Michigan Author Programs strive to motivate and inspire

By Mimi Whetstone

This fall, Madonna University students, faculty, staff, and community members are encouraged to attend Michigan Author Programs, presented by Friends of the Madonna University Library. Special events are scheduled for Nov. 2 at noon and Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. in Madonna’s library, free of charge.

“Writing is valuable in every profession, and we want these events to act as inspiration and motivation to the Madonna Community,” said Reference Librarian and Michigan Author Programs coordinator Nancy Bagnasco. “We even encourage professors to bring their classes in to participate.”

The Nov. 2 event will feature the book “Bursting With Joy: Discovering Universal Truths Through Our Special Son,” including a presentation and signing by the book’s author, Livonia substitute special education teacher and mother of a mentally disabled son, Joan Broggi.

“Hopefully there is a pleasant mix of entertainment and education for the attendees,” said Michael Cummings, Reference Librarian and Michigan Author Programs assistant coordinator. “If an author’s talk can provide motivation and/or insight for a student or other attendee to pursue their own activity, be it writing or something else, that’s fantastic.”

After witnessing the outpouring of love and support to her son at his high school graduation, Broggi chose to tell their story in her featured book, hoping to inspire others in similar situations. After the addition of workshops and elective classes to increase knowledge and competency of mental illness within Madonna’s Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) last semester, students in the nursing program can expect to benefit from this experience.

“We try and relate these events to the curriculum or a current University theme,” Cummings continued. “Often the speaker will provide information as
to the process they used to accomplish their work.”

The event taking place Dec. 7 will feature the book “The One and Only Bernadette P. McMullen,” including a presentation and signing by the book’s author and illustrator, Livonia teacher Colleen Murray Fisher.

“We’re trying to keep it local,” said Bagnasco. “All of the authors we’re featuring this year are from the Livonia community. We want to show people that whatever you’re in to, you can write about it. There are career opportunities all around you and hopefully the people who did it right here in Livonia will inspire us.”

A self-taught artist who uses her talents to enhance the learning experience of students, Fisher hopes that her featured book will inspire children to be proud of whom they are and celebrate the differences in all of us. Bagnasco is hoping Fisher’s work will inspire Madonna’s art students to do the same.

“It’s really important to learn from events like this,” said Graphic Design major Jenna Gambino. “Writing is so important in everything you want to do and elements like illustration can really help to make you marketable as an art student.”

Regardless of your interests or involvement with Madonna, the Michigan Author Programs this fall will provide motivation and inspiration for everyone in attendance.

“In the past when we’ve put on events like these, everyone in attendance left pleased with their experience,” said Bagnasco. “We definitely hope to continue that tradition with the Michigan Author Programs this semester.”