Manresa Course Spotlight: A Mathematical Playbill to Music

Manresa Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in perhaps one of Fordham’s most unique math courses, “Beats, Vibration and Harmony: A Mathematical Playbill to Music.” Taught by Professor Rolf Ryham, the course will examine classic mathematical concepts found in music. Students will consider pitches, consonance, and dissonance through mathematical properties such as trigonometry, and explore musical scales and symmetry within musical composition. The material does not assume a background in Calculus or music theory.

Students will gain scientific and mathematical writing abilities, learn to model real-world situations through mathematical problems, and utilize software to compute and generate tones. “One of the course highlights is the possibility to step back in history and appreciate how music may have sounded in its original form. Some musicians say that each musical key (C, G, etc.) has a special character well suited to the piece, e.g. a key can feel mellow, or feel aggressive. But in our modern tuning there should in principle be no difference between one key to the next because of the way it’s mathematically constructed,” said Professor Ryham.

The course fulfills the Eloquentia Perfecta 1 and Mathematical/Computational Reasoning core requirements. Therefore, while it is a math course, students will strengthen their writing and speaking skills through papers and presentations where they will use mathematics to explain and describe musical sounds.

“What I hope for students to get from this course is the habit of taking note of the physical and digital world, and using mathematical thinking to describe and make predictions about what they are seeing,” said Professor Ryham.

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

Seminar Spotlight: American History and Citizenship

The Manresa Scholars Program offers five seminars each semester, and this upcoming fall, we are excited to offer a new history course, “Understanding Historical Change: Fighting for Equal Rights in American History.” Taught by Professor Kirsten Swinth, the course explores episodes in American history through the lens of citizenship.

Together, Scholars consider how different groups of Americans have acquired full citizenship, from political to civil and social rights, and the conflicts that resulted from these expansions in citizenship. “Everything we talk about in this class speaks to what it means to live in America today, from political rights to income inequality and social inclusion. We ask hard questions about what democracy means in America and debate whether or not this nation has fulfilled its promise of full equal citizenship to all its members,” says Professor Swinth.

Course highlights include documentary screenings including 13th, to learn about the history behind Black Lives Matter. Students also take part in a discussion group to discuss the powerful book, Evicted, and the Freedom Schools of the Civil Rights Movement.

The course fulfills the Eloquentia Perfecta 1, Understanding Historical Change, and American Pluralism core requirements for Fordham College at Rose Hill students. As an American Pluralism course, it specifically examines how race, gender, and ethnicity have shaped struggles for citizenship. Students gain Eloquentia Perfecta skills as the course emphasizes participation, speaking, and writing, using effective speech and analytical thought.

In this course, Manresa Scholars are be challenged to explore issues facing modern-day Americans. Professor Swinth hopes that students gain an “understanding of the roots of hotly-debated issues of today and a passion for equality and justice.”

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

Jesuit Education and Social Justice Symposium

During the spring semester, Manresa Scholars have the opportunity to enroll in the Manresa Spring Symposium, a one-credit course that explores the themes of Jesuit education and social justice. Intellectual discussions are fused with service-related initiatives for an enriching experience that builds upon the Fall Manresa Seminars.

The symposium grows out of the collaboration between Manresa faculty, Jesuit-in-residence house master, residential life staff, and the Office of Mission Integration and Planning and its Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice. Both on and off-campus, the symposium emphasizes respectful dialogue, reflection, and action in the Jesuit educational tradition.

Each week, the Scholars meet for an engaging guest speaker, or to participate in an off-campus service program. Course highlights include roundtable discussions with retired Jesuits at Murray-Weigel Hall and the facilitation of an after-school program at a Bronx Grammar School.

This week, Scholars examined the following question: What is a Jesuit education supposed to do for college students and the world? Scholars engaged in thoughtful discussion following an interactive presentation by guest speaker, Ms. Joan Cavanagh (center in below photo), from Fordham’s Campus Ministry.


A Look Into Manresa Academic Advising

Manresa Scholars set high academic goals for themselves. Whether you’ve decided on your major or not, navigating your academic career can be a challenging task. Academic advising at Fordham helps students to achieve their academic potential by providing aid and guidance in course selection and registration, academic performance, and adjustment to university-level classes. Manresa advising goes beyond this by infusing the Manresa mission into the advising experience, and enriching collaboration between Manresa students and professors.

In the Manresa Program, if you are in Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH), your advising will be even more individualized as your Core Advisor is also your Manresa seminar professor. For Gabelli School of Business (GABELLI) students, your advisor will be Dean Totino, the Freshman Dean, who collaborates closely with your Manresa seminar professor, Dr. DiLorenzo.

During FCRH Core Advising sessions, for example, you and your fellow FCRH Manresa Scholars will attend large-group cohort advising meetings in Loyola Hall. Faculty Advisor Student Assistants (FASAs), all of whom are current students and Manresa alumni, will lead breakout discussions following interactive presentations by Manresa Core Advisors. FASAs can share their experiences with you, and provide advice from a student perspective. In addition to these group advising sessions, you will have periodic one-on-one meetings with your Core Advisor to ask any individual questions. GABELLI also uses a similar system of peer mentors.

Whether you are FCRH or GABELLI, you will meet your academic advisor during Academic Orientation on Monday, August 29. Until then, take a look at our Program Faculty on the Manresa Program website.

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

Ignatian Integration Papers: A Call to Scholarly and Spiritual Reflection

Last week, we looked at the Programming Model for the Manresa Scholars Program. As a Manresa Scholar, you will be expected to attend one of each of the five program types (Learning, Sharing, Collaborating, Serving, and Reflecting). Not only will you build relationships with your professors and fellow Scholars, but you will also find yourself productively wrestling with complicated academic, ethical, and spiritual issues. You will start to make your own connections between your classroom learning and your life, community, and world events.

Ignatian Integration Papers were developed to promote and foster this critical thinking. Over the course of the semester, you will submit three two-page papers. The prompts build upon each other and give you an opportunity to step back and examine your work and participation as a Manresa Scholar. It is easy to get caught up doing so many things that we forget to understand the meaning behind them.  Not to be mistaken for an academic research report, these Integration Papers can be thought of more like structured journal entries.

The first paper will ask you to review your positive contributions to the community, and prompt you to draw connections between your Manresa course and the Ignatian concept of imagination. The second prompt deals with personal growth; you will reflect upon how your ideas may have been challenged or changed based on the programs you attended. Through your analysis and reflection, you will become bothered in intellectual, spiritual, and ethical ways. The third and final paper will draw your entire experience together and ask you to share how you’ve become bothered, and why this burden is meaningful as you progress as a young scholar and active community member.

At the end of the semester, the Manresa community will come together to share select excerpts from your Ignatian Integration Papers. Utilizing your newfound and effective writing, speaking, and reading skills, you will discuss and reflect as a community. You’ll see how meaningful connections can be made between seemingly different fields of study. By sharing and reflecting in a group setting, you’ll gain new insights beyond your individual analysis.

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

UI Prayer.jpg

Manresa Scholars engaging in an Ignatian reflection exercise on the Spring Break Urban Immersion Service Project.

Manresa Shared Expectations: An Introduction

As a Manresa Scholar and a member of this living and learning community, you will attend Manresa Wheelbarrow Servicea variety of engaging and meaningful programs. The programming model is broken down into five categories, each of which embody a part of the Ignatian spirit: learning, sharing, collaborating, serving, and reflecting. Designed to integrate Ignatian values with course content, these programs will challenge you to think critically and make meaningful connections. Over the next year, you and your Manresa classmates will develop Ignatian life skills, which will serve you well in your roles as a young adult and as a young scholar.

Commitment to education and passion for quality are traits of Manresa Scholars. Academic evening programs facilitated by the live-in Manresa tutors will assist you as a student, as you write your first college paper, and handle the stresses of exams.  

Dinner colloquia led by Manresa professors and outside speakers will enrich your academic experience by connecting course content with Ignatian values and relevant issues. Past topics included “Love,” “Reasonable Faith,” and “The Social Media Self.” The speaker engages in discussion with you and fellow Scholars over a shared meal.

Similar to the Sharing dinner colloquia, Collaborating programs are cross-seminar dinner colloquia, led by professors of two different Manresa courses.  These discussions will demonstrate the connections between seemingly dissimilar disciplines, such as philosophy and biology.

Service to others and a sense of responsibility for the life of society are integral parts of the Manresa program and Ignatian spirit. Whether you’re serving food to homeless individuals or participating in a local park clean up, you will find yourself involved in serving both your Fordham community and the surrounding Bronx community.

As a Manresa Scholar, you will question difficult topics such as ethics, justice, and fairness. Through reflecting events, often organized in part with Fordham’s Campus Ministry, you will explore the faith-based aspect of the Manresa program. Examples include programs run by Manresa’s Jesuit House Master, Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J., spiritual meditation sessions, and roundtable discussions with retired Jesuits.

Next week, look out for a post explaining how these programs tie into your academic Manresa course through a set of exercises you’ll complete called Ignatian Reflection Papers.

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

Packing For Your New Home

Packing for college can be a daunting, but exciting process as you prepare for this new stage in your life. While move-in might seem months away, now is the perfect time to start gathering the items you’ll need for a successful transition to college and dorm life.

I’m sure your shopping list already includes college standards like a mattress pad, shower caddy, and laundry bag. Here are some unusual items that I might not have thought were necessary as an incoming freshman, but found extremely helpful to have on hand.
1. Printer
There are printers in the library, but having a printer in your room for when you’re in a rush makes life a lot easier. My freshman ­year roommate and I figured we would use the library printer, but ended up buying one after the first few weeks.
2. First Aid Kit
Unless you have an incredible immune system, you’re bound to fall sick at some point. My mom packed me a container filled with Dayquil, cough drops, band­ aids, and allergy medications. My friends always came to me asking for medicine when they weren’t feeling well.
3. Iron or Steamer
While you’re unlikely to have the time or patience to iron all your clothes, it’s useful for when you have a presentation, interview, or more formal event. I personally can’t stand wearing wrinkled clothing, so I have a steamer and my friends were always coming over to borrow it.
4. Clorox Wipes
Great for disinfecting the room when you move in and for general cleaning throughout the year.
5. Screwdriver
This is an odd item, but I’ve actually had a need for it a few times over my freshman and sophomore year to put together dorm furniture or change batteries.
6. Extra Phone Charger and External Battery Pack
An extra phone charger to carry around in your bag, or in case one breaks is convenient. And an external battery pack is a life­saver for long days exploring the city!
7. Umbrella and Rain Boots
This might be a no­-brainer for East Coast natives, but coming from the West Coast, these were two things that I bought right away after I experienced my first rainy day walking to class at Fordham.
8. Wrist watch
I know most people use their phone as their clock, but I found a wrist watch helpful for when you can’t use your phone in class and there’s no clock in the room.
9. Small bills
You’re likely to find yourself ordering take­out with your friends one night when you’re up late studying or not in the mood for cafeteria food. Small cash for splitting bills or tips is nice to have on hand so you don’t have to run to the ATM.
10. Beach towel
The grass on Eddie’s is a great place to lay out and study or relax with friends!

Manresa Target Trip

If you forget to pack something, don’t worry.
Manresa Scholars learn to use the NYC Bus system on a trip to a nearby Target.

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

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