A Last Lecture from Manresa Faculty

As the year comes to a close, Manresa faculty gathered to give their students some parting words of wisdom in a “Last Lecture” dinner-colloquium. Faculty were asked to give a brief lecture as if it were the last lecture they were to ever give, offering advice and life lessons to the Manresa Scholars.

The lectures were thoughtful, inspiring, and touching, with each professor speaking on items most important to his or her life and career.

Following the lectures, students had the opportunity to ask rapid-fire questions ranging from favorite book to best restaurant on Arthur Avenue.

The Last Lecture was a personal end to this year’s dinner-colloquium series.

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

Manresa Fac.jpg

(L-R) Profs. Parmach, Nasuti, and Annunziato



Prof. Parmach delivers his Manresa Last Lecture.



(L-R) Profs. Annunziato and Shen


Vocational and Personal Discernment with Fr. James Martin S.J.

Each semester in the West Wing ILC, students read texts that reflect the mission and values of the University and our seminar. In the past, our texts have included Fr. Greg Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart: the Power of Boundless Compassion, as well as Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty.

This semester, we read Fr. James Martin’s book, In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, IMG_0904Chastity, and Obedience. Fr. Martin joined us for a dinner colloquium last week to discuss his journey from the fast-paced world of finance to priesthood, writing, and reflection. Fr. Martin began with a brief summary of his early life at the Wharton School of Business at Penn, and explained how no one had ever asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He mentioned the time he went to his academic advisor and proposed the notion of taking “American Poetry” during his undergraduate career, and how his advisor immediately dismissed that idea as a waste of time.

After years of competing in the stressful corporate world, Fr. Martin was extremely candid about his time suffering from depression and health issues due to his career. He admitting that it was a dark period where nothing made sense and it was extremely difficult to find the good in life. When flipping through the channels one night after a long day of work, he found a documentary about a Catholic retreat house and one priest’s journey to faith. He told the WW-ILC students that there was something very romantic and personal about this documentary and he couldn’t get it out of his mind.

With a corporate mindset, Fr. Martin made it his mission to become a part of this world, and worked to try to find his faith. Since joining the Jesuits, he has been extremely successful both personally and professionally. He spoke humbly about his experience with the Jesuits and his time at America magazine, The National Catholic Review.

Fr. Martin has written for many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and is a regular commentator in the national and international media. The West Wing students spent the majority of the class period asking him questions about his time in college, which proved to be very pertinent to students’ own vocational journey.

Bridget Brennan, FCRH 2016
WW-ILC Resident Assistant and Student Intern, 2014-15 & 2015-16

The Best of Both Worlds: Reflections of a Business Student in a Manresa Class

You have probably heard the rather humorless jokes about “ethical businesspeople” and how oxymoronic that phrase may be. While, unfortunately, there are some immoral people in the business world, students and faculty at Fordham, and especially in the Manresa Program, are working to challenge that stereotype with education and engagement, starting in the classroom.

Last year, I took Lost Interlocutor: Philosophy of Human Nature as well as the Manresa spring symposium on Jesuit Education and Social Justice. In doing so, I gained so much more than simply checking off a core requirement. I improved my eloquentia perfecta skills (if you are not yet familiar with that phrase, you soon will be), engaged with students of diverse backgrounds, and gained a deeper understanding of valuable Jesuit principles.

While the works of Plato and Nietzsche might not arise frequently in a commercial environment, studying them will force you to concretely deliberate abstract ideas, such as truth and justice. The resulting communication skills will prove to be priceless when pitching a new product, explaining stock trends, or managing employees.

An additional asset of the Manresa courses is your classmates. Capped at 15 students, classes are teeming with engaging discussion between students of diverse academic interests who are genuinely interested and up for a challenge. The benefits of this dialogue cannot be understated. By discussing the Jesuit ideas of magis, cura personalis, and Ignatian examen with people of different perspectives, you will gain a deeper understanding of these principles. This effectively translates into a sound personal moral code, essential to being an ethical decision maker and leader.

By engaging in a Manresa course, you will become an ethical business leader and will be well on your way to becoming a man or woman for and with others.

Claire Siegrist, GSB 2018 (studying Information Systems and French)
Manresa Scholar,  2014-2015

Manresa & Pre-Law: A Natural Fit

As a Pre-Law student, I found the Manresa Program extremely helpful when thinking about the path I wanted my life toDAmato Shovel Service take.
Exposure to Ignatian themes such as social justice and being “a person for and with others” led me to aspire to a career as a Naval JAG attorney, to protect those who are dedicating their lives to our freedom. The Manresa Program also pointed my interests to environmental law. After doing park and beach cleanup service projects with Manresa, I realized that I would love to be able to advise corporations on environmental policy and on how to be more environmentally-friendly.

As both of these fields of interest are competitive ones, I often seek help from Dean Erin Burke, Director of Pre-Law Advising, to discuss internships, LSAT preparation, and resume tips. Not long ago, I was in her office watching her give my resume a make-over. Among her comments, she told me the community service hours I’ve compiled with the Manresa program are very impressive and stand out to law schools. Fordham’s Pre-Law Advising Program is unique in that given its 100% law school acceptance rate, Pre-Law students are often less focused on gaining acceptance into law school, but rather on more fully understanding careers in law, and gaining admission to law schools with strong programs and job placement, often with generous financial support.

Thanks to the Manresa Program and Pre-Law Advising, I have a direction for my life, based on a passion to promote peace and justice. I hope to join the other Fordham alumni who have “set the world on fire” before me.

Gabbi D’Amato, FCRH 2017
Manresa Scholar, 2013-2014

Faces of Loyola: Aaron Banasiewicz

Aaron Michael BanasiewiczIMG_8739

Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia

School and Major: Fordham College at Rose Hill, Undeclared

Fun Fact?
His favorite food of all time is Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream Ice Cream.

Why did Aaron choose Fordham?
“I chose Fordham because I got the cliché feeling everybody talks about when ‘it just feels right,'” says Aaron. “I felt that Fordham would best prepare me for life after college while helping me become a stronger, more aware individual, academically, socially, and spiritually. Fordham really felt special.”

What does Aaron do at Fordham?
Aaron is a member of the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. He is currently serving as a Fourth Class (F/C) Midshipman, which is the freshman position on the NYC NROTC Battalion. The NROTC prepares students for postgraduate commissioning. “By our graduation I’ll commission as an officer in the United States Navy,” says Aaron.

He is also a writer and cast member on Fordham’s Free Pizza Sketch Comedy Troupe.

What does the Manresa Program mean to Aaron?
Aaron credits the Manresa Program for helping him efficiently adjust into the Fordham community: “To be surrounded by so many incredibly intelligent and kind individuals made for an incredibly welcoming community that helped push me academically and socially,” he said. He like to extend the values of the Manresa community into his greater role on campus and in the external community. “I try to bring the ideas of passion and community from Manresa to the rest of the Fordham community by trying to make the most out of every experience and interaction on and off of campus.”

Kate Marinkovich, GSB 2018
Manresa Scholar

Words of Wisdom from Tutor Ryan

Manresa Scholars,

Many of you may question the merits of taking classes in the humanities when parents and the media often place so much emphasis upon the hard sciences and swollen bank accounts. After all, the earning potential for the latter is seemingly greater than that of the former, but I posit to you that the benefits you gain from studying the humanities will outweigh your future lack of money.

Below you will find an article entitled “Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?” I hope that this piece will enlighten those of you that dismiss the study of subjects such as English, History and Philosophy as merely a waste of time, as well as allow you to see that the value of a class need not lie in its potential for career advancement. I also hope that Fordham College at Rose Hill and Gabelli School of Business students alike will realize the importance of the humanities within their core classes.

Ryan Gilligan, FCRH 2015  |  Manresa Student Tutor


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