Category Archives: Events

4 Days, 40 sessions: FYE’s new Digital and Information Skills week

This year, for the first time, first-year students at Stonehill have participated in a Digital and Information Skills orientation in the MacPhaidin Library as part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program.

Senior and FYE co-faciltator Cassidy Ballard ’18, writes “I think that the most beneficial part of the program was the wide variety of information presented to the students. It often takes Stonehill students a year or more to figure out all of the information that was presented at the FYE program on their own. This way, the students know what resources are available to them at the beginning of their Stonehill careers.”

From September 19th to September 22nd, the 40 sections of FYE visited the Library for an introduction from Information Technology, the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement, and the Library. Moving through the first floor in groups of nine, students spent half of their 75-minute class session in the DisCo learning about IT systems, then spent the other half at five CWAA and Library stations to introduce them to the array of people and resources available to support their writing and research.

83% of FYE Instructors and Co-facilitators surveyed “strongly agreed” that the information included in the program was valuable, and 92% of students either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” with this statement. We plan to include a question in our annual student survey at the start of spring semester that will ask first-year students whether they used any of program’s information or skills during their first semester.

“Our overarching goal for the program,” says Liz Chase, Head of Collections, Assessment, and User Engagement, “is that if they remember nothing else, students remember that there are friendly, welcoming people in the Library, CWAA, and IT who can help them find the answers to their questions and be successful in their classes.”

Students who participated in the session were introduced to:

IT Learning Stations

  • Searching email: how to find lost emails from your Professors and Staff
  • How to save to OneDrive: how to never lose your work the night before a paper is due
  • Creating folders within OneDrive: save time for the next four years by organizing your assignments by semester and class
  • Editing the my courses module in eLearn: save time by making sure your current classes are front and center
  • Where do you find the answers to your questions? Learn how to access the Knowledgebase & training resources for answers to all your IT questions

Library Learning Stations

  • Learn where in the Library to get research and IT help.
  • Have a paper or project coming up? Need a quiet place to work? Need help getting started? Learn how to book study rooms AND librarians for consultations.
  • It’s not the Dewey Decimal System: Learn how Library of Congress classifications works so you can find the books you need for class and get them checked out.
  • Don’t pay for that article! You already paid your tuition bill, don’t let a paywall in Google Scholar stop you. Find out how to access peer-reviewed and empirical articles for FREE.

CWAA Learning Station

  • Learn about the services offered by the CWAA, where and when to get subject-specific tutoring, and how to book tutoring appointments.

Residence Director Bridget O’Brien noted that “I think this was truly important for our students, and precisely the kind of work that FYE should be doing. I especially commend how active the presentations are, and how they involved students in finding their own information, not passively banking knowledge.”

From the FYE instructors:

“I loved that it was interactive.”

“As an FYE Instructor, I learned a lot!”

“I think that this was a really great, informative program. I wish it was available my freshman year because I know I would have found the information helpful and relevant.”

From the students:

“I thought it was extremely helpful”

“Thought it was very interactive and informative!”

“I liked it.”

We liked it too! Though we were exhausted after delivering our presentations 80 times in 4 days, we hope that first year students will benefit from having Library, CWAA, and IT information at their fingertips as we head into midterms!

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Liz Chase, If you’re a student and you’d like to set up a one-on-one consultation or learn more, please visit the following:

The Human Library at Stonehill

A reader listens to Bonnie Troupe, a Human Library Book.

A Reader listens to Bonnie Troupe, a Human Library Book.

On Thursday, October 27th, the MacPhaidin Library hosted its first Human Library event. We had fifteen Books who were ready to speak on topics ranging from the current election and our civic duty to vote to first-generation college students’ experiences to being an immigrant to gender-based violence to experiences of being LGBTQ and POC and many more. Each Book was a member of the Stonehill Community who volunteered to share their personal experiences with Readers who came in for cookies and conversation.



Thank you to our Books!
Constanza Cabello
Cheryl McGrath
Liz Chase
Joe Favazza
Patrick Hale
Cheryl Brigante
Jungyun Gill
Andrew Leahy
Bonnie Troupe
Katie Brenner
Daniel Osmani
Nicole Ambrosecchio
Phyllis Thompson
Lizzie Riley
Peter Beisheim


Created in 2000 by the Danish youth organization Stop The Violence, the Human Library program is now active on five continents, where it enables individuals to “establish a safe conversational space, where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered. … It was developed to challenge societal prejudices wherever and for whatever reasons they occur, and to help people form a better understanding of those with whom they share their communities.”

Brain Drives, Climate Change, and Doing Good: A Neurosurgeon’s Dilemma

Stonehill is celebrating the second year of the Growing Climate Justice at Stonehill Initiative showcasing different events focusing on justice and the climate. Building on last year’s success, 2016-2017 will feature more thought-provoking speakers and events. The first event of the Fall will be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 PM in the Martin Institute. There will be a public lecture entitled “Brain Drives, Climate Change, and Doing Good: A Neurosurgeon’s Dilemma” by Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime, the Nicholas T. Zervas Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School.

As part of the Growing Climate Justice at Stonehill Initiative. Dr. Duhaime’s talk should give us better insight into how our brains can thwart our efforts at climate change. Senior Neuroscience major, Nicole Pirro ’17 explains:

“Thursday’s talk by Dr. Anne-Christine Duhaime should be extremely interesting as it will explain three different items of discussion and why this could be an obstacle for a Neurosurgeon. In previous talks that can be viewed online, Dr. Duhaime has taken the big picture and broken it down so students and faculty of other disciplines will easily understand the point that she is trying to get across. The human brain has evolved to respond quickly to certain stimuli in order to stay alive. Therefore, our brains are not wired to think about large, slow moving threats such as climate change. However, the human brain does work with a reward system that will affect how one behaves. I’m eager to see how Dr. Duhaime will connect and explain the relationships between brain drive, climate change and doing good with Neuroscience and relevant research.”

For more information about this, and other Climate Justice events on campus, visit the Climate Justice page at

The Human Library is Coming to Stonehill, and We’re Looking for Volunteer “Books”!

The Human LibraryAre you a single parent? LGBTQ+? Holy Cross Priest? Athiest? Police Officer? Immigrant? Would you be interested in talking about your experiences in a safe space? The Human Library is coming to Stonehill, and we’re looking for volunteer “books”!

Created in 2000 by the Danish youth organization Stop The Violence, the Human Library program is now active on five continents, where it enables individuals to “establish a safe conversational space, where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered. … It was developed to challenge societal prejudices wherever and for whatever reasons they occur, and to help people form a better understanding of those with whom they share their communities.”

We are seeking volunteers to be our “books.” Our Human Library event will take place on Thursday, October 27, from 1pm-4pm in the MacPhaidin Library. When you participate in the Human Library, you are available to be taken out on loan for thirty-minute conversations intended to challenge prejudice. Human Books are individuals who have experienced discrimination based on their race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, religion, or other aspects of their identity. Human Books choose titles that reflect the identity and experience they are open to discussing, “in order to challenge the Reader to reflect on the stigmatization that occurs.”

Can I be a book?

We invite volunteers who have experienced hardship or discrimination in some aspect of their lives to be our books, to challenge our community to have open, honest discussions about individuals’ lived experiences. Want to volunteer? Sign up here.

What titles make for “good” books?

Titles are simple and straightforward, so that Readers understand what topic you are available to discuss. Examples could include: Bipolar, Muslim, Eating Disorder, Transgender, African American, Recovering alcoholic, Single parent, First generation student, Police Officer, Athiest, Disabled, Immigrant, Activist. If you have a topic you’d like to propose but are uncertain about its relevance, please contact us! You can use the online form here.

How many books do you need?

As many as we can get!

Who do I contact to participate?

Contact, 508-565-1203 to volunteer to be a “book”!  Or fill out our form. We will also be sending out details on how to participate as a Reader closer to the date for our Human Library event.

What’s Up Thursdays

Black Lives Matter

Photo by 5chw4r7z

Are you involved looking for a space to process social justice issues and what they mean to you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by or unsure about current events? Or are you seeking ways to deepen your engagement with social justice issues and the questions they raise? Whether you are involved in issues of social justice, diversity, and inclusion at the personal level, within the Stonehill community, or more broadly, we invite you to join us for “What’s Up Thursdays – A Community Conversation.”

Over the summer, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Mission came together to create this bi-weekly brown back lunch series as a time for our community to deepen dialogue and reflect on national occurrences.  Vice President for Student Affairs Pauline Dobrowski notes that “with everything going on in our world, it is important that we take time to come together as a community to reflect, share perspectives, and discuss the impact of events on ourselves and our campus.  While these can be difficult conversations, we’ve found that providing a safe space in which folks can process and dialogue is critical.”

Through our conversations we seek to:

  • Deepen dialogue and reflection about occurrences surrounding issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice
  • Develop space to join in community to process the events and the impact on self, others, and community
  • Provide support and resources for our community to engage in ongoing reflective and processing practices

Senior Melissa Mardo ’17 writes: “I have been going to What’s Up Thursdays since the summer because it provides a space on campus to engage in dialogue around real world issues and current events. Not everyone at Stonehill is eager to talk about these issues, so it’s nice going to What’s Up knowing that while people may feel differently than myself about these issues, we all want to have these conversations together. IT can be hard to process what’s going on in the news when you have to focus on class readings and club meetings, so I am thankful that Stonehill carves time out of the academic schedule to say ‘come take the time and let’s talk about this as a community.’”

What should I expect?

Each conversation will begin with introductory questions and reflection, before moving into a deeper engagement with that week’s topic. You are encouraged to listen, reflect, and participate as much as you are comfortable. Many of these conversations will have moments that make us uncomfortable or challenge us to reflect on our experiences in new ways; these difficult conversations are central to our community’s critical engagement with social justice issues.

During the Fall Semester, conversations will take place at noon in the DisCo, MacPhaidin Library, on the following dates:

  • Sept. 15
  • Sept. 29
  • Oct. 13
  • Oct. 27
  • Nov 10
  • Dec 1

Feel free to drop in, bring your lunch, and be prepared to dialogue on the topic of the week!

Looking for more resources?

If you’d like to read more about the social justice and the issues covered by national news media this summer, consider checking out these books:


You can check out a 2015 speech by Dr. Jaime Washington, titled “Defining Moments: Black, Christian and Gay – A Life of Learning, Healing, Growth and Change” here.

If you have any questions about the “What’s Up Thursdays” program, please contact Connie Cabello, Director of Intercultural Affairs,, 508.565.1411

April is National Poetry Month

Snap a Selfie! (and/or) Write a Selfie Poem!

sel bd 2

Celebrate National Poetry month with the library by writing a Selfie Poem.
– Begins April 1st and runs through the end of the month.
– Complete the form in the library and/or snap a selfie, drop it in the submission box at the Circulation Desk, email your submission to, post it to the MacPhaidin Library’s Facebook page, or tag it on Instagram with #stonehillselfie for a chance to be featured.
– Be creative! Use words, sentences, or phrases (it’s an acrostic!)

#bannedbooksweek contest

Sue ConantInstagram and the American Library Association (ALA) are celebrating Banned Books Week during the week of September 27-October 3.

According to the ALA, “Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”

You can see a list of frequently banned books here or read about one recent challenge brought against The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a nonfiction book written by Rebecca Skloot.

The MacPhaidin Library is hosting a Banned Books Week contest on our Instagram account, @macphaidinlibrary. Take a picture of yourself with your favorite banned book and post it with the hashtag #bannedbooksweek, and don’t forget to tag @macphaidinlibrary! The picture with the most likes at the end of the week will win a $20 giftcard to Dunkin Donuts!

Follow @macphaidinlibrary so that you can see some of our staff with their favorite banned books over the course of the week!


Growing Climate Justice at Stonehill

Growing Climate JusticeThis fall Stonehill is embarking on a college-wide grassroots initiative—provisionally named Growing Climate Justice at Stonehill—to dedicate the next two academic years to a college-wide focus on Justice and the Environment. A small ad-hoc group has begun the planning process,but more input is welcome.

The idea for Growing Climate Justice at Stonehill arose from a conjunction of three timely factors with the College’s mission to ensure that “each Stonehill graduate thinks, acts, and leads with courage toward the creation of a more just and compassionate world.”

A number of faculty in Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, Biology and Chemistry realized they were all teaching courses touching on environmental justice.

Thanks to a Davis Foundation Campuses for Environmental Stewardship grant, five faculty are linking course content with the Farm at Stonehill.

The Carole Calo Gallery is having a student curated exhibition in November/December on themes of environmental awareness, stewardship, and green perspectives.

To provide greater access and awareness of Climate Justice news and issues, the library has created a resource page to compile information about this initiative and its events on campus. Visit the library’s Climate Justice LibGuide to find films, books, articles and newsfeeds on the topic. The LibGuide has information about upcoming events and speakers.

For More information or to add your input contact any member of the ad-hoc group. Mary Joan Leith, Pete Beisheim, Chris Ives, John Lanci, Sue Mooney, Bridget Meigs (Stonehill Farm), Fr. Jim Lies, C.S.C, . Craig Almeida, Marie Kelly, Geoff Smith (Web site)

written by Heather Perry

Interrupting Racism: A Student Perspective

anikaOn Thursday, February 12th at 4pm, Anika Nailah will lead “Interrupting Racism: What do YOU have the power to do?” Her work teaches us how to become more thoughtful and intentional community members and speak up against instances of racism. “Using performance, images, and guided activity, Anika will share her journey across the USA to interrupt racism via the National Liberation Poetry Tour Experience.” In preparation for Ms. Nailah’s program, we asked Chanel Mazzone ’16, to write a piece on her own perspective on what it means to “interrupt racism.”

Interrupting Racism, by Chanel Mazzone ’16

As members of the Stonehill Community, which finds its values deeply rooted in the Congregation of the Holy Cross, it is our mission to uphold certain beliefs such as our calling to create “a more just and compassionate world”. In light of recent media news (i.e. the death of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others like him), I find it to be undeniable that racism still exists and is detrimental to society as a whole. We must become more aware of what our own actions are that may contribute to racial injustices if we are committed to bringing about a more just and compassionate world.

Essential to interrupting racism is recognizing it in the form of racial microaggressions. Microaggressions are defined as slights, snubs, or insults, intentional or unintentional, that convey negative attitudes to people based on their racial identity. They are a huge source of racial injustice today. The assumption that a student may have been offered a scholarship based solely on their racial background is an example of a familiar microaggression directed towards students of color. To interrupt racism, we must first consider our daily interactions. How might we be practicing harmful behaviors, like microaggressions, that put down or deliberately exclude a certain racial identity? These are questions we need to ask ourselves throughout the day – whether it is in conversation, through our body language, or in our social media comments. To create this just world, we must think before we tweet, speak, or even, yak. We must actively think about what identity we may be excluding or speaking negatively about and inspire others to do the same. Once we can recognize this then we can be “upstanders”, unafraid to educate and inspire others live in accordance with their professed values.

Imagine what our world would look like if everyone was more cognizant of their words and actions and insisted on that standard in their relationships. At Stonehill, we must not be bystanders, but courageous and aware members of the community. A more just and compassionate world begins with us.

If you are interested in learning more about Anika Nailah, visit her website. For more on interrupting racism, consider checking out a book such as this one, or videos such as Taking a stance against racism and discrimination, available from the Library.

Faculty Perspective: James Bohn on Researching in the Disney Archives

For the past five years I have been working on a book about music in animated features from the first three decades of the Disney Studio. One of the most significant challenges of my research has been getting access to primary documents. While most studios are very protective of their intellectual property, they are not very good at preserving it. Fortunately, a little over a year ago, after much persistence on my behalf, I finally received permission from Disney Enterprises to do research at the Disney Archives. Happily, I was able to travel to beautiful downtown Burbank this past August to do research for my forthcoming book.


One of my goals was to unearth more detail about the careers of some of the earliest composers who were resident at the Studio. To that end, I was able to peruse four issues of the Mickey Mouse Melodeon (1932-33), the Studio’s earliest employee newsletter. This newsletter was largely written by Walt Disney’s personal secretary, Carolyn Kaye Shafer.


Fortunately for researchers, Walt Disney was notoriously fond of documentation. The filmmaker typically had transcripts made of story meetings, storyboard meetings, and sweatbox sessions. Animation tests were shown at sweatbox sessions, which were so called because of the tremendous heat of the unventilated room in which they were shown, as well as that the animators’ work was under great scrutiny from Walt during these sessions. Since music was an intrinsic part of these films, the Studio’s composers were typically in attendance at such meetings.

During my research session, I was able to look at selected meeting transcripts from Bambi, Lady & the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty. The transcripts from Sleeping Beauty are notable due to the inclusion of an earlier composer assigned to the project, Walter Schumann. Schumann was fired from the project and none of his music made its way into the film. Walt’s frustration with the composer is palpable in the meeting notes.

I was also able to spend time doing research at the Disney Music group, which is also in residence at the Studio. The Disney Music group has been actively scanning scores. So while I was not able to do any hands on research of original documents, they made numerous scans of scores available to me. I spent most of my time looking at various drafts of scores for early shorts (1928-1937), as the authorship for the soundtracks to many of the Studio’s early shorts is not firmly established. By looking at the music manuscript I was able to form more of a time line of who likely created various drafts of a number of scores.

Most Hollywood studios are not concerned with documenting the film making process, let alone with preserving such records. Furthermore, most studios have thrown entire libraries of musical scores into landfills. Disney, through their archives, offers scholars a unique opportunity to investigate the creative process from story treatment through completed film.