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

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

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.

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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.

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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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