The Latest Campus News

October 19, 2016
by Summit

Stonehill students take a stand against dating violence

By Sarah Crespo

Ashley Bendiksen never thought that the title of “domestic violence survivor” would be given to her after her two-year relationship when she was in college.

“1 in 3 young adults ages 16-24 report at least one abusive relationship,” Bendiksen said.

The Stonehill community recognized the week of Oct. 3 as “The Week of Domestic Violence Prevention” in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

To begin the week, a domestic violence panel invited the Stonehill community to join the conversation against dating violence and bring awareness about available resources on and off campus.

Ashley Bendiksen, now a career coach, spoke to students about her struggle with relationship abuse in college and her journey to recovery.

Bendiksen said that while she was in her relationship, she didn’t realize she was a victim because of her lack of knowledge about domestic abuse.

“I was chasing security, love and jumping into relationships,” she said.

Domestic violence can be verbal, emotional, psychological, physical, or financial.

“Statistically, it takes a battered women 9 attempts to leave,” Bendiksen said.

Bendiksen said that although her abuse wasn’t always physical, domestic violence occurs with an imbalance of power and implication of fear.

Health and Wellness Coordinator Jessica Greene,said she chose Bendiksen’s story because of the age similarity with Stonehill students.

“We wanted to raise awareness that this does actually happen to people of all ages,” Greene said. “It can happen at a young age.”

The panel also included representatives from Counseling Services and The Family and Community Resources in Brockton.

Counseling Services is located in the Chapel of Mary and offers confidential counseling to students, Monday through Friday by appointment.

The Family and Community Resources in Brockton is also open to Stonehill students and offers a Batterers Intervention Program.

“Everyday at least three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S.,” Bendiksen said, reading a 2013 domestic violence statistic.

Jessica Greene said that she organized the panel hoping to encourage those who may need help to seek it.

“Dating violence does affect our students,” Greene said. “We wanted to raise awareness, raise red flags, and connect those who need it with resources.”

“I was able to change my life and I never thought I could,” Bendiksen said. “We need to break the silence and talk about it.”

The Week of Domestic Violence Prevention also offered students the opportunity to participate in Bystander Intervention Training, One Love: Dating Violence Training and a Domestic Violence Resource Fair.

Students were also encouraged to take part in the Purple Tie Campaign and the White Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness and pledge to end domestic violence.

October 19, 2016
by Summit

Fundraiser brings Wetzel Fundraising Committee closer to goal

By Amy McKeever

Nearly $4,000 was raised by Stonehill students, faculty and alumni to help offset the medical and other expenses incurred by Professor Christopher Wetzel, who suffered serious injuries in an accident this summer.

More than 100 people gathered outside the Martin Institute Oct. 5 for the Chirs Wetzel Fundraising and Gathering Event hosted by The Wetzel Fundraising Committee.

“The turnout here is great,” junior Linsey Malia said. “There’s lots of faculty and students here having a good time.”

As people snacked on sandwiches, fruit and other items, Professor Corey Dolgen and Bridget Meigs, who runs the farm, entertained the group by strumming guitars and singing.

“Atmosphere,” Junior Madison McGlone said.

McGlone said she is very close to Wetzel. As his advisee, she had signed up to take two classes with him this semester.

“I was really looking forward to the classes with Professor Wetzel, but they have been taken over by alum, who are doing a great job,” she said.

Two months ago, Wetzel had to be airlifted off a mountain after receiving serious head injuries from a 50-foot fall.

Considering the turnout from every department, McGlone said the fundraiser really highlighted the fact that Wetzel makes connections inside and outside of the classroom.

“It shows that he is a person of the community as a whole,” she said.

Committee member Melissa Mardo ‘17 said the fundraiser was the first of many. In the future, they hope to reach out to alums in the Boston area to get at home care for Wetzel. As of Monday, the committee was within $386 of the goal of $25,000.

Mardo said she considers Wetzel to be one of her best friends.

“He is a visionary,” she said. “He’s always wanting to see a lot of change and support of student’s ideas.”

Malia said she decided to attend the fundraiser when she remembered first meeting Wetzel at orientation and through the Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program.

“His vibe and enthusiasm stood out to me and I wanted to come out and support him,” she said.

Malia also had a message for Wetzel.

“I think I speak for Stonehill when I say that we are excited and ready to have him back on campus,” she said.

To donate to Professor Wetzel visit

October 19, 2016
by Summit

Stonehill College celebrates the first ever PRIDE week

By Sarah Crespo

Stonehill College celebrated the first ever Stonehill PRIDE Week Oct. 17- Oct. 21.

With LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day in October, Assistant Director of Intercultural Affairs, Patrick Hale said he wanted to bring a PRIDE celebration to campus.

“There has been overwhelming support and enthusiasm,” Hale said. “People are happy this conversation is happening. It speaks for the need of it.”

All members of the Stonehill community were asked to join together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters.

The Office of Intercultural Affairs worked with the Student Government Association Diversity Committee and the Stonehill PRIDE Week Committee in order to celebrate and honor members of the Stonehill community who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and any other underrepresented sexuality and gender identity.

Patrick Hale said he hoped this week would affirm and recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community and provide a space for them to connect with allies.

The PRIDE celebration kicked off on Monday Oct. 17, with a rally on the quad encouraging students, faculty and staff to share remarks and celebrate with rainbow pins and flags.

The celebration continued on Monday and Tuesday night by featuring two films that help raise awareness and knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community.

The films, “Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case that Made History” and “The Normal Heart,” were shown in order to create conversations about the treatment and support for these individuals at Stonehill.

Wednesday at 5 p.m. the college will offer a LGBTQ+ Faculty, Staff and Student Mixer open to the entire campus to help inform the community and connect with allies.

Thursday at 7 p.m., the Coming Out Stories Panel will feature faculty, staff and students who are members of the LGBT community telling their stories and answering questions.

Stonehill’s PRIDE week will conclude with a closing parade on Friday where students are encouraged to make signs and walk through campus celebrating PRIDE Week.

In addition to PRIDE Week, Stonehill also offered a Safe Zone Workshop on Tuesday to help educate members of the Stonehill community on the experiences of LGBTQ+ community in order to help them serve as allies.

Patrick Hale said he hopes that PRIDE Week will become a tradition on Stonehill’s campus.

“The Intercultural Affairs Office hopes to increase the support for the LGBTQ+ community by increasing online resources and sharing those resources with allies,” Hale said.

In addition to PRIDE Week, Oct. 27 the college will offer a Trans101 Workshop to give the community a better understanding of the language, history and data of trans students and those who choose to not identify as a gender.

October 19, 2016
by Summit

Stonehill sophomore releases first original album

By Tess Wilensky

Sophomore Lauren King released her first original album Oct. 9 as her first step into a professional music career.

The folk-pop album, titled “Don’t Look Her in the Eye,” illustrates a theme of endurance. It entails stories of being hurt and using that hurt to learn and grow stronger as an individual.

King said she chose the title to reflect the pain that people experience throughout their lives.

King gives credit to her hometown, Smithfield, RI for encouraging her interest in music. She started voice and guitar lessons at age nine and gained recognition over time. She was asked to be a part of recitals, which then turned into steady gigs at restaurants by the time she reached high school.

“A lot of times it’s my dad” King said. “We’ll chat about things going on in our lives and if I say something that makes him laugh or interested in what I’m saying, he’ll say ‘you need to write that down, great song idea.’”

King said it took her six months to put the album together, though she has been working on the songs themselves for years.

“I would constantly be trying to change the songs to make them better” King said. “It was easy to get lost in the clutter of my mind because I would be trying to make some songs, while also trying to move on to new ones.”

She said her favorite song on the album is “My Own Hero.” The latest track to make it on to the album, King knew it would add a great dynamic. She describes the song as “Mumford and Sons-y,” having more attitude and sass than other songs featured on the album.

“It represents who I am in many ways, more than just one angle of a story,” King said.

King, a double major in Music and Philosophy, received immense support from the Stonehill community. The track “Keep Marching On” features Stonehill sophomore Mackenzie Lachkey singing background vocals.

“Experiencing this with her made me so incredibly proud to call her one of my best friends,” Lachkey said.

Sophomore Ian Cornelius said supporting King was second nature.

“When I could see how passionate she was about this project from the beginning, she gained my immediate support,” Cornelius said.

Several copies of the album have already been sold, two of which were bought by Lachkey and Cornelius.

“I almost always have one of her songs stuck in my head” Lachkey says.

King’s manager, Steve Smith, has been with her since she was 13. She said he is a source of assurance whenever she feels anxious about the album.

King’s album is available in physical copies for $10 on or through direct contact with Lauren King at

The album was submitted to iTunes and Spotify on Oct. 10, and is in the process of being registered through those organizations. The album should be available online in coming weeks.

September 29, 2016
by Summit

New Digital Innovation Lab stimulates technology education

By Amy Szablak

The MacPhaidin Library isn’t just a space for studying anymore.  Starting in October, students will be able to create podcasts, webpages, and more in the new Digital Innovation Lab.

Located in room 106, the Digital Innovation Lab will feature computers, a projector, and recording technology for students to use.

The Global Struggle for Female Education Learning Community and an Honors Learning Community will be using the digital lab throughout the semester for class projects.  These classes will work on projects such as creating podcasts.

“I believe that working with the digital lab to design and teach our course makes the integration of digital learning much more effective, for both professors and students,” said Professor Karen Teoh, who is co-teaching the Global Struggle for Female Education Learning Community. “Because we’re working closely with the director of the digital lab on prioritizing which online tools to use, how to structure digital assignments, and to ensure that students have the technological support they need, we have a customized plan that fits the pedagogical needs of our course.”

Professor Scott Cohen, director of the Digital Innovation Lab, said the new lab will help students and faculty learn more about technology.

“It is a great opportunity to bring students behind the curtain of digital projects and give them access to guts of server management and website management,” Cohen said.

The digital lab was created because Stonehill faculty members wanted a space to collaborate on how to integrate technology in the classroom.

“We’re using the term ‘lab’ because we are trying new things and reporting if we want to do them on a larger scale or not,” Cohen said.

The lab is aimed at faculty development, curricular innovations, cross-disciplinary research, and online excellence.  The lab is not a service or IT help center.  Instead, it is a place for students and faculty to network, collaborate, create projects together, and learn about technology, he said.

“Stonehill offers a very personalized education and that’s one of the important values of the college,” Cohen said.  “There are so many different approaches to teaching with classroom and we want to personalize these technologies to make them fit each faculty members’ needs.”

Cohen said the lab will allow students and faculty to experiment with technology and learn together.

“We want to work on demystifying technology,” said Cheryl McGrath, director of the library.  “It’s about not giving up and being resilient and realizing that it’s just a matter of play.  We want to give students the ability to have a critical eye with technology.”

The lab will also give students the tools to create their own web domain.

“It will be a tremendous advantage for a student to go into the job market having the separate web skills to be able to update a website,” McGrath said.

In addition to the lab’s technological opportunities, Cohen is also in the process of interviewing students for the Digital Fellows portion of the space.

Digital Fellows are students nominated by faculty to work in the digital lab as work-study positions.  Cohen hopes to have the fellows be available to help students next semester.

“The fellows are from all different majors and disciplines,” he said.  “For example, if a student needs help making a PowerPoint, they could get help from a Digital Fellow that is a Graphic Design major.”

Cohen and McGrath said they hope students will enjoy the digital lab.

“I want people to now that it’s okay to fail in this space, and that we can work with students and learn from our projects in this space,” McGrath said.  “That’s the most important thing for faculty.  We are here to keep pushing students and be supportive and help with their accomplishments.  The lab will let us do this with students’ relationships with technology.”

The lab will be open for students and faculty during library hours, and when classes aren’t using it.  The official grand opening will be in January.

More information on the digital lab can be obtained by emailing

September 28, 2016
by Summit

Fresh Check Day encourages conversation on mental health


By Sarah Crespo

Students enjoying food, animals and time each other filled the quad Sept. 24, while discussing mental health on campus.

Stonehill College held a Fresh Check Day Saturday to give students the opportunity to learn techniques and resources to improve general well being.

Senior Trisha Donadio said the day was important in uniting and understanding the Stonehill community.

“This day reinforces that people aren’t alone in their personal struggles and offers support by talking about them,” she said.

Led by the Health and Wellness office, Fresh Check Day featured interactive booths of student clubs and campus resources to help students learn more about wellness issues and services on campus.

Senior Taylor Vigneault represented the Health@thehill booth, which highlighted the reasons people have to stay alive.

“It was great to see everyone’s index cards with reasons like ‘friends and family,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘to finish my favorite Netflix series’ and ‘to change someone’s life for the better,’” she said. “Seeing them all hanging up really emphasized all the good we have in this world that may not always seem good.”

Students were also encouraged to relax with baby farm animals, puppies, massages, food, music, lawn games, stress balls, and inspirational and informative activities including taking pledges against sexual assault and to help with suicide prevention.

Junior John Irving said he enjoyed learning about the effects of alcohol from a neuroscience perspective.

“The alcohol table was informative and putting the drunk goggles on was an interesting experience,” he said.

Other booths at Fresh Check Day included Health Services, Recreational Sports and Counseling Services as well as student run booths focused on healthy eating, and increasing positive self-esteem.

Students were given the chance to get their flu shot, talk to counselors, and take informational handouts during the event as well as express their personal opinions on the issues and engage in a community discussion.
Senior Allie Smith said she appreciated seeing students engage in conversations about suicide prevention, alcohol and other drugs and the ItsOnUs initiative.

“The thing I enjoyed most about the day was watching students coming together in support of very important topics of discussion and learning no only here on campus but in life,” Smith said.

September 28, 2016
by Summit

Faculty, staff come together for ALICE Training


By Amy McKeever

Campus police pushed Stonehill faculty and staff out of their comfort zone for ALICE Training Sept. 23 in Merkert-Tracy.

ALICE Training is a program that Stonehill adopted in preparation for a possible active shooter incident on campus.

Sergeant David Wordell said the training is all about empowering people to know what to do in this type of emergency situation.

“We want everyone to get out of the ‘sitting duck, mentality,” he said. “I don’t want them to be complacent.”

He said it is important to do this kind of training after the bomb threat last year, which changed Stonehill’s thought process regarding potential threats.

Campus Police started the training around Stonehill in May and plan to train the entire campus, including students. The training in Merkert-Tracy consisted of a main presentation and three acted-out scenarios with debriefing meetings in between each.

Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Aine McAllister said being forced to talk about uncomfortable things is good for the campus.

“Also of people learn by doing and seeing, so people can take away a lot from this training,” McAllister said.

She said she recommends everyone to go through the training.

Merkert-Tracy was the sixth building on campus to complete the training. Others trained have been Shields Science Center, Martin Institute, Stanger, Duffy and Holy Cross Center.

September 14, 2016
by Summit

Stonehill students start soccer club team

By Erika Sasso

Exciting things are happening on campus this semester, including the formation of a brand new club soccer team led by juniors Jon Letourneau, Kojo Ansah and David Sawyer.

The three captains have all played soccer at some competitive level in the past and wanted to find a way to be back on an actual team, which brought about idea of the creation of a Stonehill club soccer team.

Ansah and Sawyer have worked closely with the Athletic Department to start up the team. They currently have about 30 players signed up. Those signed up are interested in being a part of the team throughout the year and have already started playing pick-up games together.

Although they are not sure yet if there is a certain ratio that needs to be met in order to be considered a co-ed club, there is a variety of both boys and girls interested in participating.

“Our goal is to let every- one who wants to play have the chance to play and at the moment we have a handful of girls who want to play,” Letourneau said.

The three captains are currently planning on using the fall semester time to get organized and practice as a team; however, they want the club to be a year-round activity. They hope by next semester they will start to play in actual tournaments with other schools.

Letourneau, Ansah and Sawyer are excited to make their favorite pastime an activity they can participate in and play competitively in again.

“It’s unfortunate that Stonehill does not have an active club soccer team, so my hope is to expedite the process of creating the team,” Letourneau said.

“Stonehill had a club soccer team years ago and…we’ve been playing pick-up soccer once a week for a while during our time at Stonehill,” Sawyer said.

“With the incoming first- years, we found a large number of students interested in soccer. We figured with the interest we had, we could do something with this,” Sawyer said.

For any students looking to sign up for the team,
the captains are hosting an information session, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 120 of the Sports Complex. Additional information can be found on the groups Facebook page.

September 14, 2016
by Summit

Stonehill College ranked one of the ‘Best Colleges’

By Sarah Crespo

Stonehill College has once again been named one of the best institutions on two major ranking lists.

Stonehill was featured in the 2017 edition of “The 381 Best Colleges,” a guidebook for incoming first-years by The Princeton Review. The College also jumped up from No. 116 to No. 108 in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report’s National School Rankings.

Each year, The Princeton Review surveys students across the country to learn which colleges have the best academics, extracurricular activities, career placement, campus life and food in order to list the best institutions.

According to the 2017 U.S. News and World Report’s National School Ranking, Stonehill College jumped eight spots on the list of the National Liberal Arts Schools.

“Along with that ranking, we were included in the unranked list of A+ Colleges for B Students,” Associate Director of Communication and Media Relations Michael Shulanksy said.

Communication and Media Relations Director Martin McGovern credits Stonehill’s success to the hard work of its students, faculty and staff.

“We’re pleased to once again be featured as one of The Princeton Review’s best colleges and universities,” McGovern said. “While these rankings don’t fully represent the incredible work being done by our students, faculty and staff, they are a reminder that Stonehill continues to gain recognition regionally and nationally as an educational institution of exceptional quality.”

Many students were not surprised by Stonehill’s ranking and felt proud that the College was getting the recognition it deserved.

Junior Michael Young said that he is happy that Stonehill is being acknowledged for the hard work of its staff and students.

“The professors and administration have worked hard to make Stonehill a great place and they deserve the recognition,” Young said.

Sophomore Dallis Silvia thought of the ranking as just another way to love Stonehill.

“There are millions of reasons I’m proud to be
a Skyhawk and seeing Stonehill on the list of the Best Colleges gives me one more reason,” she said.

Stonehill College is known for much more than its beautiful campus. This school gives students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in life after college.

Senior Melanie Smeaton said that the relationships formed at Stonehill are what makes this college so beneficial for an undergraduate career.

“Stonehill College is a wonderful and welcoming community that embraces students in all forms of diversity and allow students endless experiences and opportunities to be successful in their lives,” she said.

“This school encourages independence while readily offering us all of the resources we need to be successful in the future,” Young said.

Alumni Matt Farrenkopf, Class of 2016, credits his Stonehill education to his new career at the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps.

“Stonehill will always be second to none, not just academically, but because
of their service and a student-first administration,” Farrenkopf said.

September 14, 2016
by Summit

Good news released regarding Professor Wetzel

By Amy McKeever

A sea of college students stands in silence. A soft prayer spoken over a microphone generates memories of a beloved professor in each students mind. A Sociology Professor, who guides students to achieve their future goals, now receives prayers for his own recovery from those same students.

Positive information has been released about Professor Chris Wetzel, who was seriously injured in a hiking accident in early August.

Wetzel is alert and stable after a Cranioplasty at Dartmouth Hitchock Medical Center, Michelle Sia said on the Chris Wetzel Updates Facebook page. Wetzel is now in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.

He recently passed a speech and swallow evaluation and is increasingly alert, according to an update on the Stonehill website. He has been improv- ing with three to four hours of physical therapy every day.

Wetzel is the Sociology and Criminology Department Chair at Stonehill College. He studies politics, culture and social movements with a focus on contemporary indigenous nations.

Junior Maggie Shellene said Wetzel’s presence is greatly missed this semester.

“It makes me sad that he’s not here,” Shellene said. “He always brings energy and positivity into the Stonehill community every day.”

She said the way Stonehill is reacting to Wetzel’s injuries says a lot about the impression he has made on campus.

“Since Stonehill is such a close knit, family-like college, when someone like Professor Wetzel has been hurt, it im- pacts us all,” Shellene said.

Wetzel’s family extends their thanks for all of the support and well wishes that the Stonehill community has extended to them, according to the website.

Not only did students and faculty pray for Wetzel’s quick recovery at Convocation, the Office of Campus Ministry also held an Interfaith Prayer Service for Healing for him on Sept 1.

To stay updated on Wetzel’s status, check the Chris Wetzel updates Facebook page.