About Jovan

I am a senior double major in Physics and Business Administration with a Math minor. I grew up in Northwest Indiana and attended Munster High School. I was a member of the Track and Cross Country team through my Junior year, Crew Orientation Leadership Team, Omicron Delta Kapa, Physics club and Student Government Association. Throughout my time at Bellarmine, I have lived on and off campus and I currently work downtown Louisville at the Hyatt Regency.

First Days in India

We didn’t get out if the airport in Kerala until around 4 in the morning, so there wasn’t much to do but sleep. One observation we couldn’t help but make on the way to the friary, is that driving in India is crazy! For starters, don’t expect to see lane lines, stop lights or speed limits, and they drive on the left side of the road. Another thing to note is the traffic will be a mixture of people walking, riding bikes, driving scooters, little buggies and big trucks. Because there is a mixture of fast and slow vehicles, passing is permitted on any kind of road. Without any lane lines, passing becomes a little more dangerous and there are a whole lot of close calls.

When driving in these conditions, your car horn is your best friend. Unlike the U.S. when you use your horn you usually follow it with using a profanity, on the Indian roads, using your horn simply lets another driver know that you are passing them on the right.

Anyways, once we survived the drive and made it to Assisi Shanthi Kendra, we went to bed for a couple of hours and spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting to know the friars.

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(Assisi Shanthi Kendra)

Father Leo, who most people should know from around campus, took us on the tour around the friary. A couple of interesting pets we say along the way:

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(These little guys can act as a pretty good wake up call)

I think I can get use to waking up to a view like this every morning.

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The second day is when we started exploring Kerala. We traveled to Cheraman Juma Masjid, which is India’s oldest Islamic shrine and the second oldest Juma Mosque in the world. Woman are not allowed in the mosque, but neither were any of the guys on this day because it was a holiday and only muslims are allowed in on holidays. We did get to go through their museum and see some of the old artifacts from when the mosque was built.

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(replica Cheraman Juma Masjid)

Our next stops were a couple of the first Christian churches in India, founded by St. Thomas. The first was Azheekode, where they actually have a shrine which holds a bone from St. Thomas’s right hand.

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After Azheekode, we traveled to Palayoor, where the second church that St. Thomas built was located.

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The last stop of the day was the most exciting one which was Guruvayoor. Here they had an Elephant Sanctuary, with over 30 elephants.

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These elephants are used for different Hindu ceremonies such as parades and weddings. What I was told is the more elephants in a wedding procession, the more impressive the wedding.

I will continue to keep you posted on my experiences as the trip continues!
-Jov

Celebrating the Semester’s End

The semester has finally come to an end, which seems like it took forever. The last two weeks have been extremely stressful between papers, projects, tests and work. It does not help that all of my classes were somewhat difficult, being that they were all 300 and 400 level classes, not to mention I also had to cram all of my finals into two days. This made this last week very stressful but I think it was definitely worth it since I am sitting in the airport in Abu Dhabi writing this.

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Oh did I forget to mention that I am spending the next ten days in Kerala, India? I’m not there yet, but I got the 13 hour flight out if the way, after sitting in Chicago’s O’hare airport for 9 hours. But compared to those, I am only a hop skip and a jump away from India, which is a little over a 3 hour flight.

Let me explain to you why I am spending most of my winter break in India. One reason, it is currently 82* outside and it is 3 o’clock in the morning. Nothing like traveling somewhere tropical when the weather at home turns freezing. But the main reason I am talking this trip is an event I attended last year on campus called India day, which turned out to be a whole week. Not thinking much of it before, I promised my good friend Fr. Jon that would attend this event he was putting together. I never imagined that it would grab my attention the way it did during the event. It was that night that put the idea of traveling to India in my head. After a few conversations with some people, I was 100% sure I want to go experience the real deal. I have eaten at Indian restaurants many times, but they only give you the Americanized “Indian food,” I am ready to try the actual food.

Anyways, I was convinced at the beginning of the semester that I would be going to India. So I signed up for Fr. Bunnels “World Religions” class, got my visa, filled out all my paper work, got a couple finals moves and now I am a couple hours away from being in India! I am so excited to finally be there that I probably will not sleep tonight. I’ll be sure to post plenty of pictures and describe what we do each day so you can enjoy the experience with me!

-Jov

It’s All About the Money

Early last week I had the privilege of accepting a large scholarship grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for future, talented students. The grant is for a total of $600,000 and will be split between 20 students providing them with $7,500 each per year.

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(congressman Yarmuth on my right and Dr. Mahmood and Dr. McGowan my left)

To top this off the Bellarmine has agreed to match the NSF to provide even more scholarships! Students eligible for this grant are those who are pursuing a degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science or computer engineering.
This NSF grant is extremely exciting news for me, being a physics major, because it means nothing but growth and expansion for my field. When I first started at Bellarmine in the fall of 2008 physics was not even a major, it was only a minor. My advisor, Dr. Ak Mahmood, was able to expand the program by adding some upper division courses to the curriculum and finding research opportunities for students who were interested in physics. Now I am one of five students from the first physics graduating class and I can’t wait to see the number of physics alumni keep increasing.

The press release itself was a pretty neat experience. I have had practice speaking in front of crowds before but I had never given a speech in a room full of cameras.

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I don’t think I will ever get use to that.

Now, I guess it’s safe to say that thanks to this grant you can expect to see a bunch physics guys running around campus in the years to come. I think it’s a good thing, since you can consider us the jack of all trades… Bazzinga!

-Jov

Summer in the City

Now that the summer is over and class has started up again, I want to look back and reflect on my summer. I can’t say that I enjoyed my summer as much as some of my old classmates who have graduated… but I did have some fun between work and summer class. Over the summer I was working full-time at a hotel downtown, which is one heck of an experience. Let’s just say there is never a boring night at a hotel, especially a Saturday night just off of 4th street live.

The city of Louisville has so much to offer, even more so during the summer. The last four years I enjoyed the fabulous food that i offered along Bardstown Road but I just realized this summer how great the cuisine is downtown. If you have never been downtown and you are looking for a good place to eat try out Doc Crow’s on Main st across from the KFC YUM Center. It is a southern style smokehouse and one of my favorite restaurants downtown.

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If your 21, I would suggest trying out BBC (Bluegrass Brewing Company). The food is great and the beer is better! If you go to the one on 3rd St. there is a good chance you will run into me, enjoying a Nut Brown of course.

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Both of these restaurants are moderately priced and have a great atmosphere. Although it doesn’t sound like it, I did more than just eat all summer.

Other events that I enjoyed throughout the summer were the River Batts AAA games,

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Hot Country Nights on 4th Street Live, Downs After Dark at Churchill Downs ( which starts up again Oct. 28!)

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Even though I am sad to see summer end I am excited for this school year and I look forward to all the upcoming events on and off campus!

Jovan