Intertwined Institutions

My name is Henry Sternberg, and I am currently a freshman at Fordham College at Rose Hill. I recently went on a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral through the Manresa Scholars Program. The event was thoroughly enjoyable and interesting.

My family lives an hour away from New York, so I had visited the Cathedral prior to the tour through the Manresa Program. One of my earliest memories at the Cathedral was when my grandparents brought me to a Mass conducted in German before the Steuben Day Parade. I remember sitting in the pews through the Mass, totally unaware of what was going on. Not only was my German inadequate, but there were also a lot of nuances in the Cathedral itself that I did not recognize. The most attractive aspect of revisiting the Cathedral through the Manresa Program was the opportunity to reflect upon how my perception of the world has changed since my first visit.

DSC_5418

Upon meeting for the tour, Dean Parmach told us our tour guides for the excursion were two Fordham alumni, Loual Puliafito (FCRH 2004) and James Cappabianca (GSE 2015). The connections between Fordham and St. Patrick’s Cathedral were a central theme of the tour. John Bishop Hughes, the first Archbishop of New York, was also the founder of what would become Fordham University. Our experienced guides were able to show us areas of the Cathedral not normally shown on public tours, like St. Patrick’s crypt, where Hughes was buried, and a different room which held his chair. Hughes set up networks of Catholic institutions while expanding the diocese of New York. Now, when I walk past the statue of him on campus at Fordham, I can situate his life in context. Archbishop John Hughes’ legacy lives on through the institutions he founded.

Our tour also focused on architectural details. Every feature in the Cathedral is purposeful. Arrangements of plants, each one unique, are chiseled on the ceiling of the Cathedral. The little variations in greenery still contribute to the central image of the Garden of Eden, which the Cathedral aims to emulate. The plants’ differences convey the beauty and complexity of God’s creations.  The tour highlighted dimensions of the Cathedral I had never detected. There is always an opportunity for deeper understanding; sometimes, it just takes a new lens to discover it. In this way, the Manresa Program teaches us to live in the context of Jesuit teachings and to expand our worldview.

Henry Sternberg, FCRH 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

Advertisements

Why Jesuit?

My name is Abby Turbenson, and I am currently a freshman at Fordham College at Rose Hill. I also participate in the Manresa Scholars Program. Besides living in the beautiful Loyola Hall, and taking a unique Manresa seminar course, my fellow Scholars and I have the opportunity to participate in dinner-colloquia led by Program faculty.

I decided to attend a recent dinner-colloquium led by Professor Harry Nasuti (Theology). The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet Prof. Nasuti, share a meal, and engage in lively dialogue with the people I have been living and learning with for the past several months. Prof. Nasuti teaches the Manresa Theology seminar, “Sinners, Saints, and Stories,” so the discussion was centered around Jesuit education — what that meant for St. Ignatius (founder of the Jesuits), Archbishop John Hughes (founder of what eventually became Fordham University), and how these figures inform what it means to attend a Jesuit university today.

DSC_5396.JPG

Manresa Scholars at Prof. Nasuti’s dinner-colloquium.

Being a Jesuit university means that as a school, Fordham has a different role in the lives of its students than another university would have. Fordham succeeds only if it graduates men and women who are ready to live lives that uphold the fundamental values of its founding tradition. In other words, Fordham graduates must be men and women for and with others; otherwise, Fordham has not met its duty.

Recalling a talk that some of us had attended during orientation, my fellow students and I brought up the fact that Fordham has an obligation to uphold academic freedom while taking a moral stance on pressing issues. We found this balance to be of immediate importance by recalling a recent email from Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J., President of Fordham, regarding a controversial speaker who was invited by a club to speak on campus, but whose ideas struck some as at odds with Fordham’s founding ideals.

Our discussion clarified important items about the role of a Jesuit university, and also left me with meaningful questions of my own. Where do I fit into this educational system? Must I always agree with the stance that the University takes, and where does my critical voice emerge? These questions have spilled over from the colloquium into my conversations with friends in more casual settings. It is important to me that I participate actively in Fordham’s culture, and I am heartened to know that my peers are also pursuing this goal.

Abby Turbenson, FCRH 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

 

Thinking and Acting Purposefully

I am beyond blessed to be part of the Manresa community. I truly believe that the program is one of the many “crown jewels” of the Fordham experience. From the first day I stepped foot in Loyola Hall and met all my hallmates, RAs, and Manresa staff and professors, I knew that nothing could compare to this community in the years to come. Whether it’s late nigIMG_2370.jpght study sessions in the O’Keefe Study Commons, watching Sunday football in the Social Commons, tutor sessions with peers in various seminar rooms, jam sessions in the hallway, Mass in the chapel, dinner at Father Lito’s, or Mario Kart tournaments in my room, there is a great energy present. Everyone looks out for each other. Everyone is committed to each other’s success. We truly are a family and it has only been a month!

While the Manresa seminar courses are academically rigorous, they come with some interesting perks. My Manresa class has been served breakfast and coffee on various occasions so that we may consider challenging metaphysical concepts on a full stomach. We are also planning to visit a Greek restaurant in Queens in connection with the Ancient Greek texts we are analyzing in class. As a Gabelli student, these seminar courses are extremely valuable in balancing the business sphere with liberal arts tools to think and act purposefully.

I was initially unsure about applying to an Integrated Learning Community like Manresa. I didn’t know what kind of students it would attract. I think the biggest fear people have is that students in programs like this will have an imbalance between their work and play, placing an unhealthy emphasis on work. But I can assure you that is not the case. While work does come first, the social scene is alive and well in Loyola Hall! In addition to all the activities I mentioned above, I have participated in numerous RA programs, such as attending a Yankees game and kayaking in the Hudson River. I have also visited a New Jersey beach with my roommates, explored the Bronx and Manhattan on the subway, played spike ball, Frisbee, and baseball on Edward’s Parade—all with my fellow Manresa Scholars, who also learn more about themselves through Manresa-sponsored service projects that serve local communities in need. We are not just a community, we are a family, and I can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for us.

Liam Fitzmaurice, GABELLI 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

Living and Learning Together

In the Manresa Scholars Program, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) students each take one of our five FCRH Manresa seminars, in disciplines such as History, Mathematics, Theology, Biology, and Philosophy.

Taking class with those with whom you live creates an interactive and specialized experience for Scholars as well as for each Manresa professor. Each professor also serves as the academic advisor (called the “Core Advisor”) for the members of their class, allowing them to understand students’ passions and strengths on a deeper level.

ParmachLecture.jpg

During a recent FCRH Manresa Core Advising group meeting, students discussed their academic achievements, as well as challenges that they’ve experienced thus far in the transition from high school to college life. A common theme was the sense of well-roundedness and self-reflection that Manresa Scholars felt in their academic lives. Manresa Scholars understand that their membership in the Program, paired with Ignatian values emphasized in their Manresa courses and events, allow them to draw unique connections between all of their courses. Manresa advisors were impressed with the initiative that the Scholars displayed, especially considering that it is only their third week on campus.

As Scholars continue to engage in Shared Expectations programs and expand their knowledge in their Manresa seminars, we are excited to see how they grow as individuals and as a community.

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

Of Manresa and Midterms

Being a Manresa Scholar was tough. The Shared Expectations, the Manresa seminar, the extracurricular programs—certainly not a walk in the park. But would I have wanted my freshman year to go any other way? Not a chance. And I suspect, by the end of this year, neither will anyone from the Manresa Class of 2021.

I remember sitting in the O’Keefe Study Commons on the eve of Dean Parmach’s philosophy mid-term. A sprawl of handouts and notes covered the table before me. I had inhaled so much Philosophy that I felt about 99% confident. I got up to finally call it a night, but something stopped me—that 1% of uncertainty: What if that’s one of the questions? What if that’s what the entire test is on? The possibility haunted me and I had to choose: sleep or certainty. And though I tried my best, certainty won out. I studied, skimmed, and searched that last concept until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

The next morning, I sat in my desk with a glint of sleep deprivation and determination in my eye. Dean Parmach placed a test in front of me and I began to read. And guess what: That 1% I studied an extra hour for? That small, specific piece of knowledge I dissected so carefully? Nowhere on the test. Zero mention. Suffice it to say, I was a tad peeved, but it was a good thing I had prepared the other 99% of knowledge. It turned out just fine.

It takes a special type of relentless perseverance to thrive in Manresa: a meticulous work ethic paired with an unslakable sense of curiosity. It’s that very drive that propelled you to apply to and ultimately be accepted into the program; resolve and resourcefulness define Manresa Scholars. The Manresa Scholars Program imbues within you an endless pursuit of knowledge; “almost” will hardly be enough, and excellence will become your earmark.McCarthy Dinner Immersion.jpg

Though occasionally the work is intense and the sleep scarce, nothing prepares you better for a fruitful college experience than Manresa. The lessons I gleaned from Manresa last year—both academic and personal—continue to shape the course of my Fordham career. As a Manresa Scholar, I learned that my words and actions have the power to affect a change; I learned to think and speak concisely, making every word forcible and meaningful.

The very hallmark of a Manresa Scholar resides in their ability to be men and women for others. This year, I get a chance to put that adage into effect in a personal way; I was afforded the opportunity to work as Dean Parmach’s Faculty Advisor Student Assistant (FASA) for the same class I took last year. As a FASA, I aim to help this batch of unsuspecting interlocutors. I provide insight into the academic experience and help to guide the freshmen through the maze of first-year uncertainties. I see it as my way to give back to a program and class that empowered and inspired me.

Now, I know how rigorous these classes are, but I know that you’re in Manresa because of your desire for rigor. As a former Manresa Scholar and FASA, I’ll be accessible if you need help with learning that 99%. But that last 1%? Well—I couldn’t stop you if I tried.

Rafael Saplala, FCRH 2020
Manresa Scholar, 2016-2017

Kayaking on the Hudson with Manresa

As described in previous posts, Manresa Scholars kicked off their first weekend as a community by traveling down to Pier 96 on the Upper West Side for an annual morning of kayaking. With over 100 students signed up for the event, this was the biggest turnout for the kayaking excursion in all ten years of the Manresa Program! Led by Dean Parmach, Mr. Rametta, and Resident Assistants Jenna and Julia, the large group of Scholars trekked to the D subway train at 8:00am, eager to hit the water.

thumb_DSC_5365_1024.png

The weather was perfectly cool for a morning outside. Scholars chose either single or double person kayaks, and had the opportunity to paddle around the Hudson River thanks to the Manhattan Community Boathouse. Some of the Manresa staff even took a turn out on the water! Everyone came out of their kayaks a little wet from the splashes of the paddles, but ultimately it just added to the fun.

Afterwards, many groups of students ventured out on their own in Manhattan for a bite to eat and to explore. Kayaking proves to be a great event each year to bring hallmates together and to develop new relationships within the Manresa community.

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

thumb_DSC_5338_1024.jpg

Welcome to the Ramily!

On Sunday, August 27th, the halls of Loyola were filled once again with the sounds of excitement and the start of a new year! New Manresa Scholars, coming anywhere from New Jersey, to Kansas, to California, began their fresh start at Fordham University.

Thanks to the New Student Orientation leaders, the freshmen didn’t have to lift a finger as they were greeted with cheers at their cars and again at their rooms as all of their belongings were transported upstairs by the volunteers. Scholarthumb_DSC_5310_1024.jpgs were welcomed inside during their check in process by the Resident Assistants, tutors, Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J. (Jesuit House Master), and Dean Robert Parmach (Faculty Director) as the Manresa staff did their very best to make sure every incoming freshman felt comfortable in their new environment. Roommates were introduced, friendships were sparked, and the room setup process went smoothly for all!

The Manresa Community continued to bond throughout the week in hall meetings, an Ice Cream Social, a tutor meet-and-greet, and even the annual kayaking excursion. Scholars also took part in their first Serving Shared Expectations program at the St. Francis Xavier Parish Welcome Table, where they served food to those in need of a meal.

The energy in Loyola Hall is alive and well, and you can tell the students and staff are both looking forward to this year ahead.

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

thumb_DSC_5321_1024.jpg

Blog at WordPress.com.