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 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

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

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

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.