Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Faculty Perspectives

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!

Student Perspectives

Nicole Benevento, FCRH 2017

When I arrived on campus in the fall of 2013, I was like most freshmen: confused, overwhelmed, and a bit saddened about leaving home for the first time. However, my feelings changed once I walked into my dorm building, home of the Manresa Scholars Program. I noticed at once that the atmosphere that engulfed me was filled with an air of warmth and camaraderie; an atmosphere that did not cease to amaze me throughout the entire school year. All of the students, including the RAs and tutors, bonded instantly through various trips and service projects, both on and off-campus.

You could always count on someone to be around if you ever needed a printer, help with an assignment, or just someone to talk to. I firmly believe that because of my participation in the Manresa program, I was able to assimilate to life away at college and excel at Fordham in a way that would have been impossible to do otherwise. I was able to discover who I was, and realize who I am really meant to be.

Admir Milla, FCRH 2017

As a commuter student, it may seem peculiar that I was part of the Manresa Program. In a community where members were so close that they shared meals daily, I limited my interactions in the beginning and only saw them during class twice a week. However, after the first few weeks, I took some chances. I attended discussions with my fellow Manresa community members where we spoke openly about important and personal topics, such as having reasonable faith.

Not only was I more comfortable with myself after these discussions, but I also grew closer to my fellow students and professors. By talking about real-world themes, we broke the traditional barriers of the classroom and allowed relationships to flourish under the guidance of intellectually inspiring conversation. Manresa allowed me not only to challenge myself academically, but also to overcome initial hesitations toward a new college.

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