The Good Word 2016 June

GTCC Alumni e-Newsletter
June 2016       Vol. MMXVI        Issue 3

Helluva Chaplain's Corner
Fr. Josh Allen


Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends,

Our summer is already in its final weeks.  New students will be arriving in about a month, and we are well into planning our Fall semester.  We have a lot of exciting things coming our way, and I am looking forward to the students being back…it gets way too quiet around here! 

I hope you enjoy this issue of The Good Word.  You’ll find in it some short recaps of a number of our events from the Spring Semester.  We just closed our books for FY 2015-2016, and we had our best fundraising year ever—still a gap, but it’s getting more manageable.  I want to thank all of you who have assisted us so generously this past year. 

Our pastoral lackey, Kyle Simonis, who will be headed to seminary in a few weeks, prepared an amazing presentation for new and prospective Georgia Tech students about the Catholic Center and our activities. Click here or on the picture below to view it, and please send it to anyone you know who might be considering Georgia Tech!  Also, please let any freshmen you might know and their parents that we will be hosting an Open House on Move-In Day (Thursday, August 18) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We will have refreshments and would love to meet new students and their families.

Football season will be starting soon.  Don’t forget to check our website for Mass information on football days!
To Hell With georgia,
Fr. Josh

Alumni Spotlight:

Edward Dannemiller, Physics '13

The Catholic Center was a home to me during my time at Tech. I have many fond memories of tailgates, community dinners, praying rosaries, and serving at Mass. After the 5:30 daily Mass there would always be groups going to eat; the first years usually bound by a meal plan to go to Brittain. No matter where we went, we would wait until everyone got their food and then we said grace together. It was a small thing, but it made a big impact on me. From this gesture I began to learn that while my faith is deeply personal, it is not meant to be private. I learned that faith is not reserved for an hour on Sunday, but is meant to bear upon every moment. I learned what is was like to be in community of faith, to be surrounded by men and women who were seeking to live what they believed.

Since graduating from Tech, I joined the priestly formation program for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Though I still have five years before, God willing, I am ordained; these past two years have been incredible. I have worked in parishes in Conyers and Dawsonville, I have gone on a mission trip to Peru, I have prayed with the homeless on the streets of Chicago, and I managed to pick up a Master’s in Philosophy and Religion from Mundelein Seminary.


While I have grown a lot since Tech, so much of what I am doing now is just building on what I had started doing at the Catholic Center. Being a part of the Catholic Student Organization’s board helped me when I was working in parishes. Going service trips with the CC prepared me for Peru and Chicago. Late night conversations with Techies about faith and life helped me when I was studying philosophy.

Currently I am preparing to attend the Pontifical North American College in Rome to continue my formation for the priesthood. I will take with me my many fond memories of the Catholic Center, and I will pray that God would complete the good work He has already begun.

Road Trip to Notre Dame Seminary

Jared Kleinwaechter, ChBE '17
I had been discerning the priesthood for about a year when Father Josh took five of us Tech students on a trip to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. I had never visited a seminary before, and I really didn't know what to expect. I was a little surprised by how small it was, thinking it would be more like a small college campus than a boarding school in size. After our tour, one guy said that the seminary was basically a Catholic and holy version of a fraternity house. And I think that's a good description because all the seminarians were very friendly and welcoming to us, but we could definitely tell they were serious in growing closer to our Lord. We also had the chance of attending a beautifully done Mass at the seminary on Divine Mercy Sunday. Getting to see the seminary and talking with some current seminarians actually made the discernment process less scary. Even though it became more real for me with the exposure to what seminary is all about, it was a very inviting and warm atmosphere. It felt very much like the kind of place that allows men to truly discern the will of God in their lives. The visit to Notre Dame was a wonderful and beneficial experience and gave me a physical exposure to what seminary is all about that I could not have gotten from just reading about it.

GTCC hosts first
Donor Appreciation Brunch
Patty Schmitt, IM'88


The GTCC held its first Donor Appreciation Brunch on April 24th. Close to 100 guests attended the event on a gorgeous spring day. The day began with Mass celebrated by our Chaplain, Fr. Josh Allen, in our Sanctuary followed by a delicious Brunch prepared by Fr. Josh, the staff, and students. All members of the Catholic Center had a wonderful time meeting and thanking our benefactors and their families as they toured the Catholic Center and enjoyed brunch outdoors. There was a short presentation where Fr. Josh welcomed our guests and introduced the staff and Catholic Student Organization Board. Guests also listened to a beautiful testimonial by one of our recent graduates, Steven Shlapak, who talked about how the Catholic Center has made a difference in his life while at Georgia Tech. He also expressed heartfelt thanks to our donors, letting them know that our students lift them in prayer daily in appreciation for their support and commitment to this important ministry.   
Students Place Second in the
2016 Inventure Prize

Ana Gomez, BMED '17

The Inventure Prize competition is an interdisciplinary innovation competition nicknamed 'American Idol for Nerds.' Two members of the Catholic Center participated on a team that advanced to the final round, shown live by Georgia Public Broadcasting, and placed second! Below is Ana's story.

It started as a spinoff from an undergraduate research project. I do research at the Emory Center for Rehabilitation medicine and found out that balance is a key biomarker for neurological health, but the average clinician doesn't have very sophisticated tools to assess balance. There was no diagnostic device that bridged the gap between research-grade equipment and simple, easy to use clinical assessments. I brought this idea to Garrett Wallace, a fellow BME that I met through a mutual friend at the Catholic Center. With the help of a few more friends, an idea for a portable balance testing device took shape. The Wobble is a portable perturbation platform that uses motion actuation and sensors to assess balance. Force sensors track the subject’s center of pressure, and this information can be used to evaluate how effectively the brain and muscles respond to perturbations.

We placed second in the Georgia Tech Inventure Prize and won $10,000, a free patent filing, and a spot in Flashpoint, a GT business creation and innovation program. This fall we will be working on a pilot study with two local high school football teams to try to identify balance problems caused by concussions. I am so grateful for this experience and I am especially grateful for the support of my friends from the Catholic Center because it was a pretty hectic semester. My friends kept me accountable for coming to daily Mass and adoration even when school and InVenture threatened to swallow up all my time. I like to joke that we are great student entrepreneurs, except for the "student" part. 

Congratulations, Fr. Josh!

On June 18th our Chaplain, Fr. Josh Allen, celebrated his 5th year as a Priest. We are so blessed to have him as our shepherd at the Catholic Center. May God continue to bless him and his work on the Georgia Tech campus!

Spring Graduation Party
at the GTCC

Teresa Prieto, AE '16
On Saturday April 24th the GTCC community rallied to celebrate its newest graduates. This tradition seeks to acknowledge the hard work that the GTCC students have put into their studies in order to “get out” as well as the time, love and effort that they have poured into our community in the last four, five or six years. Fr. Josh offered the weekend masses for all graduates. The community life team prepared a feast of lasagna for after the 5 pm mass. However, the most distinctive feature of this community dinner were the decorations. Volunteers spent many hours embellishing the GTCC basement, stalking the soon-to-be graduates on Facebook to obtain candid shots to recognize them in a wall display, as well as fabricating personalized envelopes for the students to write notes to the graduates. The graduation party is always a great opportunity for a good dinner and cake; but more importantly, it is a chance to recognize our seniors and graduate students’ accomplishments. In addition, it allows the underclassmen to be encouraged by the newest alumni, and remind them that their time at Georgia Tech while difficult and exhausting, it is also blessed and fleeting. Alumni encouraged students to take advantage of all the opportunities given as well as urged them to give back to their beloved community at the Catholic Center. Finally, the graduation party is the study break that all students need to face finals weeks with confidence; knowing that yes, it is possible to get out. 

From the Development Office

Patty Schmitt, IM'88


We’re excited to report that as of the end of May we're at 93% of our goal of $360,516! Our fiscal year ends in June and we hope to be able to close that gap. Through May, 457 individuals and families made contributions to our ministry. We are deeply grateful and humbled by our donors' generosity and commitment to our ministry. You all are cherished members of our GTCC family and we pray for you and your intentions daily in our Mass and Rosary. Your gifts are invaluable as we work to build our Catholic faith in the hearts of the students of Georgia Tech. Once again, thank you for supporting our mission!
Help us spread this invitation

to new GT parents and students!
The Catholic Center would like to extend an invitation to all incoming freshmen and their parents to join us at our Open House on Move In Day (Thursday, August 18) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Drop in to meet our Chaplain, Fr. Josh Allen, tour our facility, get acquainted with our ministry and members, and enjoy some food and refreshments. We would like to also invite everyone to our Fall Welcome Mass on Sunday, August 21st at 11:30 a.m. at the Catholic Center followed by coffee and Donuts to welcome new parents and students to Georgia Tech.

For more information please visit or email Chris Martineck at We hope to see you at the Catholic Center!
Coming Soon...

Alumni Announcements!

Have you recently been married and/or had a child? We would love to know how our alumni family is growing! Please email us with the names of you and your spouse (with graduation year and major if Tech alumni), and any pertinent info (Marriage date, baby(ies) name(s), etc.), and we'll compile a list to add to our August issue! Send your announcement to Chris at Thank you!
Upcoming Events at the GTCC

Open House - August 18, Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fall Welcome Mass - August 21, Sunday at 11:30 am