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

Advertisements

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

Reflecting on a Year in Manresa

It seems like just yesterday I was writing my application to be a Manresa Scholar and 

C235326C-DEE3-483A-9ED5-F50D46EF1CCF.jpg.jpeg

Christina Clemente (right) with fellow Manresa Scholar Jenna Koury.

now here I am, a year later, reflecting upon my experience in this lovely program. From the first moment I stepped inside Loyola Hall, I felt as though I belonged to a community. And not just any community; one that cared about themselves, academics, and most importantly, others.

We did great amounts of community service for the surrounding Bronx area, which was an enriching way to immerse ourselves in the community we inhabited. I also had amazing opportunities to experience Manhattan among the people I lived with. I remember texting my parents after my first week and bragging that I was going kayaking on the Hudson. They still remind me of how jealous they are that I was able to do that. The excursions (such as free Broadway shows and museum explorations) and community service trips (like serving at a soup kitchen and helping to clean up parks) helped to enhance and strengthen the bond I had with those with whom I lived.

Being able to not only take a rigorous class with my next-door neighbors but also serve and experience New York with them was a unique experience I will hold dearly to me for my next three years at Fordham and beyond.

I know the Manresa Scholars this year will make bonds as strong as I did with the people with whom they get to live and learn during their first two semesters of college. I hope they challenge themselves socially and academically, make Ignatian connections with their peers, professors, and advisors, and most importantly, make memories!

Christina Clemente, FCRH 2020
Manresa Scholar, 2016-2017

Farewell from Manresa Fellow Anja Asato

When I sat down to write my application essay to Fordham four years ago, I sought to identify the value most important to who I was as a person. I wrote about the “Spirit of Aloha,” a definitive aspect of my family’s culture, which meant a special care for family, friends, community, and to becoming a better version of yourself. Becoming the Manresa Fellow was a surprising turn in my undergraduate career because oddly enough, I was not in the Manresa Program during my freshman year. When I completed my sophomore year, I was so caught up in my academics, internship, clubs, and friends, that I rarely made a conscious effort to remember this sense of Aloha and care.

The Manresa Scholars Program was my “Spirit of Aloha” at Fordham. Not only did I experience the care from the staff, speakers, and students for their work, community, and goals, but I also had the opportunity to practice care by contributing to the overall workings of the Manresa Scholars Program. I truly gained a sense of being part of the Fordham community and was constantly inspired by both the students and faculty to learn more, challenge myself, and work toward a better community.

As my term as the Manresa Fellow comes to a close, I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from this remarkable program, while serving the Fordham community. I’ve done things that I never would have expected myself to participate in, such as helping to lead a retreat, facilitating alumni panels, or establishing relationships with faculty and leaders from local organizations. Through reflection programs, I learned about myself and through dinner-colloquiua, I was challenged to contemplate new ideas and issues and question my own beliefs. I leave the program with a renewed sense of self, confidence in my abilities, and community of like-minded individuals.

I am extremely thankful to everyone in Manresa for their commitment to community, service, and learning. I am especially grateful to have had the opportunity to work under the mentorship of Dean Parmach and Mr. Mike Rametta, who inspired me with their dedication, professionalism, and embodiment of the Jesuit values.

I look forward to seeing where Manresa is headed in the coming years. I am certain that the program will continue to provide students with an enriching academic and community experience, while serving not only the Manresa Scholars, but also the greater Fordham and Bronx communities.

Manresa’s Finest: Nicole Benevento

Over the past four years, Nicole Benevento, FCRH 2017, has been an integral part of the Manresa community. She entered the Program as a freshman participant, served as its Intern as a sophomore and junior, and as live-in Tutor her senior year. Our community has truly benefited from her positive energy, dedication to student success, and Ignatian grit and kindness.

Benevento aspires to a career in the publishing industry following her internships with America Media, Fordham University Press, and Penguin Random House. She’ll take the skills and lessons learned from ManDSC_0004.JPGresa. Nicole notes that “Manresa helped me to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin, and I plan on having that newly-found confidence exude in my interviews and during meetings and interactions throughout my publishing career.”

Amid countless Manresa programs, she notes NYC Urban Immersion as her most memorable. The experience of volunteering at nearby soup kitchens and with homeless youth, and staying at Fordham Bedford Housing in the Bronx, ignited her passion for bridging the gap between rich and poor. In true Ignatian spirit, Nicole became bothered by inequality. “It was such an incredible experience because we were not only reflecting on the injustice in the world, but also witnessing it firsthand. It set something off inside me…it was the first time I really understood how privileged I am compared to others, and it didn’t sit well with me,” said Benevento.

IMG_4116.JPG

Benevento turns to the famous Babe Ruth quote for inspiration: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Nicole earned a double major in English and Italian and minored in Marketing, and served in Campus Ministry and on the boards of the Fordham Club and as vice president of Fordham’s chapter of the National Jesuit Honor Society Alpha Sigma Nu. “You will meet amazing people, form lifelong friendships, and create lasting memories if you take the initiative. College may seem overwhelming, but trust me, in the end each moment is so worth it,” said Benevento.

The Manresa Community wishes Benevento the best. Thank you, Nicole, for your service to Fordham. We look forward to having you back to share your experiences and wisdom with future Manresa Scholars.

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

A Memorable Spring Semester

The 2016-2017 Manresa Scholars have officially completed their freshman year as Fordham Rams. This year has been filled with rigorous academics, engaged service-learning, and dedication to the Manresa-Loyola Hall community. As Scholars embark on new adventures as upperclassmen, we are confident that the lessons they’ve learned with Manresa will serve them well.

Fordham’s President, Fr. McShane, spent an evening speaking with Manresa Scholars on the topic of “Love” and the “Fordham Family.” A personal conversation with Fr. McShane is a special Fordham experience that Scholars will reminisce about throughout their time at Fordham and after graduation.

IMG_0910.JPG

During the NYC Urban Immersion Spring Break Service Project, a group of Manresa Scholars took part in service-learning projects and explored issues such as economic inequality, while practicing simple living for a meaningful and reflective experience.

Urban Immersion 1.JPG

Manresa Scholars visited Bartow-Pell Park in the Bronx twice this semester, once to clean up the park grounds and again to help facilitate their annual Easter Egg Hunt.

DSC_4841.JPG

Manresa professors concluded the year’s dinner-colloquium series with a “Last Lecture.” Each professor shared their most valued piece of wisdom with Manresa Scholars before they embark on new journeys as upperclassmen.

LL2.jpg

Scholars took a break from finals to celebrate the end-of-the-year on the Manresa patio to enjoy burritos and the warm weather.

DSC00990.JPG

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.