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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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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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

Seminar Spotlight: American History and Citizenship

The Manresa Scholars Program offers five seminars each semester, and this upcoming fall, we are excited to offer a new history course, “Understanding Historical Change: Fighting for Equal Rights in American History.” Taught by Professor Kirsten Swinth, the course explores episodes in American history through the lens of citizenship.

Together, Scholars consider how different groups of Americans have acquired full citizenship, from political to civil and social rights, and the conflicts that resulted from these expansions in citizenship. “Everything we talk about in this class speaks to what it means to live in America today, from political rights to income inequality and social inclusion. We ask hard questions about what democracy means in America and debate whether or not this nation has fulfilled its promise of full equal citizenship to all its members,” says Professor Swinth.

Course highlights include documentary screenings including 13th, to learn about the history behind Black Lives Matter. Students also take part in a discussion group to discuss the powerful book, Evicted, and the Freedom Schools of the Civil Rights Movement.

The course fulfills the Eloquentia Perfecta 1, Understanding Historical Change, and American Pluralism core requirements for Fordham College at Rose Hill students. As an American Pluralism course, it specifically examines how race, gender, and ethnicity have shaped struggles for citizenship. Students gain Eloquentia Perfecta skills as the course emphasizes participation, speaking, and writing, using effective speech and analytical thought.

In this course, Manresa Scholars are be challenged to explore issues facing modern-day Americans. Professor Swinth hopes that students gain an “understanding of the roots of hotly-debated issues of today and a passion for equality and justice.”

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming and 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 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

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

 

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Prof. Parmach delivers his Manresa Last Lecture.

 

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(L-R) Profs. Annunziato and Shen

“Grit”: Lessons from Manresa Alumnae

Manresa Scholars become part of a prestigious group of Fordham students who go on to enter fields in business, law, communications, social service, and more. When Manresa Scholars leave Loyola, they still remain part of the community by sharing their knowledge and experiences with current Manresa Scholars, creating a diverse and active network.

This past week, three Manresa alumnae, Sara Kugel (FCRH ‘11), Danielle O’Boyle (GSB ‘12), and Victoria Cappucci (FCRH ’16), came to speak with current students about how “grit” played an integral  role in their post-graduation success. Together, the speakers and Scholars discussed the meaning of “grit” and spoke about how it refers to one’s ability to persevere, work hard, and focus this work ethic toward one’s passion. It also means utilizing strengths and realizing that not everything will go as planned, but that some resourcefulness and creativity can take you down meaningful paths.

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Kugel, Associate Producer at CBS News, spoke about focusing on your passion. By doing this, you can overcome the background noise and focus on your goals. However, she stressed the importance of balancing ambition and self-care. She also encouraged Manresa Scholars to reflect and appreciate this period of their lives where they can focus primarily on learning.

O’Boyle, Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, gave valuable advice to the pre-law students and those interested in the legal field. In her experience, “grit” meant never giving up despite rejection and never being too busy to take on the less glamorous tasks of a job. Knowing what needs to happen to achieve a goal can be vital to success.

Cappucci, who graduated from Fordham last year, gave Manresa Scholars advice about steps they can take during their time at Fordham and her experience post-graduation thus far. For her, having a long term goal to foster a sense of grit is important. She intends to attend law school and is currently working as a paralegal at Allen & Overy in Manhattan.

Each Manresa Scholar had a chance to work with the speakers in small groups to come up with concrete ways to apply a sense of “grit” to their lives. Whether it’s applying for more internships, getting better grades by visiting office hours, or joining a club related to their interests, Scholars can take steps to apply a sense of “grit” to their academic, work, and personal experiences. Whatever the goal, the speakers shared the importance of having a sense of purpose by doing something personally fulfilling.

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

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