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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Seminar Spotlight: The Lost Interlocutor

Manresa Scholars in The Lost Interlocutor Seminar spent the past semester investigating the themes of existence, knowledge, truth, morality, and beliefs. The course taught by Manresa Faculty Director and FCRH Freshman Dean, Dr. Robert Parmach, stresses critical spoken dialogue and writing. The skills and material the Scholars learn come together at interactive out-of-class events, such as the Interlocutor Fallacy Night.

Manresa Scholar Nick Swope reflects on his experience.

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Dean Parmach facilitates a discussion on intersections between the semester’s Manresa Seminars.


Coming from a public high school, I had never taken a philosophy course. My Manresa Seminar has opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking. I now examine the world around me in a more thorough manner, asking the questions of why and how instead of who and what. Some of the main themes we discussed include avoiding sloppy thinking, Eloquentia Perfecta techniques, the meaning of relationships, the relationship between the physical and metaphysical world, and nature of the mind, among others.

One Manresa program I found particularly meaningful was the Interlocutor Fallacy Night.

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Scholar Nick Swope presents his insights at the Manresa Showcase.

As part of the program, we learned about different types of logical fallacies and picked some out of different video clips. This really opened my eyes to how often people misuse logic to make an argument, especially when they do not have a strong one. As a young adult, I find this most relevant during the recent presidential election, in which I was a first-time voter.

In an election focused more on the candidates’ character than the issues concerning our country, I believe it is important to critically examine each candidate’s argument to determine which, if either, is making a strong case as to why they should be our next Commander-in-Chief. After seeing so many logical fallacies in a short clip, I realized how important it is to critically examine people’s arguments to make sure they are cogent and truthful.

A concept that has been heavily emphasized in our Manresa Philosophy class, and I believe is valuable for all young adults to study at a Jesuit institution, is Eloquentia Perfecta. This skill is defined as developing critical reading, writing, and speaking skills to make cogent arguments and be able to defend them under intense scrutiny. This is practiced every class through discussions, as everyone contributing is expected to have adequate defense for his or her claims.

For one assignment, we teamed up with a partner to do an Eloquentia Perfecta presentation based on an assigned reading. Pairs presented over the course of the semester and after each presentation, Dean Parmach emailed the entire class as to what the presenters did well and what they need to improve on, so that everyone could learn from each other’s mistakes in a supportive environment. I had an enlightening experience in my Manresa course and am looking forward to continuing my involvement next semester.


 

Manresa Fall Semester Highlights

The Manresa experience is filled with academic, spiritual, and personal growth. This past semester, Manresa Scholars had the opportunity to attend over 35 programs focusing on the five Shared Expectations: Sharing, Collaborating, Serving, Reflecting, and Learning.

These evening and weekend enrichment programs are carefully planned to complement what Scholars learn in their Manresa Seminars, while providing additional opportunities for them to come together as a community.

 

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Manresa Scholars took a trip into Manhattan for kayaking on the Hudson River during the first weekend of the semester.

 

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Manresa Resident Assistants, Resident Tutors, and Jesuit Housemaster Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J., enjoyed the Manresa Welcome Picnic, an annual tradition.

 

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Scholars spent a Sunday volunteering at St. Francis Xavier parish, serving food to those in need.

 

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Dean Robert Parmach, the Program’s Faculty Director, took a group of Scholars to explore Central Park on a Friday afternoon.

 

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VP for Mission Integration and Planning Fr. Michael McCarthy, S.J., led a dinner colloquium on the topic of “Immersion,” in which Scholars discussed being part of both the Fordham and Bronx community.

 

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Scholars visited Bartow-Pell Park in the Bronx twice this semester to clean up the park grounds and assist with their annual Harvest Festival for young children.

 

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In collaboration with Campus Ministry’s Ignatian Week, Dean Parmach and Fr. Lito led a colloquium on “Unpacking the Millennial Digitized Mind” to prompt reflection on how social media impacts the ways we think and interact with others.

 

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The Manresa Community celebrated the end of the semester with a formal Christmas Party.

Scholars Reflect in Goshen, NY

Manresa Scholars took a break from the stresses of campus life for an overnight retreat in Goshen, NY, where they reflected on their transition to university-level classes, spiritual growth, and life at Fordham.

Fordham’s retreat house in Goshen served as a beautiful location for communal and personal reflection. Nestled in wooded surroundings, the Goshen Retreat House is a special place to nourish the mind, body, and soul. Students relaxed and escaped the demands of the semester through some guided meditations, conversations, shared meals, and outdoor nature walks.

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Manresa Faculty Director and FCRH Freshman Dean, Dr. Robert Parmach, led the retreat, along with Resident Director Matt Dishman, and Manresa Psychology Faculty Member, Dr. Rachel Annunziato. Students discussed the ways in which they envisioned themselves at college, finding their place at Fordham with new friends and activities, and what they’ve learned about themselves in the process.

Fordham is a Jesuit university that encourages students to explore faith. As such, faith was an important topic of conversation. After a pizza dinner and getting to know each other in a less formal setting, the group examined the importance of critically evaluating faith, and the ways in which students explored their faith through Manresa programs and university activities thus far.

Students also discussed values, family, and inspiration. One of the biggest changes for freshmen can be the constant state of being surrounded by roommates, friends, and peers, and always having classwork or a club meeting or event to attend. Each student proposed a single word to remember each day to remind themselves of what their focus is at college and how they can live fulfilled and well-rounded college lifestyles.

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

Central Park Excursion

Fordham’s location gives Manresa students the invaluable opportunity to explore the city. On a recent Friday afternoon, Dean Parmach took Manresa Scholars on a trip to the iconic New York attraction, Central Park.

Students took a scenic walk around the reservoir and down to Sheep’s Meadow. The Manresa Program truly cares for the whole student, encouraging both academics and exploration of your new home, New York City!

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For several Scholars, the excursion was their first visit to Central Park.

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Manresa Scholars enjoyed a quintessential late summer afternoon at Central Park.

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Manresa Faculty Director, Dean Robert Parmach, with Manresa Canine Mascot, Peewee.

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

A Night of Clarity

Last Thursday night, a group of 17 Manresa Scholars, dressed in formal attire, met in the Ph.D. defense room in Duane Library. The meeting marked the culmination of the students’ Philosophy of Human Nature course as part of the Manresa Scholars Program. The class met outside of the classroom several times throughout the semester for guest lectures and joint programs with other classes; however, this final program, named A Night of Clarity, gave the students the stage.

During the program, four groups of students presented and defended original philosophical responses that incorporated various course themes studied throughout the semester. The responses attempted to present and cogently argue relevant applications of the course material outside of the classroom, specifically among the Millennial Generation. Four judges, including Dr. Robert Parmach, Freshman Dean and professor of the course, and Ms. Danielle O’Boyle, Assistant District Attorney for New York State, offered constructive criticism of each group’s presentation.

My group argued that students of this course are prepared to address and avoid the traps many other members of the Millennial Generation have fallen into, such as laziness and entitlement due to the modern convenience and prevalence of the Internet and social media. We argued that we, as well as all Manresa Scholars, are capable of creating concrete, practical progress in the world.

As Manresa Scholars, my peers and I strive to continually learn in and out of the classroom, as exhibited by our dedication to excellence in out-of-class programs. It is not sufficient to simply fulfill the curriculum; rather, Manresa Scholars strive to embody and practice their knowledge constantly.

Lucas Baker, GSB 2019
Manresa Scholar, 2015-2016

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