Caring for College

_TAR0070Caring. It is who we are. It is why we study. It is what we are hoping to do with our lives and what we will leave behind.

Caring gives us meaning, protects us from loneliness and drives us to achieve. Caring wakes us up in the night, pulls us apart and leaves us so tired that we don’t care anymore. Until we do.

As the philosopher Nel Noddings wrote, “It is clearly impossible to establish a caring relationship with everyone in the world.”* But where do you draw the line? If we care for loved ones, must we also care for neighbors we hardly know? If we care for a garden or a pet, must we care for all living things? And what about things? Is it time for spring cleaning? Is there dust under the rug?

Sometimes we care for a favorite place. We pick up stray wrappers from the lawn. This tree, this room, his view from the window are reassuring to us. Then again, when I am writing, I may forget to look out the window. It is already dark out and I never walked outside. How well do we care for ourselves?

In the Dominican tradition, we search for truth in all its dimensions. How do we care for the students and teachers and artists and scholars who are learning from one another, remembering the past and imagining the future? How do we care for ideas?

atrium_008I had a friend and mentor, a revered professor of social work, who seemed to care for everyone he met. He was very humble. He was approaching fifty when he decided to take up ballet. He wanted to empathize with his students by experiencing the difficulties of learning something new. “I can fake anything in words,” he told me, “but there is no faking ballet.”

So caring is the great challenge in returning to college– or perhaps the great challenge in living. How do we keep on caring for others, for the environment, for ourselves and for ideas? How do we find the time to play with our kids and to visit our parents and to celebrate the holidays and to shop for groceries and to do our homework and to pay attention to the news? Maybe the spring cleaning will wait this year.

*Nel Noddings, Caring: A Relational Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, 3rd ed. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2013), xiv.

lorrie-gardellaLorrie Gardella
Human Services
Vice President of Professional and Graduate Studies

Alumni Board of Governors: 2014 March Madness Challenge

1800408_686464788059584_1490749972_nVictor Ljuljdjuraj – Photo by Ron Waite.

Albertus Magnus College men’s basketball team certainly stirred up excitement this March with an amazing season. Head coach Mitch Oliver, senior Darius Watson and junior Victor Ljuljdjuraj have been recognized by as Oliver was named The 2014 All-Northeast Region Coach of the Year, while Watson and Ljuljdjuraj earned All-Northeast Region First Team and Fourth Team honors, respectively. Watson has also been named a 2014 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division III All-American. Watson, one of the Falcons’ three 2,000-point scorers in program history, has been named to the Division III All-America Second Team. With this honor, Watson becomes the second men’s basketball player in the Albertus Magnus program history to earn All-America honors; Ray Askew (2008-12) earned NABC Third Team recognition in 2012.

Net-9s_newthumb_newthumbHead Coach Mitch Oliver – Photo by Leyna Andren ’14.

The team itself produced its most successful season in program history, battling all the way into the NCAA Tournament ‘Sweet 16′; and finishing an impressive 2013-14 run with a 28-3 overall record, to tie a single-season record in victories.

3_B_newthumb Albertus Magnus senior women’s basketball player Lianna Carrero (left) has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division III Second Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA). This is the second-straight year in which Carrero has earned this distinguished honor. She has also been named a finalist for the 2014 Jostens Trophy, which is awarded to an outstanding NCAA Division III men’s and women’s basketball player who excels on the floor, in the classroom and in the community. In addition, she was named to the 2014 All-Northeast Regional Third Team and GNAC Player of the Year.

As you can see, in the past few weeks we have seen our future alumni and current student- athletes earn regional and national recognition for their work in the classroom and on the court. Because we, as the Alumni Board, believe in Albertus and are proud of these and many other students’ accomplishments, we wanted to find a way to engage other alumni in giving back.

Therefore, we introduced the March Madness Challenge. Alumni who make a gift to the College on or before March 31 will see their gift doubled by the Board: the Board will match dollar for dollar every gift received, up to $5,000. A gift of $25 = $50, $100 = $200! Your gift, of any amount, shows the students, our future alumni, that you, too, are invested in their future and you believe in an Albertus education.

So far we have raised more than $1,200 = $2,400! There is still time to participate and an opportunity to win great Albertus prizes. Follow The Challenge on Facebook and Twitter or make a gift today.

Albertus was a great experience for me, and will always be one that I can look back on fondly. Giving to Albertus is as simple as thinking back to the good times, and hoping someone else can look back at their undergraduate experience as I do. It’s not about how much you give, but that you do.

Pedro Suncar, March Madness Blog PhotoPedro J. Süncar Jr.

The Experiential Experience

ELD2013SMall-32Before coming to Albertus Magnus I had never heard the term “Experiential Learning.” Truth be told I wasn’t even sure I heard people correctly when they used the word “experiential.” Many people around campus confuse the word with “experimental” so I was a bit apprehensive when I was required to attend Experiential Learning Day (ELD) my freshman year. I soon learned that experiential learning is learning by doing and includes direct experiences outside of a traditional academic setting. During ELD students present their accomplishments in curricular and co-curricular activities. Experiential learning takes many forms at Albertus Magnus including practica and internship, service-learning, independent scholarship, research and student teaching.

ELD2013SMall-107At my first ELD in 2011, I attended a presentation on “Discovering the Real Dominican Republic.” During the talk the presenter shared her experiences interacting with Dominicans living below the poverty line. When you think about the Dominican Republic you think about beautiful beaches and a paradise oasis. In reality over 30% of the population lives in extreme poverty. I remember thinking how the idea of traveling in college is so important. This presentation was more influential than I could have ever expected   and came, into play when picking my classes for this semester.

I am now a second-semester junior and planning to go on a spring break, service-learning trip to Canada. The trip is a component of a service-learning across borders course I am currently taking. During our trip we will volunteer with five different agencies. When we return our class will present at this year’s ELD on March 26. The day’s events run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

ELD2013SMall-3ELD does not only showcase student’s volunteerism and study throughout the world. All types of presentations are welcome. Some students share their internship experiences with television programs like Entertainment Tonight and the Insider, while others share artwork and independent and faculty- mentored research projects dealing with issues such as transit racism, e-waste, Afghani art, healthcare in Peru, pharmacogenomics and market analysis. By sharing these experiences students learn from one another and think about opportunities and projects they may have never discovered on their own. Student presenters get to practice public speaking skills, learn how to prepare conference posters and gain valuable experience that can be put on their resumes.

ELD has become an influential part of the Albertus Magnus College experience. This year students will resent on topics such as a Habitat for Humanity build in Hawaii, a research practicum with the Yale School of Medicine section of Infectious Diseases, public education reform and recognizing the variables that impact intimacy within a relationship, to name a few. Professor Lisa Furman, associate professor of psychology in the Master of Arts in Art Therapy program, will offer a lecture on Ethical Considerations: Clients with Cognitive Degeneration in Art Therapy Research and Treatment. An art show, reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

For more information on experiential learning and other events planned this spring (Business Etiquette Dinner, Money Smart Week and the Veritas Learning Series) please visit us on the web at

Danielle - HeadshotDanielle Thuerling
Experiential Learning and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Intern
Communications major
Class of 2015