Why Jesuit?

My name is Abby Turbenson, and I am currently a freshman at Fordham College at Rose Hill. I also participate in the Manresa Scholars Program. Besides living in the beautiful Loyola Hall, and taking a unique Manresa seminar course, my fellow Scholars and I have the opportunity to participate in dinner-colloquia led by Program faculty.

I decided to attend a recent dinner-colloquium led by Professor Harry Nasuti (Theology). The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet Prof. Nasuti, share a meal, and engage in lively dialogue with the people I have been living and learning with for the past several months. Prof. Nasuti teaches the Manresa Theology seminar, “Sinners, Saints, and Stories,” so the discussion was centered around Jesuit education — what that meant for St. Ignatius (founder of the Jesuits), Archbishop John Hughes (founder of what eventually became Fordham University), and how these figures inform what it means to attend a Jesuit university today.

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Manresa Scholars at Prof. Nasuti’s dinner-colloquium.

Being a Jesuit university means that as a school, Fordham has a different role in the lives of its students than another university would have. Fordham succeeds only if it graduates men and women who are ready to live lives that uphold the fundamental values of its founding tradition. In other words, Fordham graduates must be men and women for and with others; otherwise, Fordham has not met its duty.

Recalling a talk that some of us had attended during orientation, my fellow students and I brought up the fact that Fordham has an obligation to uphold academic freedom while taking a moral stance on pressing issues. We found this balance to be of immediate importance by recalling a recent email from Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J., President of Fordham, regarding a controversial speaker who was invited by a club to speak on campus, but whose ideas struck some as at odds with Fordham’s founding ideals.

Our discussion clarified important items about the role of a Jesuit university, and also left me with meaningful questions of my own. Where do I fit into this educational system? Must I always agree with the stance that the University takes, and where does my critical voice emerge? These questions have spilled over from the colloquium into my conversations with friends in more casual settings. It is important to me that I participate actively in Fordham’s culture, and I am heartened to know that my peers are also pursuing this goal.

Abby Turbenson, FCRH 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

 

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Thinking and Acting Purposefully

I am beyond blessed to be part of the Manresa community. I truly believe that the program is one of the many “crown jewels” of the Fordham experience. From the first day I stepped foot in Loyola Hall and met all my hallmates, RAs, and Manresa staff and professors, I knew that nothing could compare to this community in the years to come. Whether it’s late nigIMG_2370.jpght study sessions in the O’Keefe Study Commons, watching Sunday football in the Social Commons, tutor sessions with peers in various seminar rooms, jam sessions in the hallway, Mass in the chapel, dinner at Father Lito’s, or Mario Kart tournaments in my room, there is a great energy present. Everyone looks out for each other. Everyone is committed to each other’s success. We truly are a family and it has only been a month!

While the Manresa seminar courses are academically rigorous, they come with some interesting perks. My Manresa class has been served breakfast and coffee on various occasions so that we may consider challenging metaphysical concepts on a full stomach. We are also planning to visit a Greek restaurant in Queens in connection with the Ancient Greek texts we are analyzing in class. As a Gabelli student, these seminar courses are extremely valuable in balancing the business sphere with liberal arts tools to think and act purposefully.

I was initially unsure about applying to an Integrated Learning Community like Manresa. I didn’t know what kind of students it would attract. I think the biggest fear people have is that students in programs like this will have an imbalance between their work and play, placing an unhealthy emphasis on work. But I can assure you that is not the case. While work does come first, the social scene is alive and well in Loyola Hall! In addition to all the activities I mentioned above, I have participated in numerous RA programs, such as attending a Yankees game and kayaking in the Hudson River. I have also visited a New Jersey beach with my roommates, explored the Bronx and Manhattan on the subway, played spike ball, Frisbee, and baseball on Edward’s Parade—all with my fellow Manresa Scholars, who also learn more about themselves through Manresa-sponsored service projects that serve local communities in need. We are not just a community, we are a family, and I can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for us.

Liam Fitzmaurice, GABELLI 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

Kayaking on the Hudson with Manresa

As described in previous posts, Manresa Scholars kicked off their first weekend as a community by traveling down to Pier 96 on the Upper West Side for an annual morning of kayaking. With over 100 students signed up for the event, this was the biggest turnout for the kayaking excursion in all ten years of the Manresa Program! Led by Dean Parmach, Mr. Rametta, and Resident Assistants Jenna and Julia, the large group of Scholars trekked to the D subway train at 8:00am, eager to hit the water.

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The weather was perfectly cool for a morning outside. Scholars chose either single or double person kayaks, and had the opportunity to paddle around the Hudson River thanks to the Manhattan Community Boathouse. Some of the Manresa staff even took a turn out on the water! Everyone came out of their kayaks a little wet from the splashes of the paddles, but ultimately it just added to the fun.

Afterwards, many groups of students ventured out on their own in Manhattan for a bite to eat and to explore. Kayaking proves to be a great event each year to bring hallmates together and to develop new relationships within the Manresa community.

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

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Welcome to the Ramily!

On Sunday, August 27th, the halls of Loyola were filled once again with the sounds of excitement and the start of a new year! New Manresa Scholars, coming anywhere from New Jersey, to Kansas, to California, began their fresh start at Fordham University.

Thanks to the New Student Orientation leaders, the freshmen didn’t have to lift a finger as they were greeted with cheers at their cars and again at their rooms as all of their belongings were transported upstairs by the volunteers. Scholarthumb_DSC_5310_1024.jpgs were welcomed inside during their check in process by the Resident Assistants, tutors, Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J. (Jesuit House Master), and Dean Robert Parmach (Faculty Director) as the Manresa staff did their very best to make sure every incoming freshman felt comfortable in their new environment. Roommates were introduced, friendships were sparked, and the room setup process went smoothly for all!

The Manresa Community continued to bond throughout the week in hall meetings, an Ice Cream Social, a tutor meet-and-greet, and even the annual kayaking excursion. Scholars also took part in their first Serving Shared Expectations program at the St. Francis Xavier Parish Welcome Table, where they served food to those in need of a meal.

The energy in Loyola Hall is alive and well, and you can tell the students and staff are both looking forward to this year ahead.

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

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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

Ignatian Integration Papers: An Introduction

To help you reflect upon your progress in the Manresa Scholars Program, our Ignatian Integration Papers create three intellectual checkpoints throughout the fall semester in which Scholars are given the opportunity to relate their work in the classroom to the Ignatian values of their living-learning community.

These two-page papers are submitted to each student’s Manresa professor for a grade. 

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Manresa Scholar Julia Townsend presents one of her Ignatian Integration Papers at the “Manresa Scholars Showcase” at the end of the fall semester.

Each is based on a specific prompt that connects the learning styles within the Manresa Seminars to the outcomes of the Shared Expectation programs.

The first prompt calls for an emphasis on the elements of discovery and imagination. 

The second reflects upon the values of young adults at a Jesuit school, and the third allows for a mental recap of the entire semester, as well as personal input towards future Manresa programming.

With my Integration Paper experience, the final prompt was my favorite as it pushed me not only to reflect on my individual Manresa experience in my course and with the programs I participated in, but also to use my intellectually-bothered spirit to develop ideas that could benefit the entirety of the community.

At the end of the fall semester, the Loyola Hall community comes together for the “Manresa Scholars Showcase,” during which individual Ignatian Integration Papers from each Manresa course are selected by the professors for presentation. This event is a great opportunity for chosen Scholars to demonstrate their skills acquired through their Eloquentia Perfecta Manresa courses, and to share their personal insights on the Ignatian values of the program with their peers.

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

RA Spotlight: Jenna Koury

A significant part of what keeps the Manresa spirit alive throughout the halls of Loyola are the Resident Assistants (RAs). By keeping the Scholars safe, leading programs, and organizing enjoyable IMG_2207.pngexcursions, the RAs fully embrace the concept of a living-learning community while constantly being individuals on whom you can rely. This week, we introduce rising sophomore and Manresa alumna, Jenna Koury, as the fourth-floor RA in Loyola Hall this upcoming academic year!

Jenna is planning on completing a double major in Middle East Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Sociology. She is also on the Pre-Law track. She is a UNICEF liaison and a member of Fordham’s Mock Trial team. As a Portland, Oregon native, the Bronx is a long way from home, but her love for Fordham is what brought her here. “I chose Fordham because I went to a Jesuit high school, and it was an amazing experience; I wanted to continue that. I also love the emphasis on service that a Jesuit education provides,” she says.

In her freshman year, Jenna developed relationships and found her place at Fordham through the Manresa Scholars Program. “I gained an amazing relationship with my Manresa Professor and the best group of friends I’ve ever had,” she reflects. As an RA for Loyola this year, she hopes to share some of her favorite experiences with the incoming Manresa Scholars. She explains, “I want to take residents to Washington Heights, and get shaved ice as an excursion. I hope to have a lot of programs that will show residents the amazing cultures found in New York.”

Jenna and the rest of the Loyola RA staff are looking forward to welcoming the new Scholars to the Manresa Program in the fall!

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

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