Teaching as an Act of Friendship

I had the wonderful privilege to listen to both of the talks that Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. gave at the College this month. In addition to being an incredibly warm and welcoming person, he is a tremendous speaker, with the innate talent to captivate his audience.

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Father Radcliffe has the unique and enviable ability to weave hilarious anecdotes throughout a serious discussion on God and religion in modern culture and classrooms. This manner of speaking draws the audience in, and he certainly had the rapt attention of every person in the room.

In addition to his astonishing speaking  skills, the content of those speeches is far more moving than the way in which the information is being delivered. Father Radcliffe’s talk titled “Teaching as an Act of Friendship”, struck a chord with me. This talk focused on how important it is for professors to form bonds with their students and teach them as equals, and create an atmosphere where the student does not feel as if they are lesser than the professor, but a friend on a journey with a skilled guide. For me, a very recent graduate of the College, this proclamation resembled the experience I had at Albertus with my professors. The atmosphere and learning conditions were such that I was never afraid to ask questions, challenge or debate on the material we we’re engaging.

After Father Radcliffe’s talk, a panel of faculty, including Dr. Deborah Frattini, director of the academic development center and associate professor, Dr. Patty Compagnone-Post, associate professor, Dr. Jeremiah Coffey, chair of the department of philosophy and religion, and Dr. Robert Bourgeois, assistant professor and director of the global studies program, had a chance to respond to the talk.  These responses were remarkable, for they each addressed the challenges of teaching religion or teaching alongside religion, currently, but they also discussed how, as professors they try to make lasting connections with their students and engage them not only with the material they are learning, but how and where that material fits into the big picture of the students’ lives. Dr. Frattini gave an inspiring and moving response of the challenges of teaching modern students but also spoke of the great rewards of such work, a sentiment that was wholeheartedly in line with the lecture of Father Radcliffe.

IMG_5887After two days of listening to Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., and particularly after hearing his lecture on teaching, the faculty panel’s response and Father Radcliffe’s discussion afterwards, I realized how lucky I am to have attended Albertus Magnus College and received this amazing liberal arts and Dominican education. This is a place where students and professors alike can work and learn together as the guide and the guided, not the all-knowing and know-nothing that is often found in so many other universities.

I would like to thank Father Timothy Radcliffe for coming to speak at the College, Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P. and President Julia M. McNamara for organizing this Aquinas Lecture Series, through the generosity of the Marie Louise Bianchi ’31 Fund. Also I would like to thank Albertus Magnus College for always ‘seeking truth in all its dimensions’ and providing its students with faculty that truly does see teaching as an act of friendship.

UQ6A1662Liz McGarry ’14, hails from North Haven, CT and graduated this spring with a bachelor’s in Marketing. In the Fall Liz will be attending Richmond, The American International University in London to pursue a master of arts in Advertising and Public Relations.

 

A Serviceable Spring Break

Over their recent Spring break, a group of Albertus Students and Alumni took part in “Service Learning: Across Borders” in Canada. Leyna Arden ’14 recalls her experience of the trip below.

A few semesters ago I had the privilege of taking one of Albertus Magnus’ service learning classes, “Literature of the Immigrant.” Because my experience during this class was incredible, I became interested in partaking in another Albertus service learning class, “Service Learning: Across Borders.” I knew from the start of the Across Borders class that I would be granted an irreplaceable experience; however, I would never have thought it would have had as strong an impact on me as it did.

P1000252The Across Borders students began their journey began with a twelve hour train ride to Montreal, Canada in order to spend their spring break volunteering with five non-profit organizations. Before the trip, we spent our classes learning about hardships and problematic situations that United States citizens face on a daily basis, and were encouraged to come up with solutions to these problems. Learning about these hardships and problems in depth and attempting to come up with solutions, gave each of us an understanding of what kinds of problems people face in other countries as well.

Volunteering with the five Canadian organizations brought us face-to-face with those same hardships and problematic situations that we learned about in depth facing people in the United States. I may be able to read and learn about other countries and people in school, but nothing will ever compare to actually going and experiencing what I have learned.

P1000320The Service Learning: Across Borders class, as well as the other service learning classes offered at Albertus are not just classes; they are hands-on knowledge and most importantly, they are experiences that sitting in a classroom sometimes does not give a student. The mission of Albertus has always been “to provide men and women with an education that promotes the search for truth”, and the school’s service learning classes do exactly that. Not only do these classes encourage students to take action in their communities, but they also encourage each student to be an active person in shaping the world.

The service learning classes enabled me to find out who I truly am, and to share my gifts and knowledge with the world. I do not think I will ever fully be able to express my gratitude for the opportunities I have been given, but I will be making it one of my life’s goals to at least try.Group Image

 

 

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Leyna Arden, graduated Albertus Magnus College summa cum laude May 2014, with a bachelor of arts in photography.

 

How to NOT Pay for College

Looking to find a way to cover your out-of-pocket school expenses? Interested in reducing your student loan debt? Sounds like you should start applying for scholarships.  Applying for scholarships sounds like it takes hard work, creativity and time, but these tips will help demystify the process.

Here are some “Do’s and Don’ts” for the scholarship application process:

Do: Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if you missed the institution’s priority deadline, you may not have missed the deadline for scholarships. Don’t miss out on free scholarship money.

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Do: Check in with the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office offers many resources and tools to find scholarship information and applications.  One primary source is a list that is regularly updated on the myAlbertus Portal.  Click the Financial Aid Services tab (top right side), next click the Alternative Financing link (left side), then a list of updated scholarships and the links will appear.  Scholarship information can also be found on the Financial Aid bulletin board and in the “Scholarship Book” in the Financial Aid Office.  Occasionally, Financial Aid Counselors will send emails to students who have been pre-screened to meet scholarship criteria.

Do: Check with your local clubs and organizations. Organizations such as The American Legion, Knights of Columbus, local Elks Club and Lions Club frequently offer scholarship opportunities. Each club or organization has its own selection criteria process.  Membership is not always required.resources and tools to find scholarship information and applications.  One primary source is a list that is regularly updated on the myAlbertus Portal.  Click the Financial Aid Services tab (top right side), next click the Alternative Financing link (left side), then a list of updated scholarships and the links will appear.  Scholarship information can also be found on the Financial Aid bulletin board and in the “Scholarship Book” in the Financial Aid Office.  Occasionally, Financial Aid Counselors will send emails to students who have been pre-screened to meet scholarship criteria.

Do: Check with your employer or parent’s employer. Many employers not only offer scholarships, but tuition remission, another means of financing your education without coming out of your pocket.

Do: Check social media sites. There are scholarships listed on Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and pretty much every other social media forum on the Web. Try to narrow your search by adding additional details (i.e. #Scholarship will bring up everything from news articles, to recipients, to blogs about scholarships; however, #AccountingScholarships narrows the search dramatically).

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Do: Search the Web. Think regionally in your search not just locally; searching “New

Haven County Scholarships” or “New England Scholarships” broadens your opportunities and will allow you to find some overlooked and potentially lucrative scholarships.

Do: Use free scholarship search services. Sites like Fastweb.com and ScholarshipExperts.com may take 15 minutes to complete a profile, but cut down on the time spent searching and allow you to get to the important part, APPLYING.

Do: Have fun with it! Not all scholarships are serious. A search of weird or obscure scholarships will result in a ton of interesting topics and fun applications. ScholarshipExperts.com offers a “Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship,” a “Superpower Scholarship” and a “Make me Laugh Scholarship” to just name a few.

Don’t: Ignore deadlines. You don’t want to miss out on any free scholarship money.

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Don’t: Give out your bank account or credit card information. Do not proceed with the application unless you are 100% sure the organization is legitimate.

Don’t: Pay a scholarship application fee. College is expensive enough. Save your money for books and other educational expenses.

Don’t: Give in to anything branded as “limited time offer” or “exclusive opportunity.” These are high-pressured sales tactics which could end up being misleading.

DON’T FORGET: Stop in or call anytime. We’re here to help point you in the right direction.