Manresa Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Rachel Annunziato

For the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year, we welcome back Dr. Rachel Annunziato to 080615specialsections20awthe Manresa faculty. As a faculty member in the program from 2015-2017 before she became an administrator, Dr. Annunziato currently serves as the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives at FCRH and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. Given her participation in the recent Urban Immersion Service Project, we wanted to introduce her role in the Manresa Program, as well as preview her course for the fall.

When asked about her involvement in Manresa, Dr. Annunziato explained,

I love spending time with my students and colleagues outside of the classroom. I enjoy so much how these opportunities are seamlessly woven into the Manresa curriculum. It’s such a fun, rewarding teaching experience. I also am so grateful for the genuine emphasis on service that is a core part of Manresa programming. To me, there has been no better way to get to know my students than in participating in service activities together.

Her fall 2018 Manresa seminar is “The Mind-Body Connection: An Introduction to Behavioral Health.”

This course will offer a broad overview of psychological aspects of health as well as a focus on this relationship in specific, common illnesses. The overall goal of the course is to provide a comprehensive perspective on how psychology can augment the understanding and treatment of significant public health problems. In addition, this course will prepare students for future engagement in undergraduate research, she explains. In her experience with the course and Manresa Program in previous years, Dr. Annunziato excels in challenging the Scholars in a positive and fun way.

From Dr. Annunziato’s passion for teaching, enthusiasm for the program, and care for our Scholars, she is excited to return as part of our Program Faculty.

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

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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.

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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

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.

Manresa Staff Spotlight: Rev. Lito Salazar, S.J.

In his third year with the Manresa Scholars Program, Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J. continues to bring an important essence to the character and values of this living-learning community. He says, “My presence to the Manresa community is that of an adult witness to genuine human living and loving. In particular, it is that of a vowed religious man, a Jesuit and priest.”

As the as the House Master and Executive Director of Campus Ministry, Fr. Lito defines his Manresa identity as “simply a pLito_280_2_for_website.jpgriest or minister who leads Manresa participants in prayer, preaches in Church, gives talks on Jesuit history and Ignatian spirituality, helps RAs and RDs plan and execute programs and service projects, or is available for consultation and advice on matters of faith and reason, personal and academic.” On top of this, he is an essential voice in our Reflecting programs within the Shared Expectations model. Keep an eye out for a few of his programs in the fall such as “Reflection in the Botanical Gardens,” or “Spirituality and Dreams.”

Additionally, Fr. Lito holds weekly Mass in Loyola Hall’s St. Ignatius Chapel on Thursdays at 9:00pm with an optional social gathering afterwards in his own apartment. He explains, “To those who seek more than a passing engagement, those who enter into conversations of depth in Loyola 302, I hope to embody for them the personal and inter-personal meaningfulness of life, where success and achievement are compatible with suffering and disappointment because it is oriented to something bigger than ourselves, more loving and more forgiving than we can ever imagine. That meaningfulness translates directly into a life of generous service and of trying to make a difference to a broken world and a suffering human community.”

In welcoming the Class of 2021 Scholars to the Manresa Program, Fr. Lito says, “My great desire is for Manresa Scholars to experience something of what Ignatius of Loyola experienced during his less than a year sojourn in that small Catalan town: a totally transformative experience, the beginning of a new life, a turning point. I want to see the Manresa residential program become a staging point for their lives to be marked by depth of thinking and imagination (intellectual, affective), passionate living (virtuous, disciplined), and always being in love (committed, self-sacrificing).”

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

RA Spotlight: Jenna Koury

A significant part of what keeps the Manresa spirit alive throughout the halls of Loyola are the Resident Assistants (RAs). By keeping the Scholars safe, leading programs, and organizing enjoyable IMG_2207.pngexcursions, the RAs fully embrace the concept of a living-learning community while constantly being individuals on whom you can rely. This week, we introduce rising sophomore and Manresa alumna, Jenna Koury, as the fourth-floor RA in Loyola Hall this upcoming academic year!

Jenna is planning on completing a double major in Middle East Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Sociology. She is also on the Pre-Law track. She is a UNICEF liaison and a member of Fordham’s Mock Trial team. As a Portland, Oregon native, the Bronx is a long way from home, but her love for Fordham is what brought her here. “I chose Fordham because I went to a Jesuit high school, and it was an amazing experience; I wanted to continue that. I also love the emphasis on service that a Jesuit education provides,” she says.

In her freshman year, Jenna developed relationships and found her place at Fordham through the Manresa Scholars Program. “I gained an amazing relationship with my Manresa Professor and the best group of friends I’ve ever had,” she reflects. As an RA for Loyola this year, she hopes to share some of her favorite experiences with the incoming Manresa Scholars. She explains, “I want to take residents to Washington Heights, and get shaved ice as an excursion. I hope to have a lot of programs that will show residents the amazing cultures found in New York.”

Jenna and the rest of the Loyola RA staff are looking forward to welcoming the new Scholars to the Manresa Program in the fall!

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

Packing for Life in Loyola

Packing for college is one of the most exciting, yet intimidating, processes you have probably faced thus far in your life. As a Loyola Hall alumna, I came to appreciate the occasional items that don’t initially cross your mind when trying to stock your room with all of the must-haves. I have compiled a personal list of the top ten most helpful items I had in my Loyola room, to pass on to you, the new Manresa Scholars!

1. Umbrella and Rain Boots
I faced my fair share of random rain showers to torrential downpours last year. Whether for a simple walk from Loyola to the Caf, a trek across campus to Faculty Memorial Hall, or even passing through Times Square to get to a Broadway show, my foldable umbrella and trusty rain boots never let me down.

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2. Reusable Water Bottle
Living in Loyola Hall comes with the luxury of your own sink in your room! With easy access to tap water in your room, as well as water bottle filling stations throughout campus, having a reusable water bottle is key to staying hydrated throughout the day.

3. Beach Towel
Laying out on the grass on Eddie’s Parade on a towel or blanket allows for the opportunity to hang out with your friends or study outside on a nice day.

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4. Printer
Having a printer in my room came in handy when having to print a paper or reading for class. There are Fordham printers on campus; however, having your own makes sure that you are always prepared.

5. Command Strips
I loved being able to quickly hang a picture or poster on the wall to add to my room decor. Command Strips, as well as hooks for jackets and towels, are a great addition to your room supplies.

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6. Door Stop
Loyola Hall doors are heavy and can only be opened with your key – having a door stop to prop open the entrance to your room makes it easy for friends to come in and out.

7. Games
My friends and I held weekly “family game nights” in the Seminar Rooms of Loyola – packing your favorite board game or fun card games from home is a great way to bring everyone together.

8. ID Holder
Having your student ID card handy 24/7 is key to getting on campus, entering your residence hall, or swiping into the Caf. I kept mine in an ID holder attached to my lanyard and room key for easy access.

9. Cold Medicine
At least once a semester, there comes a point where almost everyone on campus seems to have come down with a cold – stocking up on your preferred cold medicines beforehand helps to keep you prepared and healthy.

10. Ultimate Snack Stash
A stash of your favorite snacks from home allows for comfort in study breaks as well as a great sharing opportunity with friends. Exposing my northerner friends to the taste of Old Bay seasoning was a great bridge between my Maryland and New York life!

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

An Introduction to Shared Expectations

As members of the Manresa community, your living-learning experience is enhanced by authentic participation in shared activities. The Shared Expectations programming model is a way for Scholars to better understand and embrace four key Jesuit values: Learning, Sharing, Serving, and Reflecting.

Manresa Scholars are required to attend at least one program from each category during each semester, but most often, Scholars find themselves coming back for more to engage their intellectual interests and personal passions.

Learning
Programs produced and led by the in-house, live-in Manresa tutors allow students to fulfill their Learning requirement. Beneficial seminars introduce incoming freshmen to college life and the upcoming professional world. Examples include “Email Etiquette: Presenting Yourself Well,” “Writing Your First College Paper,” as well as multiple exam
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Sharing
Through professor led dinner-colloquia or guest lectures, Scholars are able to bother themselves intellectually, outside of the classroom. The programs can link up with themes of the Manresa Seminars, generate discussions on the role of Jesuit values in the world, or present ideas focused on the lives of millennials themselves. Previous topics include “Social Media and the Search for Self,” and “Love,” a Keyword Colloquium with Fordham President, Father McShane (see photo, courtesy of Zach Asato).

Serving
Serving programs tend to leave a significant impact on the Scholars, as service-learning work within a different environment allows for a unique experience. Whether serving food to the homeless in the city, or participating in a park clean-up in the Bronx (see photo), Manresa Scholars develop a better understanding and appreciation of the communities outside of Fordham’s campus.IMG_2944.jpg

Reflecting
This category allows Scholars to explore their relationship with topics such as ethics and justice, and connect more deeply to the spiritual values of the Manresa Program and Jesuit education. These programs are often coordinated in partnership with Fordham’s Campus Ministry and our resident Jesuit Housemaster, Father Lito Salazar, S.J., creating valuable connections for Scholars to carry on beyond their year in Manresa.

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

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