Palanca Letter Program

The Palanca Letter program was first organized by my Global Outreach leader from my freshman year, so stepping into a role to organize letters for Loyola Hall was personally meaningful for me. “Palanca” means “lever” in Spanish. Just as a lever enables a person to move something beyond their normal strength, Palanca letters empower the recipient to feel a depth of love that would not be possible without those held dearest to the individuals. Palancas allow students to experience love from their friends and family, although those held dear to them may not be nearby.


The letters are a huge production. The RA staff collaborates to see the program through. We started by collecting e-mails from parents at the very beginning of the school year, on move-in day. Five months later, we began sending on e-mails about the letter program, asking parents to send e-mails by the beginning on February. However, I think we still got e-mails up until the night before! In terms of volume, we received so many letters. It’s very easy to see, just by the sheer number of letters, how much parents, family members, friends and other loved ones care about the students in Loyola Hall.

The Palanca Letter program also happens at a crucial point in the year. Students have just returned from a month-long break at home, spending lots of time with family and friends. Any student tends to perhaps miss home more easily after the winter break. I think for a lot of students, the letters came at a perfect time when they needed to receive some love and affirmations in the form of a letter to help propel them through the rest of the school year.

Julia Gagliardi, FCRH 2019
Resident Assistant, Loyola Hall


Reflecting on a Year in Manresa

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


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

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

Packing for Life in Loyola

Packing for college is one of the most exciting, yet intimidating, processes you have probably faced thus far in your life. As a Loyola Hall alumna, I came to appreciate the occasional items that don’t initially cross your mind when trying to stock your room with all of the must-haves. I have compiled a personal list of the top ten most helpful items I had in my Loyola room, to pass on to you, the new Manresa Scholars!

1. Umbrella and Rain Boots
I faced my fair share of random rain showers to torrential downpours last year. Whether for a simple walk from Loyola to the Caf, a trek across campus to Faculty Memorial Hall, or even passing through Times Square to get to a Broadway show, my foldable umbrella and trusty rain boots never let me down.


2. Reusable Water Bottle
Living in Loyola Hall comes with the luxury of your own sink in your room! With easy access to tap water in your room, as well as water bottle filling stations throughout campus, having a reusable water bottle is key to staying hydrated throughout the day.

3. Beach Towel
Laying out on the grass on Eddie’s Parade on a towel or blanket allows for the opportunity to hang out with your friends or study outside on a nice day.


4. Printer
Having a printer in my room came in handy when having to print a paper or reading for class. There are Fordham printers on campus; however, having your own makes sure that you are always prepared.

5. Command Strips
I loved being able to quickly hang a picture or poster on the wall to add to my room decor. Command Strips, as well as hooks for jackets and towels, are a great addition to your room supplies.


6. Door Stop
Loyola Hall doors are heavy and can only be opened with your key – having a door stop to prop open the entrance to your room makes it easy for friends to come in and out.

7. Games
My friends and I held weekly “family game nights” in the Seminar Rooms of Loyola – packing your favorite board game or fun card games from home is a great way to bring everyone together.

8. ID Holder
Having your student ID card handy 24/7 is key to getting on campus, entering your residence hall, or swiping into the Caf. I kept mine in an ID holder attached to my lanyard and room key for easy access.

9. Cold Medicine
At least once a semester, there comes a point where almost everyone on campus seems to have come down with a cold – stocking up on your preferred cold medicines beforehand helps to keep you prepared and healthy.

10. Ultimate Snack Stash
A stash of your favorite snacks from home allows for comfort in study breaks as well as a great sharing opportunity with friends. Exposing my northerner friends to the taste of Old Bay seasoning was a great bridge between my Maryland and New York life!

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

Manresa Scholars Make Themselves at Home

Loyola Hall welcomed the Manresa Scholars of the Class of 2020 on Sunday, as students were greeted by the cheers of the New Student Orientation team, helpful instruction from the Residential Life staff, and smiles from the Program’s faculty.

The fact that Manresa is a Integrated Learning Community (ILC), where living and learning is centered on the Jesuit mission, is evident from the moment students step through the door. Students met their Resident Assistants (RAs) and received their room keys in Loyola Study Commons, a space which will foster personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth over their freshman year.

The Study Commons is where students will gather as a community for engaging conversations and dinners with faculty and guest speakers. In addition, students may find themselves attending weekly mass with Loyola Housemaster Rev. Lito Salazar, S.J., in the Loyola Chapel, which is located within the Study Commons, or meeting in groups to study before exams.

After a warm welcome, students and their families headed upstairs to their new rooms, where students met their roommates and fellow scholars and neighbors. Thanks to the New Student Orientation Team, parents and students didn’t have to worry about carrying all their belongings. The student team happily delivered bags, boxes, and belongings to the doorway so new students could focus on getting organized and acclimated to the new environment.

During move-in, students were pleasantly surprised when Dean Robert Parmach, Freshman Dean of Fordham College Rose Hill, or Dean Marisa Totino, Freshman Dean of the Gabelli School of Business, popped their heads in for a quick introduction and hello.

Exciting programs await during the next week, including a Manresa Welcome Picnic, excursions into New York City, and “College Life: Alleviating Stress and Making Yourself at Home,” a dinner-discussion with Prof. Rachel Annunziato.

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


Dean Parmach (far left) and Dean Totino (far right) welcome new Manresa Scholars and their families to Loyola Hall.

31 Days and Counting: A Guide to College Packing

Today is July 31, the last day of the month. Tomorrow begins August, the last month during which many of you will be at home before you move in to Loyola Hall– in only 31 days. While I am a junior and have already had two years of packing experience, I still struggle to figure out what I should bring to campus. Each year, I search for those “Ultimate College Packing Checklists” that you find on Pinterest (you know what I’m talking about). However, after looking at such lists, I have noticed that there are a number of things that I have never used, or even thought about using, and that there are quite a few essential items that are left out.

Below, I have put together my own list of the three most useful items that I have used in my dorm rooms in the past, and why they are important to pack.

  • Command 3M Hooks/Strips: Do not underestimate the power of these hooks! When decorating your room and putting up posters, boards, and picture frames, you want to remember that at the end of the year, you are going to have to figure out how to take them down without damaging the walls. These hooks and wall strips will work perfectly and keep your walls scuff, rip, and hole-free.

  • Medium-Sized Floor Rug: It doesn’t matter whether you put the rug in the middle of the floor or directly in front of your bed; either way, you will be grateful that you brought a floor rug. In Loyola Hall, the bedrooms have hardwood floors, and you’ll want to protect the floors from damage over the course of the year, and protect your feet from the cold as you hop out of bed in the morning. There is nothing more comforting than walking across a soft, warm carpet in the winter before you hop in to your nice, cozy bed.

  • Printer: Bringing a printer is one of the best tips I can give you. Although you do have the option to print papers in the library, I can tell you from experience that you will want to be able to have one on-call in your room. When you are working on a paper late at night, and it ends up taking much longer than you expected, this printer will be a lifesaver in the morning before you run to class.

Manresa, when packing for college, keep these underdog items in mind. While they may not all seem like the most important things to bring, they will always come in handy, especially when you least expect them to. Good luck packing, and we are looking forward to seeing you all in a month!

Nicole Benevento, FCRH 2017
Manresa Program Student Intern, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016

Faces of Loyola: Loyola Hall RHA Board

These five faces are faces you both hear and see a lot in Loyola: the Loyola Hall RHA Board.

The acronym RHA stands for Residence Halls Association, a student government that presides over residential life at colleges across the country. The Loyola Hall RHA board consists of Jon Perroni (President), Kate Marinkovich (Vice-President), Erin Shanahan (Programmer), Kelly Sullivan (Secretary) and Dean Ward (Treasurer). The purpose of an RHA board is to organize and host programs for their residence hall. The board’s goal in Loyola Hall is to foster the Manresa program’s principles. Programs are frequent and fun, inclusive and diverse, and keep the Manresa community involved in the Fordham community.

Programs range from talents shows to breakfast. Last week, RHA hosted a “Throwback Thursday” event, where residents played childhood board games and ate snacks like fruit-by-the-foot and goldfish. Last night, they hosted an event called “Loyola Hall Coffeehouse,” where residents gathered to perform music or poetry for their fellow peers. This event was made open to other freshmen residence halls as well, which maintains the board’s goal of keeping the Manresa values integrated into the rest of Fordham. Other events are held in part of larger, campus-wide events. In the weeks leading up to the Fordham Dance Marathon, the board hosted a series of fundraising programs to prepare Loyola for the event. The most successful and well-attended program hosted by the board is the “Loyola Hall Talent Show.” This program is hosted once per season, and include a set list of 20 or so residents performing talents ranging from improv to original music compositions.

The nature of the Manresa program makes RHA’s job easy, and according to RHA, they owe all of their success to it. “The accessible and family-like nature of the Manresa community has made programming so simple,” said Erin Shanahan. “The success of our events this year cannot only be attributed to our board’s efforts; rather, the willing and supportive Loyola residents who consistently wanted to participate in our events. They deserve the credit for Loyola’s RHA success.”

Kate Marinkovich, GSB 2018
Manresa Scholar and Loyola Hall RHA Vice-President

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