Shark Tank and Eloquentia Perfecta

At a recent Learning program, co-led by FCRH Tutor Sarah and Gabelli Tutor Christian, Scholars critically evaluated a variety of business plan pitches from the TV show, Shark Tank. Tutors Sarah and Christian prompted students to consider how the show’s presenters could have delivered their business plans more persuasively. These same skills are developed through Fordham’s Eloquentia Perfecta (“perfect eloquence”) core curriculum requirements, which all Manresa seminars fulfill.

After discussing the TV show, it was the Scholars’ turn to create their own simple “inventions” out of household items, like paper clips, colored paper, bobby pins, and rubber bands. Scholars then pitched their creations to the tutors and their peers and received constructive feedback.


FCRH Tutor Sarah co-leads a discussion on persuasive presentation skills.


Palanca Letter Program

The Palanca Letter program was first organized by my Global Outreach leader from my freshman year, so stepping into a role to organize letters for Loyola Hall was personally meaningful for me. “Palanca” means “lever” in Spanish. Just as a lever enables a person to move something beyond their normal strength, Palanca letters empower the recipient to feel a depth of love that would not be possible without those held dearest to the individuals. Palancas allow students to experience love from their friends and family, although those held dear to them may not be nearby.


The letters are a huge production. The RA staff collaborates to see the program through. We started by collecting e-mails from parents at the very beginning of the school year, on move-in day. Five months later, we began sending on e-mails about the letter program, asking parents to send e-mails by the beginning on February. However, I think we still got e-mails up until the night before! In terms of volume, we received so many letters. It’s very easy to see, just by the sheer number of letters, how much parents, family members, friends and other loved ones care about the students in Loyola Hall.

The Palanca Letter program also happens at a crucial point in the year. Students have just returned from a month-long break at home, spending lots of time with family and friends. Any student tends to perhaps miss home more easily after the winter break. I think for a lot of students, the letters came at a perfect time when they needed to receive some love and affirmations in the form of a letter to help propel them through the rest of the school year.

Julia Gagliardi, FCRH 2019
Resident Assistant, Loyola Hall

Ignatian Values in Humanitarian Action

In continuation of “Love Week” in Loyola Hall, members of the Manresa SymposiumHSU gathered for a Valentine’s Day class session to discuss “Ignatian Values in Humanitarian Action,” led by the president of Fordham’s Humanitarian Student Union (HSU), Neil Joyce, FCRH 2019.

The conversation began with a short article by Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries. Joyce started off with a discussion of Fr. Boyle’s work and how he is a humanitarian, allowing the Scholars to begin to think of ways in which Jesuit values reflect humanitarianism, and vice versa. Then, Scholars broke up into small groups. Using their knowledge of Fr. Boyle and understanding of core Jesuit values, they applied elements of Manresa’s Shared Expectations model to humanitarianism.

Discussing themes of Learning, Sharing, Reflecting, and Serving, Scholars evaluated the presence and value of these actions in their own lives, the Fordham community, and the world beyond. At the conclusion of each small group thematic discussion, the Symposium participants collectively shared thoughts and opinions that were generated, and ultimately applied humanitarian values to their lives as students at a Jesuit university.

The Symposium session concluded with an introduction to the role of the Humanitarian Student Union, leaving many Scholars eager to sign up to interact with the lessons of this session beyond the walls of Loyola Hall.

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


“Love and the Fordham Family”

Each year, in midst of the season of love, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., the President of Fordham University, joins the Manresa community to share some personal insights and Jesuit values relevant to this theme of love. To kick off “Love Week” in Loyola Hall, shortly before Valentine’s Day, Fr. McShane visited Manresa for a special dinner-colloquium on the topic of “Love and the Fordham Family.” Almost all of the Scholars and staff were present for this unique and intimate interaction.

Fr. McShane presented his colloquium in two separate parts, showcasing his efforts to communicate with the students and his commitment to the values of the University. First, he went around the room and personally got to know every Scholar, asking of their name, hometown, and high school. This initiated additional conversation on his familiarity with their background, families, and goals, of course with some traditional presidential humor in the mix. Then, he led into a simple and enlightening conversation on the meaning and understanding of love as a Jesuit and at Fordham.


Fr. McShane touched on the accepting nature of the University and the community presence that exists not only in our Ignatian Integrated Learning Community, but across campus as well, and beyond college life. He concluded the evening by thanking the students for their demonstration of love:

Thanks for giving your hearts to the place, because your hearts will make the heart of Fordham stronger, better, more sensitive, more resilient, more resolute in its commitments.

Ultimately, this signature dinner-colloquium is a unique addition to the Shared Expectations model, to which the Manresa community looks forward each year.

Check out our highlights video from from Fr. McShane’s talk!


Introduction to the Manresa Spring Symposium

Each spring, the Manresa Program offers an optional, one-credit symposium to continue the development of Community-Engaged Learning beyond the fall Manresa seminars. Led by Dean Robert Parmach, Manresa’s Faculty Director, the Symposium focuses on “Jesuit Education, Social Justice, and Community-Engaged Learning.”

Participation in the Symposium exposes students to the four Ignatian life skills that form our Manresa Shared Expectations: Learning, Sharing, Serving, and Reflecting. It highlights the collaboration between Manresa faculty, our Jesuit-in-residence house master, residence hall staff, Office of Mission Integration and Planning and its Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, and Bronx community partners. Both on and off-campus, the Symposium emphasizes respectful dialogue, solidarity, reflection, and critically-informed action in the Jesuit educational tradition.

This semester, the symposium features a conversation with Fr. James Martin, S.J., Editor-at-Large of America Magazine, community tutoring sessions at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Grammar School, discussions with Campus Ministry, and interactions with Fordham student-leaders such as those from the Humanitarian Student Union.

Stay tuned to hear more about the engaging opportunities that Scholars in the Symposium will take part in throughout the semester!

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

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Scholars engage in a variety of enriching discussions during the Spring Symposium.


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.


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


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.


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



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