• Marymount Community Brings Holiday Cheer to Area Children
• Stacks’ Reston Biography Receives Sperber Award
• Law School Wins Regional Moot Court Competition
• University Hosts First Diversity Conference
Marymount Community Brings Holiday Cheer to Area Children
This holiday season, Marymount College of Fordham University will again join with the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (R.S.H.M) to assist families in need. In what is becoming an annual tradition, Marymount will sponsor a “Giving Tree” that allows students, faculty and staff to purchase gifts for the children of the R.S.H.M Life Center program, which aids families in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The program assists approximately 200 children.
“Having Marymount involved has enabled us to reach more people in the neighborhood,” said Sister Susan Gardella, R.S.H.M, director of the Life Center. “This project is a way to help families enjoy the Christmas holiday and get them into the holiday spirit.”
On Nov. 17, students decorated the “Giving Tree” in Rita Hall on the Marymount campus with 200 student-created paper ornaments that indicate the age and gender of a child who is part of the R.S.H.M program. Members of the Marymount community will choose an ornament and purchase an appropriate gift for the child described.
The unwrapped gifts were placed under a larger Christmas tree in the campus administration building and were formally presented to Sister Gardella during the Dec. 8 Founder’s Day festivities, which celebrated the founding of Marymount College in 1907 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.
On Dec. 20, Marymount students will volunteer at the Life Center’s Christmas party. The volunteers will entertain children on one floor of the center and on another floor, a “store” will be set up with the donated items where parents can purchase Christmas gifts for their children. Prices will range from 50 cents to $5. Every year, the R.S.H.M use the money to further help the children. Last year, the sisters prepared and gave dinner packages to the families for holiday meals. The year prior, they used the money to purchase computers for the Life Center’s after-school program.
Many students who participate in the event—either through volunteer work or by donating a gift—say they do so to give back to the community they now call home.
“I became involved in the toy drive because there are many families that do not get to enjoy the Christmas holiday,” said junior Tracy Grant, who lives on the Community Service Floor in one of Marymount’s resident halls. “And I know that it’s especially important to the children, so this is my way of bringing holiday cheer to those families.”
Stacks’ Reston Biography Receives Sperber Award
Legendary newspaperman James B. Reston set the standard for his profession and his unfettered access to U.S. presidents provided rare insight into the thought processes of those in power, according to John F. Stacks, who accepted the Ann M. Sperber Biography Award at Fordham on Dec. 3.
“James Reston believed that the press had a shared responsibility with the government in advancing the national welfare,” said Stacks, whose book Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism (Little, Brown and Company, 2003) was selected as the recipient of the fifth annual Sperber Award.
According to Stacks, who spent 30 years reporting for Time magazine, Reston was a “scoop artist,” particularly interested and often very successful in “defeating government secrecy.”
However, Reston was also a man of principle. In 1961, when Reston was The New York Times’ Washington bureau chief, he was the first person President John F. Kennedy met with after a volatile meeting in Vienna with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev regarding the future of the divided city of Berlin. Kennedy, who had recently suffered the embarrassment of the Bay of Pigs incident, spoke candidly about the proceedings and told Reston that the Soviet leader “ravaged” him. In his subsequent article, Reston conveyed the seriousness of the event, but never directly mentioned his conversation with Kennedy.
“James Reston changed the way American newspapers were written,” said Stacks to the crowd gathered in the McNally Amphitheatre. “I think the nation was better served, overall, by the kind of journalism he practiced.”
The Ann M. Sperber Biography Award, sponsored by the Department of Communication and Media Studies, honors authors who have published exemplary biographies about journalists or media figures. Sperber’s 1986 book, Murrow: His Life and Times, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and was used by Fordham University Press to launch a book series in media studies. The award is made possible by a generous donation from Mrs. Lisa Sperber, in honor and memory of her daughter Ann.
(From left to right) Dr. Alan Sperber, author John F. Stacks, Lisa Sperber and Dean Michael Gillan
Law School Wins Regional Moot Court Competition
Competing against law schools from NYU, Cornell, Hofstra, Seton Hall and Brooklyn, a team of third-year law students from Fordham Law School won the Regional Moot Court Competition at the New York City Bar Association on Nov. 20.
Ross Kramer, Leah Ramos and Amanda Slatin presented a legal brief and argued before a board of judges and lawyers to win the overall competition. The team also won the Best Brief award, and Best Speaker for Amanda Slatin’s oratory performance.
“The Moot Court Program has long been a pillar in the Fordham Law School experience, providing students the opportunity to use their skills and abilities in a court setting,” said Dean William Michael Treanor. “Its strong standing in competition is representative of the law school’s spirit and commitment to hard work.”
Fordham’s nationally recognized Moot Court Program helps students tailor their advocacy skills as writers and orators, andits teams have won significant honors in the past, most notably the 1995 National Moot Court Competition.
Earlier this year, a team of second-year law students was awarded Best Respondents Brief in the finals of the University of San Diego School of Law National Criminal Procedures Tournament. The team included Paulo Lima, Lauren Moskowitz and Sylvia Schweder.
First-year students are required to take an oral argument and brief-writing course. After completing their first year, students may participate in internal, intramural moot court competitions. The Moot Court Board is then comprised of those students who exhibit extraordinary brief writing and arguing skills in these competitions.
“The moot court competition program is a marvelous learning experience, win or lose,” said Maria Marcus, who has served as the coach for Fordham’s Moot Court team for more than 25 years.
Further demonstrating its commitment to the craft, each year the Fordham Law School Moot Court Board hosts the Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition. The Kaufman Competition examines legal issues in federal securities law, and is held in honor of Judge Irving R. Kaufman, a Fordham alumnus who served as the chief judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Fordham and 27 other winning and runner-up teams from regional competitions across the country will compete in the final rounds of the National Moot Court Competition in February at the New York City Bar Association.
Amanda Slatin is looking forward to the competition, and is confident the long hours of preparation will pay off. After writing the brief, she and her teammates trained for more than a month with alumni, professors and other members of the board.
“Everyone has worked so hard,” she said, “so I think our chances are very good.”
University Hosts First Diversity Conference
Fordham University hosted a symposium on Nov. 14 to discuss the state of diversity on Jesuit college campuses and ways that the University can ensure that the Fordham community reflects the mosaic nature of its surrounding community.
“Diversity provides equity for underrepresented groups, but it also enhances the experience for all members of the Fordham community,” said Claude J. Mangum, Ph.D., associate professor and associate chair of the African & African American Studies Department and coordinator of the symposium. “I hope that by discussing these issues on all three campuses, we can assess where we are, where we would like to be and what we need to do to get there.”
The Fordham conference was an offshoot of a symposium sponsored by the Conference on Multicultural Affairs (CMA) of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) and held last summer. The CMA was established in 1981 to promote multicultural participation in policies and planning, to ensure access for students of color and raise awareness concerning the challenges that these students face.
During the Fordham conference, William J. Parente, Ph.D., a political science professor from the University of Scranton, shared his research on minority enrollment at the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. At Fordham, minorities comprised 21.6 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment during the 2001-2002 academic year, placing Fordham ninth among AJCU schools, according to Parente’s research. Although it ranked higher than most of its peers, Fordham is located in a city where 63.2 percent of the residents are minorities, he said.
Following Parente’s presentation, Rosemary Kilkenny, J.D., and Michael W. Smith, the director and associate director of the Affirmative Action Programs at Georgetown University, shared examples of successful programs at Georgetown that meet some of the objectives set forth by the CMA.
“Fordham is profoundly committed to diversity in the pursuit of our academic ideals,” said John Hollwitz, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs. “Those ideals require us to develop a campus community committed to nurturing the richness of backgrounds and perspectives so important to our mission as a Catholic and Jesuit university in the service of our students and of the societies which they will help to lead. This conference helped us to deepen our thinking about how best to continue that commitment.”
The symposium was sponsored by Fordham’s Conference on Multicultural Affairs and the Fordham College at Rose Hill Dean’s Faculty Task Force on Campus Culture. Follow-up meetings have been scheduled on all three Fordham campuses to continue the dialogue, Mangum said. Additional meetings will be held at all three campuses during the spring semester.
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