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Jeremiah Poff

Student Blogger

Biography

A junior journalism student at Franciscan University, Jeremiah Poff is a regularly published journalist for The College Fix, Campus Reform, Red Alert Politics, and Rouser News. He is the founder and president of Franciscan’s Turning Point USA chapter. A fluent Spanish speaker, he also serves on the Franciscan University Student Government.

Philosophy: The Stepping Stone Major

I am a philosophy major. My workspace, wherever it is this time (my favorite is a bench on campus on a cool day), generally resembles a nuclear test site. Papers are strewn about and books are piled up, as I feverishly flip through their pages. I pound away at my keyboard, devising arguments for and against contemporary and classical philosophers, perhaps carefully cutting-and-pasting symbols from the “symbolic logic” page on Wikipedia, in the name of aesthetics and professionalism.

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The Franciscan Nursing Difference

Going to clinical sites at some of the highest ranked hospitals in the country (located nearby in Pittsburgh), participating in our simulation lab with classmates, and being challenged by professors who have been in the field for decades has made all the difference in my education.

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Launching My Journalism Career

Campus protests, a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Title IX investigations, and much more. This is just a small sampling of what I have covered as a journalist since seeking the help of Franciscan University’s Career
Services office nine months ago, publishing stories on leading conservative news websites while gaining experience, connections, and even a decent income. My name is Jeremiah Poff and I am a junior Journalism student at Franciscan University.

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Making the Most of My Business Education

As I was applying for colleges, I knew that I was looking for three things: a business management major, a minor in communication arts, and a place that would challenge me to live out the Catholic faith in a way that no other university could. When I visited Franciscan University for the first time, I instantly knew this was the place for me. From the friendly, welcoming students to the impressive daily Mass attendance and participation, Franciscan was different from all of the other colleges and universities I visited.

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A World Class Medical Research Internship

I spent my summer vacation doing biomedical research with the experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a senior biology major, this internship was an amazing experience. Not only was I doing original research, but I also had the opportunity to listen to talks from scientists in various fields and learn from many brilliant individuals at different points in their careers. Being surrounded by these talented scientists was inspiring, and their advice has helped me to evaluate my goals and to take steps to make them a reality.

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Interning on Capitol Hill

It was 10 a.m. on June 27, 2016, and I was sitting in a small wooden chair in the side aisle of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., waiting eagerly for the justices to announce their decisions.

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An English Degree that Matters

Two weeks before the end of my junior year at Franciscan University, I made the call to the managing editor of Quarto Publishing Group, finalizing my internship for the summer. I would be traveling to Beverly, Massachusetts, less than an hour north of Boston, to work in the editorial department of a major nonfiction publisher, which is exactly what I hoped to do after graduation.

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Ready to Launch: AFROTC at Franciscan

Growing up as an Air Force “brat,” moving around every couple of years and living on different military bases around the world was a part of my everyday life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the lifestyle I also pictured for myself. However, I also wanted to attend Franciscan University. Thankfully, I’m able to do both thanks to Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at the University of Pittsburgh—just 40 miles from campus.

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The View from the Hilltop.

It’s been said to me before, usually by friends of mine or others that I meet who aren’t fully aware of what life at Franciscan is like, that this little University on top of the hill is a bubble. That it’s a collection of like-minded people and I would be almost kidding myself to be convinced that…

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Anchored in Christ

Life is continuously changing. Human persons have a natural disposition to fight life’s changes. It always seems that just as we become settled and comfortable, life draws us out of our complacency and uproots us from all that we know, love and are familiar with. We scream and yell at life for doing this. We…

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“Walk very simply.”

It’s almost time to be heading home for Thanksgiving break. That is just so crazy. I think I’ve mentioned in all of my blog posts so far this semester how fast it feels like time is passing these days, and it continues to press on at an unnatural rate. But life is good! Even with all…

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One Little “Fiat”

If there is anything for certain that I can tell you about the last few years at Franciscan it is that God works in the most unexpected ways. It’s in the smallest of choices that I’ve made that He has worked the most. I would like to tell you about one of those times. Last…

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Addiction, Family, & Healing

Pastoral Counseling at Franciscan University of SteubenvilleWhen it comes to issues that would highly benefit from pastoral counseling, helping the families of addicts is near the top of the list. I subscribe to the following definition of addiction, which is the disease model that I learned in Prof. Mikita’s substance abuse course: addiction is a primary (not caused by a previous disease, injury, event), progressive (it will worsen), chronic (it is not curable), and fatal (if left untreated) disease. The disease model takes into account that there are genetic dispositions, neurochemical changes, and biological, psychological, and spiritual components when it comes to addiction. Other models, such as behavioral, social, medical, and moral models, each leave out certain components that perhaps are involved in the etiology, progression, and effects of the disease.

The only treatment available for addiction is abstinence, which should be coupled with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA: the 12 steps) and a therapeutic program. Recovery from addiction is a process of humility. After addicts admit that they are powerless over alcohol (step 1), step 2 states that they “came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This step helps addicts acknowledge that the process has begun and they need something greater than themselves to overcome addiction.

Many addicts believe that they are the masters of their own universe and in control of their lives. For most addicts, either they themselves or alcohol itself is their higher power. Step 2 is the acknowledgement that they are in fact not in control and this has usually been proven time after time when their own power has not been able to keep them from drinking. These failed attempts to quit represent the insanity in their lives (“doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”). It is “unnatural” for addicts to give up things that are so integral to being a human, such as food, shelter, parenting, work, and sex. Because this dysfunctional behavior goes against our human nature, nothing “natural” is going to save them; they must tap into the supernatural for the graces necessary to overcome their disease.

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Where the Beauty is Found.

Where is the beauty? Where is the beauty in the all-nighters and the papers and the meetings and the job-searching and the stress that seem to have become the all too typical aspects of my life as of late? I’d been having a hard time finding it, to be honest. This semester has continued at a rapid pace, feeling more like a string of project after project than anything else. It’s been a bit exhausting. It even just sounds exhausting re-reading it typed out in this blog post. It doesn’t really sound beautiful. Right?

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Choose Joy

  Midterms week is in full swing here at Franciscan. The library is overflowing with students attempting to cram knowledge into every nook and cranny of their brains. Nights of adequate amounts of sleep are a distant memory of the past. There never seems to be enough coffee in the world to remedy the exhaustion we…

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“For My Power is Made Perfect in Weakness”

I’m back. Back at Franciscan after a wild and wonderful adventure that took me all over Europe for a whole semester. And life hasn’t ceased to be adventurous since. It’s funny being back though, there’s a beautiful kind of fullness that I almost wasn’t expecting. I’m not sure what I was expecting it to be…

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Pastoral Counseling: What is it and how does it compare to clinical counseling?

Pastoral Counseling at Franciscan University of SteubenvilleAs a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program, I have learned to do assessments, diagnose, create treatment plans, and use techniques and skills to help my clients attain their goals. Many of my classes involve thorough discussions about ethics, legal issues, and boundaries (document everything!). Clinical counseling has a pretty systematic approach; for those of you who have been in more than one counselor’s office (no judgment), you know that counseling can look different from one counselor to the next, but the basic setup is there. Plus, they are all abiding by the same code of ethics and within the same boundaries—which is, hopefully, VERY apparent. The goal of psychotherapy is to help our clients modify problematic behaviors and process troubling emotions and traumas that get in the way of normal and healthy daily functioning. This process requires using counseling techniques and forming a strong therapeutic alliance.

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What a Franciscan Education Really Means

  “What year are you in?” is a typical question asked of any college student across the country. This year when the words, “I’m a senior,” escape from my lips, a wide variety of emotions arise within me. First, there is a level of upperclassman pride that I deserve the title of senior after all…

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Summer Research Initiatives

This summer there are four exciting research projects being conducted at Franciscan University! Students have the opportunity to work with professors one-on-one to conduct scientific research in the fields of biology, chemistry, and biopsychology. I am one of these fortunate students staying in Steubenville this summer to work in the lab. Some of the other…

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The MCAT: A Long Term Academic Goal

This summer I am preparing to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for entrance into medical school. The test is administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges and is a standardized exam testing the student in the subjects of general chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, biology, and a critical thinking section called “verbal reasoning.”…

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Enjoying the Sun in Southern Italy

This past weekend I had the opportunity to head to southern Italy and experience Naples, Pompeii, and the island of Capri! Savannah, Cecelia, and I discovered a travel agency for students in Perugia. The agency offers great deals for students at the universities to attend different trips. They usually have weekend trips to places which…

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My Chemistry Project!

Two of the major problems that are commonly associated with solar cells today are the monetary cost and efficiency of this renewable energy source. However, one aspect which is commonly forgotten in determining the benefit of such a “green” energy source is the amount of waste which is produced from the processing of the solar…

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On top of the world in Assisi

One of the first things that caught my attention about this international research experience was the location. Perugia is close in proximity to Assisi. For Franciscan’s study abroad program based in Gaming, Austria, one of the places you get to travel to is Assisi. I fell in love with this little Umbrian town. So when…

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One Big Polyglot Hill City of Perugia

I have been in Perugia one week now, and I have to say this experience is nothing like I expected! Better or worse, you ask? Well to be perfectly honest it is neither. It is just different! I arrived last Sunday along with the two other American students (Cecelia and Savannah) who came with me to Perugia…

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Looking Back at Franciscan

The above photo depicts what I woke up to nearly every morning for the past four years. That’s the St. Francis Residence Hall chapel, a place where my heart was slowly but radically transformed the past four years through spending time “just being” with the Lord without an agenda, through diligent and persistent meditation on…

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The Chemistry of Adventure

If there is one thing that I have learned in my time at Franciscan, it is that God must think He is pretty funny. No seriously. I mean it. In high school my least favorite subject of all time was Chemistry (sorry Mrs. Herbig). I HATED Chemistry. Ok, well, not hated, but very strongly disliked. Now here…

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Graduation!

We did it! The class of 2014 has graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville! It was an extraordinarily special time this past weekend. I look back with immense gratitude, and I look forward with eager excitement. The Baccalaureate Mass was very special and probably the highlight of all the events for me. Archbishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo…

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Leaving This Place

  This is the very last blog post that I will have the honor of writing for Franciscan. It is most definitely a bittersweet feeling. Sweet because I know I will be moving on to film school in California and sweet because of the accomplishment of completing four years of undergraduate education. And yet I…

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Easter joy and Spring craziness

He is risen, Alleluia!! There is so much to be grateful for as we finish the Easter Octave, continue the 50 day Easter season, and celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with the canonization of Pope John Paul the Great and Pope John the XIII. The Spring weather has also finally decided to show up, adding to…

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Loving Jesus Within…

We are living in a society where there is a crisis of self-worth. People are starving for attention, we struggle to take compliments, and regardless of the 9 positive comments we received throughout the day, the only thing we will remember is the one negative one. Not only will we remember the negative comment, but…

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