Matteo Ricci Seminar
Funded through the generosity of FCRH alumni, the Matteo Ricci Seminar endeavors to prepare high-achieving students to successfully compete for prestigious fellowships and scholarships. The seminar is directed by two faculty members, Dr. Patrick Hornbeck and Dr. Mary Beth Combs.
Admission to the Matteo Ricci Seminar is competitive. The seminar is open to rising sophomores and juniors who have been nominated by a faculty member or administrator. Students who have been nominated are invited to submit an application for participation, and a committee of faculty members and FCRH deans makes admissions decisions.
Matteo Ricci Seminar participants will meet bi-weekly throughout the academic year, and meetings will take the form of discussions and debates on issues of significant import to the contemporary world. Distinguished alumni and guest visitors, along with other faculty, will join the seminar from time to time to participate in individual sessions. Occasional excursions will invite seminar participants to attend public lectures and other academic and cultural events in New York City.
The first semester of the seminar will focus on helping students develop a broad-based perspective on the contemporary world, their location in it, and the role of learning in creating a more just society. The second semester will focus more specifically on postgraduate opportunities for which students will be applying. During the second semester, students will identify and begin to work closely with primary faculty advisor in their area of expertise, and begin to meet with an alumni mentor. By the end of the academic year, each participant will have an outline of a research project that s/he plans to work on, with direction from her/his academic advisor, over the summer and during the following academic year. The research project will serve as the foundation for prestigious fellowship applications, as well as a possible honors thesis in academic departments that provide this option for their majors. The fruits of the student’s research will be highlighted at the annual FCRH Undergraduate Research Symposium, held each spring.
By the time they are concluding their junior year, students who have participated in the seminar will be well prepared to work with the Campion Institute as they embark on the process of applying for and competing for prestigious fellowships and scholarships. They will have a stronger sense of their abilities and professional goals and be prepared to articulate them with confidence and conviction.