their own resume and how to do it, I always say pragmatism. If you don’t crinkle the forehead of the reader, you’ve won half the battle, now they just want to make sure you match the open requisition. Sometimes people can get a little too creative and this can annoy a hiring manager who doesn’t like to be outsmarted before they even met you. A hiring manager needs to trust that his or her new employee will be able to handle the daily workload without too much turmoil or neediness. Obviously some training needs to be done, but the hiring manager is hoping to trust that the new hire will pick up on things and start making an impact rather quickly, i.e. be flexible and adaptive. 

4. Be relevant

Stick to the last 10 years of employment. Period. No one cares about your awesome work with IBM in the 90’s. If you’ve got some neat stuff that translates well towards this new role, and it’s from tenure beyond 10 years, than sprinkle it into the core competency, summary or accomplishments sections.

These days, all companies are (or already have) converting into software to manage processes. You need to keep up with the evolving technology from a fundamental standpoint. I think written communications has evolved a lot further with our daily texting and emailing as the forefront of communications these days. Having said that, candidates need to be able to write professional as well without using acronyms, emojis, etc. If you have the ability to communicate insights in an articulate manner, hiring managers may broaden your scope, increase your pay or even promote you into higher-level succession. Perception is reality and if you can execute logically, carry yourself professionally and maintain technical prowess in your day-to-day work, you'll be just fine in your career.

5. Comply with ATS protocol

My one piece of advice, and I could offer many if needed, is to make sure your resume has optimized keywords.  If you need to, use transferable skills! What are transferable skills and how important are they when writing a career change resume? Think of these skills in terms of what you are currently doing at your job that can relate to what you would be doing in the new role. Key proficiencies that can help the hiring manager see your ability to slide into the role with minimal training. It's important to have these skills displayed on your resume to demonstrate your fit into the new role, showcase your keywords so you are being discovered by the hiring team in their respective applicant tracking systems, and help win over the readers to receive that interview request you're hoping for initially. 

6. Quantify your content

This is the meat and potatoes of your resume. The content. Even if there are no metrics (but metrics are preferred), and a format/layout that is adheres to applicant tracking system mandates, you need to wow the manager by thinking in terms of bottom-line impact. No metrics, sales figures or KPIs? Use a business quantifier instead. Those are little lead-ins relating to impact. Cost savings, revenue gains, productivity, etc). Rather, “Managed team members and operations, and improvements,” you can write, “Managed 10 team members and streamlined operational efficiency by implementing continuous process improvements.”

Think quantifiable content and write it pragmatically. Make sure that the experience section demonstrates your value in terms of bottom-line. Show the hiring manager you care about their company's money, and making it, not wasting it. Also, stick to brevity while making those bottom-line accomplishments shine. Again, I cannot preach it enough, as long as you aren't crinkling the readers' foreheads when they're reviewing your resume, you've done your if you match the qualifications, it's interview time! 

7. Wow the reader right away

The key to stand out among the competition is to ensure you set the tone in the first top half of the resume with what you want and what you offer, any key buzzwords that speak to your abilities to transition into those new roles seamlessly, and any transferable skills and accomplishments that directly relate to this new role.  You can also utilize the summary section to lay in some soft skills, such as, “Results-focused, award-winning Sales Professional with 10+ years of experience building relationships, cultivating partnerships, retaining top accounts and growing profit channels by establishing trust with decision-makers. Persuasive, self-motivated customer advocate adept at expanding network connections, persuasively introducing products, educating clients, implementing pricing strategies, developing territory and revealing customer needs to deliver solutions.” Having a solid summary up front and by mentioning your ability to transfer seamlessly into the new role based off your previous experience and education will keep their interest to read further. If you touch up on being able to relieve a paint point they might have, now we’re talking next level thinking.

8. Show value, not just skills

My best advice for professionals dealing with career shifts is to identify their relevance in terms of value to a prospective employer, internalize on what their passions are, identify some transferable skills and accomplishments to relay to hiring managers, build a solid resume and some email communication templates (or cover letter), and sustain patience and willpower. You have to start thinking in terms of value, not just your abilities. There’s a vast difference between what you think you can or even know what you can do, and what value you can offer the potential employer. 

9. Research job descriptions, targeted companies and the industry

You need to do your research. You need to get a feel for the way the industry and respective companies function in the world, the services they provide to others, and the types of jobs out there in that industry that could pose as a potential new career. I love using Google News, Google alerts,, Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn to uncover industry and job research. Using this research can be a good way to spot industry and job keywords (for the core competencies and summary sections), role responsibilities (for the experience section), and important transferable contributions (for the accomplishments section) for inclusion on your resume.

10. No mistakes, your competition is very clean and well read

So what mistakes do jobseekers often make on their resumes? Leaving on irrelevant information, red flags like gaps in employment or lack of metrics, or not communicating his or her unique value proposition effectively to help improve his or her chances of being selected for an interview by a hiring manager. 

To conclude, if you think that your resume is perfect, check the following recommendations as well:

● Use verbs when possible;

● Write laconic subheadings;

● Create a professional e-mail address;

● Explain the terms that might confuse an average recruiter;

● Don’t forget to add your LinkedIn profile or portfolio links;

● Proofread your resume before sending it;

● Send a Word or PDF version only.

Boiling it down, think about your situation from the hiring manager's point of view. He or she has to be pulled aside from their day-to-day at the end of the workday to review resumes and fill an open requisition. An open requisition that is either costing them money or not making them money by leaving it vacant. When they find an ideal candidate, sometimes it's more of a cultural fit if they know they can train someone rather quickly. So trust that if it's supposed to happen, it will. If not, keep looking for opportunities in this new space. Maybe volunteer with a group, offer a company to work for free so you can learn the ropes, or join an online forum and start engaging with individuals in that industry to gain more learning. It comes down to 'will you make money for the new company or cost them money?' Work hard to be the former, it will carry you farther. Prove you can do the job, and a good job at that. 


Find out more about MJW Careers, LLC


May 27, 2020 - DJ, Author, and former WJCU Station Manager Kris Koch ’89 shares uplifting playlists.


Listening to uplifting, hopeful music can help you and your family get through this pandemic. Music can help reduce anxiety and stress. Here is a song playlist that I created for JCU Alumni.  You can listen to it on Spotify and access more than 25 other playlists that I created.


JCU Alumni Here Comes The Sun Playlist

1.   Dreaming On A World - Tracy Chapman

2.   I Can See Clearly Now - Jimmy Cliff

3.   Count On Me - Bruno Mars

4.   Don’t Stop Believin’ - Journey

5.   Anyway - Martina McBride

6.   Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles

7.   Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & The Wailers

8.   Beautiful Day - U2

9.   Rise Up - Andra Day

10. Don’t Blink - Kenny Chesney

11. Waiting’ On A Sunny Day - Bruce Springsteen

12. Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

13. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) - Talking Heads

14. Together - For King & Country, Tori Kelly, Kirk Franklin

15. Brand New Day - Van Morrison

Check out the JCU Alumni Playlist!


Please check out my other fun, positive playlists on Spotify to keep you going.

Learn more about Kris Koch Music or my book Powerful Playlists: 1,000 Energizing Songs to Entertain, Teach and Heal at


May 20, 2020 - Amanda Papa Kafcsak '11 of Nomad Culinary

The first is our flatbread dough recipe, which is nice because you can customize it with things you have around your house. It also makes for a great vehicle if you're trying to do a quarantine fridge clean out. Second, I shared our Thai chicken skewers. It seems like everyone's getting ready for grilling season, so that one is perfect for that.


Nomad Culinary Flatbread

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

¾ cup warm water

Optional: 1 tbsp Italian seasoning or your favorite seasoning to add some extra flavor to the dough


1. Set oven to 375 degrees 

2. Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl

3. Add your wet ingredients and mix (we like to mix by hand, but you can use a mixer if you prefer)

4. Once combined, knead the dough on a floured surface until the dough is smooth

5. Roll out one large flatbread or divide and roll out multiple smaller flatbreads at ¼ inch thickness

6. Top the flatbread as you wish and bake for 11-13 minutes 


Suggested toppings we love: 

-Grapes, balsamic, and blue cheese

-Chicken, buffalo sauce, cheddar, and arugula

-Caramelized onions, prosciutto, and apples 

Nomad Culinary Thai Chicken Skewers

¼ cup soy sauce

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 lime (juice and zest)

¼ cup crushed garlic 

¼ cup fresh ginger, finely diced 

½ bunch green onion, roughly chopped 

½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 

2 lbs chicken thighs sliced into ½ inch thick pieces 


1. Mix ingredients thoroughly

2. Marinade for at least 2 hours

3. Skewer chicken lengthwise 

4. On a grill or in the oven on broil, cook the chicken until firm and cooked throughout 

Optional: Garnish with scallions, fried shallots, cilantro, and sesame seeds


Learn more about Nomad Culinary at


May 15, 2020

Creating an Inviting Space: Beautiful Containers Filled with Flowers and Herbs with Jessica Jennings ‘06

Summer is around the corner and many of us have been working in our yards to get our outdoor spaces ready.  Creating beautiful containers filled with flowers and herbs are a great way to add color and create an inviting space. Here are a few tips for creating beautiful containers: 

  1. Make sure your containers have proper water drainage.  If they don’t already have drainage holes, you can easily drill a few in the bottom.  
  2. Use a nutrient rich potting soil mix 
  3. Select plants and flowers appropriate for the amount of sunlight they get throughout the day.  While it’s tempting to buy flowers you like, it’s really important to make sure they also will thrive in their space.
  4. To create a well designed container, remember these three elements:
    • Thrill: Find a plant or flower with some height. Some examples are spikes, ornamental grasses or taller flowers.
    • Fill: Plants or flowers that ‘fill’ in the space.  Some common examples are petunias, lantanas, impatiens or verbena.
    • Spill: Plants or flowers that ‘spill’ over the side.  Some examples of this are: creeping jenny, sweet potato vine, vinca or ivy.  
  5. Remember to water regularly, clean out the dead flowers and leaves, and fertilize a couple times throughout the summer season.

For more design inspiration and other tips, go to or follow along on Instagram @jessicabethdesign.

May 12, 2020
Jamie Warzel '04 - Hair and Makeup tips during quarantine


Take this opportunity to not do it! Focus more on skincare. Allow your skin and lashes to breathe! When there have been times I didn’t wear makeup for a while, I swear the next time I put on mascara, I noticed my lashes seemed longer! Use this time as a detox for your skin.

Exfoliate, moisturize, and try new skincare products you’ve wanted to try. I just got a bunch of skincare samples from Sephora that I’m looking forward to trying!

On the other extreme, you could try a new makeup technique or color that you’re usually too nervous to try in public or at work! Try a crazy lip color or eyeshadow that you’ve been interested in! 

Also, take this time to clean your makeup brushes! Just as you’re probably doing early spring-cleaning at home, so do the same with your makeup case! Wash your brushes and throw out old makeup or products you just don’t use anymore. 

Continue eating healthily, as this will help your skin and immunity! I know it can be easier said than done, especially if your family is getting more take-out delivery or making more elaborate meals now that you have the time to do it. But focus on keeping yourself healthy within!

Speaking of skin and detoxing, another thing you can do, stop wearing deodorant! Yes, I am so serious! Give your underarm skin and lymph nodes a chance to breathe! I started doing this a couple years ago, like on a day I didn’t have to work. You’d be surprised, after a while you don’t even need as much deodorant as you thought you did! Or try a gentler, natural deodorant!


For hair care, I suggest the same way of thinking. See if you can go 2-3 days (or more!) without washing your hair. Use dry shampoo when necessary. When you do wash your hair, let it air dry!  Take this time to give your hair a rest from heat styling! 

Just as I was saying about makeup, you can also take this time to try wearing your hair in new ways! If you’ve always wanted to try a headband braid or a side ponytail, do it! A lot of my clients say, “I wish I knew how to curl my hair!” You can practice now! Not every day (because that contradicts our trying to avoid excessive heat styling), but on days where you just want to fix your hair, give it a shot! Practice perfecting your blow out! Then when it’s time to go back to work, you’ll be able to do it quicker!

Try not to worry about being unable to keep up with going to the hair/nail salon. I know it might be hard to face your grays coming in, but just embrace them! It is OK! You can try a temporary color! This probably isn’t the best time to start experimenting with at-home haircolor, because if you mess up, you can’t go out to get it fixed right away! The next time you see your stylist, it might make things more difficult for them to correct! Unless you do boxed haircolor regularly, or you have an all-over hair color that’s easy to do, with no highlights or balayage, and you know what color to use, go for it.  

For haircuts, especially if you have layers, just let it go until you can see your stylist again. If your split ends get really bad, just give them a dusting, which is just trimming off the very, very ends on your length. Do not use your kitchen scissors! Order an inexpensive pair of shears online. Always be careful, as shears are sharper than you think! Men should buy clippers and trimmers. Men can try different hairstyles, mustaches and beards too!

I understand during this time that doesn’t feel normal, it’s important for us feel normal and good about ourselves. If there’s a day you feel you need to put on makeup and fix your hair, then do it! I recently did that for Easter because we were taking family photos! Treat yourself to a “me day” or “salon day” where you do a facial mask and paint your nails. It is important to continue feeling good and keep yourself healthy during this time!  

Thanks for reading! I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy!

Product Suggestions 

  • Exfoliator: Philosophy The Microdelivery, Face Reality Mandelic Face & Body Scrub, Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

  • Face Wash: Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser, Fresh Soy Makeup Removing Face Was

  • Moisturizer: Trader Joe’s Spa 100% Pure Jojoba Oil, Olay Moisturizing Face Lotion Sensitive Skin, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night 

  • Skincare Samples: InnisFree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Serum, IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Gel Lotion, FAB Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream

  • Natural Deodorant: Native, Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting

  • Dry Shampoo: Batiste, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day

  • Root Cover-Up: Rita Hazan Root Concealer Spray or Stick, L’Oreal Magic Root Cover U

  • Shears: Equinox International Professional Razor Edge Series Barber Hair Cutting Scissors/Shears, Tweezerman Stainless 2000 Shears

  • Clippers: Wahl Professional 5-Star Cord/Cordless Magic Clip, Wahl Elite Pro 

  • Trimmers: Wahl Professional Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer

  • Facial Mask: Trader Joe’s Rich Hydrating Face Sheet Mask, Fresh Rose Face Mask, Milk Makeup Cooling Water Eye Patches

  • Bonus: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Learn more about Jamie at

May 7, 2020

Former pro golfer on the Canadian National Tour and current golf instructor, Brian Unk '96, shares some helpful golf tips!

April 29, 2020

Paul Guglielmo ’05 is a celebrity in Rochester, NY, not only because he can be heard on local radio shows, but because he makes some of the best pasta sauce around. We hope you enjoy some of his favorite Italian recipes. 

Italian Meatballs


1 lb. 80/20 ground beef

1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground veal

6 eggs

1 cup milk

2 cups breadcrumbs

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup EACH of basil, parsley, & oregano

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 medium sized onion (puree’d if possible.. otherwise finely chopped)

4-6 garlic cloves (puree’d if possible.. otherwise finely chopped

Oil (for frying)


1)    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl

2)    Roll into balls (size is up to you.. the bigger the ball the longer the bake time)

3)    Bake at 350 for 15 minutes for golf ball sized balls (add time if you go bigger)

4)    In a skillet, heat some oil over medium/high

5)    After meatballs exit the oven.. roll them around in the hot oil to add a bit of a crust


Chicken, Eggplant or Veal parmesan


4 chicken cutlets or 1 large eggplant or 4 veal cutlets

2 cups grated parmesan

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 cups flour

4 eggs

Oil (for frying)

1 jar Guglielmo Sauce

Sliced or shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese



1) For chicken or veal: pound cutlets to make them ¼ or so inch thick

2) For eggplant: slice in ¼ inch slices, lay them out, add salt to both side, come back in an hour and press paper towel to remove liquid from eggplant slices

3) Dip the cutlet/slice in flour, remove from flour, shake off excess flour

4) Dip cutlet/slice in egg (for the egg, you must mix the eggs like you’re making scrambled eggs)

5) Dip cutlet/slice in mixture of cheese and breadcrumbs

6) Lay cutlet/slice in frying pan with generous amount of oil and cook until golden brown on both sides (flipping only once)

7) Spread a thin layer of sauce on bottom of baking dish

8) Add cutlet/slice to baking dish

9) Add sauce & mozzarella/provolone to top of cutlet/slice

10) Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 350º

Find out more about Guglielmo's Homemade Marinara Sauce at their website.

April 24, 2020

John Priestap ’98, Priestap Financial LLC - Investment Perspectives During Uncertain Times

  • My team and I recommend families have 6 months of expenses allocated to an “emergency fund” (liquid assets) whenever feasible
  • Goal identification, time horizon, and risk tolerance are the crux of a well-planned portfolio
  • When possible, my team recommends increasing contributions to qualified plans (401k, 403b, IRA etc.) in the event of a market downturn
  • Emotionally driven decision making with investments is never prudent


Priestap Financial LLC
10315 E. Grand River, Suite 105
Brighton, MI 48116

Securities offered through Raymond James, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.  Priestap Financial is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

April 14, 2020

Dani Robbins, Director of Nonprofit Administration Programs at John Carroll University

These are challenging times, especially for those in the nonprofit community. Dani Robbins, director of JCU Nonprofit Program, offers insights on how nonprofits can prepare for the future during this time of uncertainty.

Learn more about the JCU Nonprofit Program:

April 9, 2020

Bob Sferra ‘86 - Owner of Culinary Occasions Catering shares two great Easter brunch recipes the whole family will love! 

Baked Crème Brulee French Toast - Serves 8


1-quart heavy whipping cream

1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped (or 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract)

8 large egg yolks

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 ¾- 2 lbs. challah or other soft textured egg bread, cut into ½ inch thick slices

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Good quality maple syrup

Sliced fresh strawberries or other berries

Whipped cinnamon butter


Preheat oven to 325 degrees


  1. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and wrap the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.  Alternatively, you can create the same recipe in a 9x13” casserole.

  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the heavy cream and the scraped vanilla bean.  Heat the mixture just long enough to warm the cream, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to steep until cool, about 15 minutes.

  3. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl, straining out the vanilla bean.

  4. Add the egg yolks to the cream, then whisk the custard mixture until well combined and uniformly light yellow.

  5. Trim the bread to fit the springform pan and place a layer in the bottom of the pan, cover with ¼ of the cream mixture.  Repeat with three more layers of bread alternating with the cream. Be careful with the last layer, as the bread may rise a bit over the edge of the pan.  Pour the remaining custard slowly so that you get minimal runoff over the pan’s edge. Fold the foil up over the top of the pan and place a plate on top; weight this down with a plate and a large, heavy can.  Allow to sit for approximately 1 hour so the custard soaks through the bread.

  6. Remove the can and plate and place the springform pan in a water bath that comes halfway up the sides of the pan.  Bake for approximately 1-1 ½ hours, until firm at the center. The French toast can be unmolded after several hours when the custard is set.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan, then release the spring. Wrap the French toast tightly in plastic if not using immediately.

  7. When you are ready to serve the French toast, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, cut into 8 wedges and arrange on a baking sheet, then brush each wedge lightly with melted butter and bake for approximately 10 minutes, until the center is warm and lightly toasted-crisp on the surface.

  8. Serve on a platter with berries, warm maple syrup, and whipped cinnamon butter.

Granny Smith Apple, Potato and Country Sausage Gratin

Serves 6


2 Tablespoons canola oil

3 lbs. medium redskin potatoes, diced into ¼-inch pieces

1 lb. country sausage links, diced into ¼ inch pieces

⅓ cup chicken stock, 

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and diced into ½ inch pieces

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

• salt, to taste

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

• freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and heat through. Add the potatoes and sausage with a pinch or two of salt. Cook, stirring until the potatoes are golden brown and just tender; the sausage is browned all over- about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock; cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until the stock has almost evaporated.  Transfer the mixture to a gratin or casserole large enough to hold all recipes’ ingredients.

  2. In a separate skillet, add the butter and melt until foamy.  Add the diced apples and toss to coat with butter, cook until lightly browned; add the sugar and caramelize/cook about 5-8 minutes 

  3. Add the apples to the gratin and toss to evenly distribute.  Season with parsley, chives, salt, and pepper. Place in preheated oven and bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes to combine flavors. Serve immediately

Bob Sferra Culinary Occasions

To learn more about Culinary Occasions, visit

April 3, 2020
Sam Mastroianni '14 of Samson Landscape and Design has a great and easy tip to help brighten your home!

Forsythia Bush cuttings add a warm home are all you need to bring a pop of color into your day.

Follow the simple steps below to have a bit of Spring arrive early. #JCUAlumniExpert

1. Cut Forsythia stems in lengths less than three feet.

2. Place stems in a vase with warm water.

3. Re-cut stems after a few hours to ensure water uptake.

4. Watch the Forsythia bloom!

To learn more about Samson Landscape and Design, visit


March 31, 2020
Leah Berdysz '17 - CEO and Founder of Empowered and Poised: "Coping in a Crisis"

Life can be tough, especially when in a state of crisis. So, how can you take care of yourself and protect your mental, social, and physical well-being when the world is topsy-turvy? 

Here are a few guidelines to help you along during difficult times:

Mentally- Keep yourself busy doing things you love. You can always read a good book, listen to music, build a puzzle, meditate, or paint to calm your mind. But most importantly, take a moment to breathe and be grateful for what you have. 

Socially- Create a list of people who love and care about you. This list may include your family, friends, classmates, or co-workers. When you’re feeling down in the dumps reach out to someone on your list for support. We are wired for connection and going at it alone does not make it easier. Google Hangouts, Zoom, and FaceTime are great platforms that can be used in lieu of meeting in person. Recently, I’ve been playing Yahtzee via FaceTime with my grandma and aunt as a way to stay connected while I can’t spend time with them in person. 

Physically- Get up and MOVE! For some, this may mean taking part in a hardcore workout, while for others it might mean taking a leisurely stroll. Exercising releases hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are sometimes referred to as “happy hormones” because they activate opioid receptors in the brain and minimize discomfort.

I recently discovered an amazing way to improve your brain state: using the 3 R’s. This tactic is promoted by Dr.Bruce Perry, an American psychiatrist, currently the Senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy. He explained in three simple words how to emotionally regulate. 


Regulating- Find ways to calm yourself down (see “mentally” examples above)

Relating- Connect to feel safe (see “socially” examples above)

Reasoning- Remind yourself that it will be okay and your current state of crisis will not last forever. 

To learn more about Empowered & Poised go to

March 26, 2020
Al Pawlowski '94 Top Cleveland Indians Memories

Longing for a Summer evening at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario? So are we. Since we cannot be at the ballpark for Opening Day, we asked Al Pawlowski ’94, host of Indians live on SportsTime Ohio for his favorite Cleveland Indians memories. 

  1. 1997 Game 4 American League Division Series walk-off win v. New York Yankees
  2. 2016 Tyler Naquin inside-the-park walk-off home run v. Toronto Blue Jays
  3. 2001 comeback win from 12-0 deficit v. Seattle Mariners
  4. 1997 All-Star Game - Sandy Alomar home run.
    Full game
  5. 2007 American League Division Series “midges” game v. New York Yankees
  6. 1994 Opening Day walk-off win v. Seattle Mariners in first-ever game at Jacobs’ Field
    Full game part 1
  7. 2015 Corey Kluber 18 k’s v. St. Louis Cardinals


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