Reflecting on a Year in Manresa

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

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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

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Paddling into the Fall Semester

The annual Manresa kayaking excursion provides Scholars with the opportunity to step outside of the Bronx, connect with new friends, and explore the city. During your first weekend as a Fordham Ram, the Manresa community travels to the Hudson River Pier to take in the views of the Upper West Side from the river itself. After gearing up with lifejackets and oars, students can paddle and splash around in single or double kayaks, bonding with their new community.

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The public boathouse is located on Pier 96, steps away from the city streets, giving students the opportunity to go explore for themselves after kayaking. As a Manresa alumna, I loved this experience, as it was a great opportunity to meet new people and get to know a different part of New York; we stuck around the Upper West Side to grab lunch and take a walk through Central Park.

This event will take place on Saturday, 9/2, and is sure to set the tone for the exciting excursions and experiences that are to come for the Manresa Scholars!

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

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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

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

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