Volunteering at Fordham’s 173rd Commencement Week

While most students have gone home to begin their summer vacations, a few Manresa students stayed behind to volunteer for Fordham’s 173rd Commencement Week. Being part of these graduation festivities is a unique experience that not many Fordham students see until they themselves are graduating.

Manresa Scholars Amos Ong and Lindsey Register were two students who volunteered for Commencement Week. They, along with other Manresa Scholars, took on important roles such as serving as ushers during the Graduation Ceremony and setting-up and assisting with the Encaenia Academic Awards Ceremony for Rose Hill Seniors.

In order to put on Commencement Week, which includes a multitude of events for students and their families, in addition to the graduation ceremonies themselves, Fordham relies on faculty and student volunteers to put everything together. Fordham’s staff, faculty, students, and alumni all come together for Commencement.

Ong described the experience as the perfect fitting to the end of his freshman year. “I was reminded of what it means to be part of something bigger, something that is more than just myself, and to use my time productively in contributing to something good.”

Ong and other student volunteers assisted Dean Parmach, and got to learn some interesting stories behind the graduation ceremony and Fordham traditions. For example, hanging from the University Church ceiling is the official Vatican approved cardinal’s hat of Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., who taught at Fordham. By Church tradition, the hat is to remain suspended from the rafters until it disintegrates on its own. There’s also the statue of Archbishop Hughes, founder of Fordham, who gets dressed with his own large scale Fordham cap and gown during Commencement week by the University carpenters.

For Register, the experience was eye opening. “It was great to see and partake in the behind the scenes work that happens all throughout the week, even from the Deans themselves, who you would never expect to be cleaning the graduation chairs or distributing granola bars the day of the event! The dedication from the whole Fordham community to make the ceremony enjoyable and memorable for the graduates and their families is truly an amazing thing,” said Register.

Commencement Week is truly a product of the efforts of the entire Fordham Family as we celebrate the Class of 2017 and all their accomplishments.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2016-2017

Loyola Celebrates a Year of Community

Now in the final days of the school year, Manresa gathered on the porch of Loyola Hall for an end-of-year picnic. With the warm weather and beginning of final exams, the picnic was a much-needed break for students to relax. Manresa hosted a Welcome Picnic during the first week of the fall semester, and it is truly amazing to think of all the friendships, personal growth, and knowledge that Manresa Scholars have gained over the year.

Manresa fosters a close-knit community, where students support each other. During the picnic, students made plans for finals study groups and reminisced on shared experiences as Manresa Scholars. Although students will move-out of Loyola next week, the community will remain connected as Manresa Scholars, and will take with them the friendships and lessons they’ve gained over their freshman year.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2016-2017

DSC00980.JPG

DSC00985.JPG

DSC00997.JPG

A Last Lecture from Manresa Faculty

As the year comes to a close, Manresa faculty gathered to give their students some parting words of wisdom in a “Last Lecture” dinner-colloquium. Faculty were asked to give a brief lecture as if it were the last lecture they were to ever give, offering advice and life lessons to the Manresa Scholars.

The lectures were thoughtful, inspiring, and touching, with each professor speaking on items most important to his or her life and career.

Following the lectures, students had the opportunity to ask rapid-fire questions ranging from favorite book to best restaurant on Arthur Avenue.

The Last Lecture was a personal end to this year’s dinner-colloquium series.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2016-2017

Manresa Fac.jpg

(L-R) Profs. Parmach, Nasuti, and Annunziato

 

ParmachLecture-SM.jpg

Prof. Parmach delivers his Manresa Last Lecture.

 

Rachel&Grace-SM.jpg

(L-R) Profs. Annunziato and Shen

An Eggcellent Easter Service Opportunity

To embrace the springtime weather and the final push to Easter Recess, Manresa Scholars took a trip out to Bartow-Pell Park in the Bronx recently to help with the annual Bartow-Pell Easter Egg Hunt. With over 1,000 children expected, ranging from 2-12 years old, our students were put to work to make sure the event ran as smoothly as possible.

Most of the Scholars were stationed at different aged egg hunts, taking on the task of DSC_4844.JPGscattering eggs full of candy for the children to collect in the various hunts throughout the day, as well as creating the perfect hiding spots for the unique golden egg in every hunt that could be turned in for a prize. Others manned the Easter-themed craft tables and organized egg-related lawn games in order to keep the children and their families happy. With endless activities as well as an appearance from the Easter Bunny himself, the expectations of the local community were exceeded thanks to the team effort put in by the Manresa Scholars.

This event counted as a “Serving” program as part of the Scholars’ Shared Expectations. “I really enjoyed serving at the Bartow-Pell Easter Egg Hunt because it allowed me to give back to the community I’m living in and see a different side of the Bronx. It was also really great to see how much fun the kids were having and how much they enjoyed it,” said Melanie Orent, a current Manresa Scholar.

DSC_4841.JPG
As volunteers, the Scholars demonstrated true Manresa spirit through hard work, effective communication, and overall enjoyment of the experience as they contributed to this close-knit community beyond Fordham’s campus.

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

 

“Grit”: Lessons from Manresa Alumnae

Manresa Scholars become part of a prestigious group of Fordham students who go on to enter fields in business, law, communications, social service, and more. When Manresa Scholars leave Loyola, they still remain part of the community by sharing their knowledge and experiences with current Manresa Scholars, creating a diverse and active network.

This past week, three Manresa alumnae, Sara Kugel (FCRH ‘11), Danielle O’Boyle (GSB ‘12), and Victoria Cappucci (FCRH ’16), came to speak with current students about how “grit” played an integral  role in their post-graduation success. Together, the speakers and Scholars discussed the meaning of “grit” and spoke about how it refers to one’s ability to persevere, work hard, and focus this work ethic toward one’s passion. It also means utilizing strengths and realizing that not everything will go as planned, but that some resourcefulness and creativity can take you down meaningful paths.

IMG_2114.JPG

Kugel, Associate Producer at CBS News, spoke about focusing on your passion. By doing this, you can overcome the background noise and focus on your goals. However, she stressed the importance of balancing ambition and self-care. She also encouraged Manresa Scholars to reflect and appreciate this period of their lives where they can focus primarily on learning.

O’Boyle, Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, gave valuable advice to the pre-law students and those interested in the legal field. In her experience, “grit” meant never giving up despite rejection and never being too busy to take on the less glamorous tasks of a job. Knowing what needs to happen to achieve a goal can be vital to success.

Cappucci, who graduated from Fordham last year, gave Manresa Scholars advice about steps they can take during their time at Fordham and her experience post-graduation thus far. For her, having a long term goal to foster a sense of grit is important. She intends to attend law school and is currently working as a paralegal at Allen & Overy in Manhattan.

Each Manresa Scholar had a chance to work with the speakers in small groups to come up with concrete ways to apply a sense of “grit” to their lives. Whether it’s applying for more internships, getting better grades by visiting office hours, or joining a club related to their interests, Scholars can take steps to apply a sense of “grit” to their academic, work, and personal experiences. Whatever the goal, the speakers shared the importance of having a sense of purpose by doing something personally fulfilling.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2016-2017

Breakfast with CBS News

Hard-hitting journalism, dedication to ethics, and finding your passion all take guts. Guest speakers Dick Brennan (GABELLI ’83) and Alice Gainer (FCRH ’04), award-winning news anchors/reporters for WCBS-TV, sat down with Manresa for a special breakfast Keyword Colloquium on “guts.”

Brennan and Gainer each spoke about the unexpected paths you may take through college and post-graduation, and how their Fordham education has stayed with them throughout their careers. Asking hard questions, holding people in power accountable, and upholding the integrity of journalism in this tumultuous time are central to their work. While these are difficult tasks, they stressed the importance of their Jesuit education in guiding them through this period.

Students gained insights and tips for entering the journalism field. Network, make connections, and intern were points that they stressed. Similar to a few of the Manresa Scholars present, both Brennan and Gainer worked on WFUV, Fordham’s award-winning radio station, during their college years.

Kindness and being nice to anyone you encounter is something that has been important in both of their careers. Whether interviewing a cannibal cop, local politician, or the average New Yorker, everyone is treated with the same sense of respect. This is a trait that Manresa Scholars can apply in their daily lives and any field they decide to pursue.

“Why not me?” Brennan’s question was perhaps one of the most important take-aways of the morning. As capable students and community members, Manresa Scholars should have confidence in themselves and their abilities. Whether you’re applying for an internship or competing for an award, it’s important to put yourself out there. It takes guts, but it can make the difference in discovering your passion, and pursuing that passion.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Marketing and Programming Fellow, 2016-2017

fullsizerender

Manresa Scholars with Brennan (third from left) and Gainer (fourth from left) at the CBS Breakfast.

Fr. McShane: Love and the Fordham Family

“Love is a transitive verb. You have to experience it.” This was Father McShane’s message to students when he spoke with the Manresa community over dinner on Friday evening.

img_0909

Photo by Zach Asato

St. Ignatius once said love is shown more in deeds than in words. You have to show love in ways that really touch others. A very special part of the evening was when Fr. McShane went around the room to spend a minute speaking individually with each Scholar, learning his or her name and hometown. For each person, he found a connection. Whether he knew their high school, their parents who were Fordham graduates, or other students from their home, there was a unique Jesuit connection between the Manresa Scholars and Fordham’s President.

A sense of family and interconnection is embedded into life at Fordham. Fr. McShane took a minute to touch upon current events, noting that Fordham is an institution founded on and for immigrants. He asked students when their families came to the United States. For some, their families have been here for generations. For others, they or their parents were the first to come to America. However, Fr. McShane emphasized the fact that everyone knows the story of his or her family. And in this way, we are all immigrants. Then, he reminded students of the story of our Fordham Family, which began in 1841 when John Hughes founded Fordham University.

This intimate conversation with Fordham’s President is truly a highlight of the Manresa experience.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Marketing and Programming Fellow, 2016-2017

Blog at WordPress.com.