Faculty and Staff Perspectives
Rev. Philip Florio, S.J., D.Min. (Campus Ministry)
You might be asking, "What is it like to live with a priest in a residence hall for the first year of college? Good question. That answer is found with the upperclassmen, who have had this experience already. Ask them...they will tell you. Living with a Jesuit can be a challenge and an absolute blast! Fordham cares enough about its students to have us Jesuits live among our students, to guide them, to support them, and even to feed them on occasion!
My main role as the resident priest and the House Master in the Manresa program at Loyola Hall is to teach. "Master" comes from the Latin word magister, which means "teacher." My job, along with that of our Residential Life staff, Dean Parmach, and our great professors, is to teach all of us how to live together in a community where academics, faith, service, and the care of others is central.
In the community at Manresa/Loyola, we really share a common purpose: the best living and learning experience possible. We are dependent on one another to fulfill that purpose. Crucial to our community life together, then, is respect and support for the individuality of every member within our community. Here, we watch out for each other, we honor one another, and we really do try to love each other as our Catholic and Jesuit traditions would have us. It doesn't get any better than this at Fordham! AMDG
Peggy Andover, Ph.D. (Psychology)
Teaching in the Manresa program has been one of my favorite experiences at Fordham. In my course, Abnormal Psychology in Contemporary Culture, we discuss the ways that mental illness is represented in today's media and culture, and how that influences society's understanding of mental illness. In addition to classroom lecture and discussion, my students and I meet regularly to watch and discuss movies, and we participate in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness walk. Our small class size and out-of-classroom experiences gives me the opportunity to get to know my students better, and vice versa.
By also serving as their academic advisor, I am able to take a more hands-on approach in helping my students develop their academic plan and get the most out of their academic experience. The Manresa program truly is a unique opportunity for Fordham freshmen.
Rev. Thomas Scirghi, S.J., Th.D. (Theology)
In a dark cave in Manresa, Spain, Ignatius of Loyola was enlightened. Ignatius, "the pilgrim," would pray in the cave for hours each day. And then he experienced a vision—an encounter with God after which all creation acquired a new meaning, and the pilgrim was able to find God in all things.
The Manresa Program here at Rose Hill, an integrated learning community, spreads this vision. Through study, service, and community life, our students learn to find God in all things. The study of the liberal arts hones the mind and the senses to discern God's presence in the world. The service program links theory with practice, as students make a gift of themselves for others. Back in "the house," at Jogues [Loyola] Hall, they share experience with one another, forming a nourishing community. The vision from the Manresa cave shines on the campus in the Bronx.
Beth Knobel, Ph.D. (Communications and Media Studies)
Teaching in the Manresa program has truly been a wonderful experience, and not quite like anything else at Fordham. I got to know the students in my Manresa course really well, seeing them twice a week in our small seminar and meeting with them one-on-one as their advisor. And they got to know me well, too, not only during our class discussions but also during our out-of-class activities.
For my course, "The Power of News: An Introduction to Press, Politics and Public Policy," our activities included watching the presidential debates together, rooting for our candidates as the returns came in on Election Night 2012, and taking a fun field trip to The New York Times to witness the creation of news first-hand.
It has been deeply fulfilling for me to have the chance to bond with a group of first-years, whom I wouldn't get to teach otherwise, and to help them adjust to college life. And I hope they appreciated having someone on the faculty who was also always ready to act as a resource. That's why I urge every incoming student I meet—and every colleague—to try to get into the Manresa program. It's truly special!