The Latest Campus News

March 30, 2015
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CORRECTION: Goodbye to L.C. program?

In the March 25 edition of The Summit we reported that Todd Gernes, assistant dean of general education and academic achievement, was the founder of the Learning Community program, while it was Professor Susan Mooney, then Dean of General Education, who was the founding director of the Learning Community program at Stonehill.

March 26, 2015
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Class registration looms over students

BY HOLLY CARDOZA

Class registration season can be stressful. Just ask anyone who is trying to pick classes for next Fall.

Students have begun to prepare for the worst, expecting that the classes they want to take for the Fall semester of 2015, will already be filled by upperclassmen by the time they register.

This has become a notorious problem for first-year students because they are the last to register.

“The process makes me nervous because you have to make sure you’re on time to get on a computer just in case your laptop crashes and the constant worry that the Internet will just give out on you,” Cris DePina, a first year student said.

Meetings with advisors are scheduled, courses are picked out and back-ups lists are created so as to prepare for the let down of losing out on first choice classes.

“I’m making sure to have at least three-quarters backup classes that work around my schedule as a whole,” DePina said.

Thursday March 26 is the start of registration, with Honors students of the Class of 2016 the first to pick classes. Registration for the Class of 2018 starts Wednesday April 8, allowing plenty of time for classes to fill up with students, making it near impossible for first years to sign up for classes that they need to take either as a general education requirement or for their major.

When students do not get the classes that they need or want, fear can set in. The fear of college careers crumbling, extra-semesters and course overloads are at the forefront of students’ minds as they start to rebuild their schedules based around the courses that are still available.

There are many things that can go wrong on the day of registration and students have heard all of the horror stories about computers freezing, the Internet crashing, getting locked out of MyHill, and passwords expiring. All of the planning that goes into creating the perfect schedule can go out the window in a matter of 30 seconds.

DePina said she was given some good advice from upperclassmen on what to do.

“I’ve been told to pick the one class that I really want or need that has a few spaces left and submit and then go back and do the others,” DePina said

“I also got advice to write out my course numbers in Word and copy and paste them onto the computer,” she said.

March 26, 2015
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College launches “Learning Inside Out”

BY BRENDAN MONAHAN

Stonehill is partnering with organizations throughout Eastern Europe and Eurasia to change the way students learn about international relations and crime, getting them out of the classroom and into the field.

The College’s departments of Political Science and International Studies, and Sociology and Criminology are partnering with the Office of International Programs in the Fall to launch the “Learning Inside Out” program, offering students the opportunity to study and work on conflict analysis and resolution or globalization or transnational crime from an international perspective.

Students enrolled in the program will take one of two tracks in the Fall. The Conflict Analysis Program begins with POL 347: Conflict Analysis and Resolution course, taught by Political Science Professor Anna Ohanyan. It will focus on international conflicts spanning the twentieth century and into present day. There is a focus in the regions of the Western Balkans, the Middle East, the South Caucasus, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Sub-Sahara Africa and Southeast Asia.

The Globalization and Transnational Crime Program begins with CRM 355: Globalization and Transnational Crime course taught by Criminology Professor Anamika Twyman-Ghoshal. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach to help students gain a better understanding of crime in a global context, and explore offenses most prevalent from an international perspective including human trafficking, maritime piracy, corruption and corporate deviance.

After passing the Fall course, students in the Spring will intern in Armenia, Georgia, or Serbia for a non-governmental organization (NGO), research think tank, or governmental office. This internship experience will allow the student to apply what they learned in the classroom to work in the field of conflict analysis and resolution, or transnational crime.

At the end of the internship, students write a research paper based on a feature of conflict or transnational crime where they did their field work. Possible internship sites include the Helsinki Commission for Human Rights in Belgrade, the Eurasia Partnership in Yerevan,  the Center for Excellence in Negotiation in Yerevan, the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, and the Victimization Society of Serbia.

At the end of the internship, students meet in Armenia in June 2016 for two weeks in an integrative seminar with Ohanyan to refine their research papers and craft a presentation to be given at the undergraduate conference co-sponsored by the College and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation,“New Voices: Junior Scholars’ Conference on Regional Security” in Yerevan, Armenia.

The professors said the program provides a different type of an international academic and internship experience than anything Stonehill, or any other college or university has ever offered

before.

“The program gives our students a great narrative which can shape their lives for years to come. Spending time in a society that has been through war and recovered, and working side by side with regional peacebuilders is such a great and humbling learning opportunity. It will provide students with amazing lessons which are hard to come by behind the walls of the academia,” Ohanyon said.

Twyman-Ghoshal said she hopes to change Stonehill students ideas of a typical abroad experience.

“With this program, we want to break the imaginary line that students draw between areas they think they can or cannot travel to, while providing them with an opportunity to hone their research and work skills. It will to be a transformative experience,” Twyman-Ghoshal said.

Students can obtain more information about the program by contacting either professor via email or by attending an information session. Sessions will be held on March 27 at 1 p.m. in Martin 224, on March 30 at 11:30 a.m. in Martin 105, and on April 10 at 1 p.m. in Martin 224.

March 26, 2015
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Composting, the right way

BY ERICH MAYNARD

Landfill. Recycle. Compost. Students see the three square trash bins labeled with the three words every day in the Dining Commons. However, many don’t the take the time to separate garbage.

Everyone knows what can go into the landfill and recycle bins but the compost one is new for some students.

Stonehill now has a solar farm, single stream recycling, and composting to save energy. Composting is easy to do but some people still don’t quite do it right, several said.

In basic terms, composting is taking any sort of scrap food waste such as apple cores, sandwich crusts, even pasta bits placing them in a compost pile, giving those scraps a second life.

Compost can also include leaf litter and other landscaping materials, which when layered in the compost helps make a more nutrient rich soil.

Stonehill started composting three years ago, after students who composted at home asked the school to give it a try.

Bridget Meigs, the farm manager for Stonehill and an advocate for composting, said she sees the impact composting makes as she works on the farm.

She said composting creates better soil and helps the school cut refuse removal costs.

Meigs said composting diverts waste from the landfill and helps creates nutrient rich soil, while being cleaner for the environment.

“Garbage companies charge according to weight, and by volume, and scraps are really heavy, so if there’s less of the compostable material its cheaper for the college,” Meigs said.

On average, the farm receives over 100 pounds of compostable material a day.

In the Mindful Living Community in the courts, students have taken the initiative to live together in a more environmentally considerate way. The residents have a compost bin on the side of Rehoboth, where they empty their compostable materials.

When the bin is full, facilities empties it and brings it to the farm with the rest of the compost from campus.

Lauren McCabe, a Stonehill senior, who lives in the Mindful Living Community, first discovered composting when she came to Stonehill as a sophomore.

“I was just eating a banana, when I was done I just opened the door threw it in the bucket, and that was it. It’s as easy as throwing something in the trash and it gets to go somewhere beneficial rather than a landfill,” McCabe said.

McCabe’s goal is to open the compost bin for the entire court.

Molly Birmingham, a first year student, is new to composting but thinks it’s a good idea for campus.

“I’ve heard of composting before but until I came here I never thought of it very much, at home no one around me did it, so my family surely wasn’t going to start,” Birmingham said.

As the school year progressed, and Birmingham became more versed in composting, she saw how much it does for the environment.

“Now that I live on campus, and I know more about how composting works, I definitely take the time to separate my food into the right bins,” Birmingham said.

As the first farm outreach Coordinator, Devin Ingersoll who graduated from Stonehill last year, considers composting important for Stonehill.

“I was part of the group food truth, and a volunteer at the farm, also I’ve been a composter for mostly entire life at home. I felt like we were going backwards when we weren’t not composting,” Ingersoll said.

Ingersoll said she believes with the new compost bins in the Dining Commons, more and more students will get into the routine of separating their waste.

“I definitely think we have a ways to, the students who know what compost is do it well, but I don’t think that everyone knows what compost it and what it does,” Ingersoll said.

March 26, 2015
by Summit
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An Inside Look into the Stonehill Farmhouse

BY EMILY PASINSKI

The Farmhouse, formerly used as the Bridge House, is located at 411 Washington Street. The Farmhouse became the center of operations for the Farm at the beginning of the school year in September.

Many members of the Stonehill community are unaware of what the Farmhouse is actually used for. The first floor of the house holds the offices of Farm Manager, Bridget Meigs, and Farm Outreach Coordinator Devin Ingersoll. Meigs and Ingersoll use this space to meet with their students, fellow staff and community partners either in their offices or the living room. The second floor is reserved for the six faculty members who participate in the Farmhouse Writing Fellows Program for the semester.

The Farm and the Mission Division have partnered with the Center for Teaching and Learning to create the Farmhouse Writing Fellows Program. The fellows that are selected for the semester are given workspace on the second floor to work on scholarly or pedagogical projects. Faculty members have deemed this program a successful way to be productive and to connect with other fellows about their work. The five fellows participating in the program this semester are Megan Mitchell (Philosophy), Candice Smith-Corby (Visual and Performing Arts), Rachel Hirst (Biology), George Piggford (English), and Corey Dolgon (Sociology). The Fellows that are selected for this program are asked to lead an informal discussion about their project at some point during the semester.

Meigs explains that one of the most exciting parts of the Farmhouse for her is the Writing Fellows Conversations. Bridget says the Farmhouse Conversations “improve relationships between faculty and students, it lets students see the research their professors have been working on, and get to know them more personally.” Megan Mitchell and Candice Smith-Corby have hosted the Farmhouse Conversations that have already occurred. Smith-Corby’s discussion was titled “The Cook Book of Secrets: Making Color in the Studio and Through the Kitchen.” Students and faculty are encouraged to attend the next Conversations, which will occur on March 20, April 10, and April 24 from 4 to 6 p.m.

However, the Farmhouse is not only used for the Writing Fellows Program. As the center of operations for the Farm it is used to continue to improve community relations with both Stonehill students and faculty and with partners in Easton and Brockton. The Farmhouse is especially helpful during the winter and when meeting outdoors is not an option. Students and members of the Stonehill Community can learn more about the happenings at the Farm and Farmhouse by visiting their blog at http://stonehillblogs.org/farm/ or by visiting the Stonehill webpage.

March 26, 2015
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Donating blood with the Red Cross

BY STERRY CODRINGTON

A steady crowd of donors laid on tables set up in the Martin Institute, ready to give blood at the American Red Cross Blood Drive March 23.

Donors were required to first do a pre-screening test while they waited. Peaceful music played in the background, relaxed donors prepped for their blood donation.

Senior Nate Morris was one of the donors.

“I feel like I’m big enough and in good enough shape to use the alternative way. I donate blood every year and it’s really not that bad at all. I mean I get a little dizzy but it only last for about 30 seconds,” Morris said.

Another senior, Mary Blaine, said she was nervous to donate, even though she has donated before.

“It was very nerve racking for me, I thought I was going to pass out. I started donating two years ago but every time I go, I still have those knots in my stomach. It’s important to me to donate because I want help others in need,” Blaine said.

“ It makes me feel like I’m somewhat doing my part if I donate blood or extra clothes every year when the time comes.”

Sophomore Ted Williams said he donates because it is the right thing to do.

“I think it’s a very good cause. Why wouldn’t you want to help someone in need? I only started donating my blood because I believe in the cause. I believe that there are still some good people out there that do not need to be motivated by a check,” Williams said.

March 26, 2015
by Summit
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Goodbye to L.C. program?

BY HOLLY CARDOZA & ERIN CANGIANO

Learning Communities, also known as LCs, will not be going away, but the College is discussing dropping the three-class component as a graduation requirement.

A preliminary proposal to be discussed by the faculty senate next week considers whether LC’s should be an elective, rather than a requirement. The proposal, if enacted, is not expected to affect current students.

Todd Gernes, assistant dean of general education and academic achievement, has been the director of Stonehill’s Cornerstone program since 2008. It was originally founded by then Dean of General Education, Susan Mooney.

Gernes said he is always working to improve the program for students and wants to provide them with more flexibility.

The goal is to increase students’ engagement in their liberal arts education by providing them with more flexibility in the Cornerstone program.

“The question is how do we best use the Learning Communities to support our students? Is it better to have every student take an LC their sophomore year as a requirement no matter what, or is it better to have fewer LCs that we put our energy and creativity into and allow students to choose if that’s a good fit for them,” Gernes said.

The Learning Community program has been a requirement since it started more than 10 years ago.

Gernes said looking at new ways to create even better LCs is important.

“By focusing our resources and creativity on fewer LCs each semester, and by giving students a variety of options to engage in integrative learning, we can sustain the vitality and excitement of LC’s while encouraging students to be agents of their own learning. After all, isn’t that what a liberal arts education is all about?” said Gernes.

This idea of changing the LC requirement is not new. In fact, it is been in question for several years. Gernes said some faculty are concerned the program would die if the LC’s were changed to electives because students would not take them. He said the proposal is designed to make things better, not eliminate the LC program.

“This is a larger process of the ongoing assessment and adjustment of the Cornerstone Program to make it better,” Gernes said.

Gernes said he will be meeting with student leaders on campus and will be conducting focus groups in LC courses to analyze the quality of the courses all to get student feedback.

Junior Katie Fabry said she benefitted from her learning community experience.

“My Integrated Marketing Communications LC was a very intense learning experience. The course combined Public Relations with Marketing, so our assignments varied from rebranding a company and developing our own products, to writing press releases,” she said.

“I can use the LC work in my portfolio to show potential employers in the future, so it was really beneficial in more ways than one.”

Junior Rob Massey said his learning community proved to be a unique learning experience as well.

“After learning so much about Irish history in class, spending a week in Ireland was really rewarding. It was awesome to be able to see everything outside of a textbook and made me even more interested in the subject. Engaging in the Irish culture with my classmates was also a plus,” Massey said.

Gernes said the discussion about LCs will continue and he believes that most people like the Learning Communities. He said now it is a matter of looking at how they work best in the curriculum.

March 26, 2015
by Summit
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MKTO, Kid Ink to perform in front of O’Hara

BY JARED CHANDLER

Students around campus are excited about the upcoming spring concert with MKTO and Kid Ink.

The concert will be held Saturday April 25 at 7 p.m. under the tent on the May Pavilion, in front of Shields Science center, and O’Hara Hall.

“I was pretty excited when I heard Kid Ink was coming to Stonehill,” junior Aaron Rogers said. “In the past I wasn’t as excited because I wasn’t familiar with the performers, but I know Kid Ink and listen to his music.”

“I’m so happy with the performers this year. MKTO and Kid Ink are great. Every year Student Activities does a great job at picking the performances. I can’t wait to go,” junior Gina Valeri said.

Before the concert was officially announced, there was a lot of time and effort put into deciding who was going to be the performer.

“The Committee meets every week on Tuesday nights and at these meetings, when we are not planning on-campus coffeehouses, we discuss how we want to put the genre survey together. This survey is then sent out to the entire school. We wait about a week and then look at the results. From there, the committee looks at the options and narrows the list down to a few performers. Then, we have to put bids in for different acts to see who is available at that time. Once the performers have accepted our bids, then it becomes official,” Concert Coffeehouse Chair and junior, Adrianna Rosadio said.

When it comes to booking performers, money is the key to the success.

Assistant Director of Student Activities Lina Macedo oversees the financial aspect of the concert and knew the committee had to act quickly this year to book the artists they wanted.

“The committee selected the MKTO & Kid Ink because they essentially met the criteria of what the student genre survey results were. We move pretty quickly in our bid process to get acts before they can be scooped up by others. We were able to negotiate our offer and lock down MKTO then did the same for Kid Ink working around his anticipated tour,” Macedo said.

March 22, 2015
by Summit
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Class of 2019 Taking Shape

By Erich Maynard

As applications pour in to the admissions office, current Stonehill students wonder what the class of 2019 will look like.

It is up to admissions to sort through the numerous applications and make the difficult decision of deciding whether or not to accept the applicant. David Tobias, dean of admissions, said the incoming class of 2019 is academically strong and well-rounded.

“The magic word in admissions is ‘fit’. We are looking for students who are at the academic level, but beyond that, we are looking for someone who is really the right fit for us. We feel that they bring something unique to our campus and fit with our campus’s culture,” Tobias said.

The college is focusing on what both students and parents are looking for during enrollment.

“It really takes an entire campus to enroll a student. Our students are doing really well in the job market after graduation and part of it is due to the outstanding experience they’ve had on campus, internships, and study abroad,” Tobias said.

Stonehill’s career services office begins working with students as soon as they get to Stonehill, instead of waiting until junior or senior year like other colleges.

This year, Stonehill’s application numbers have slightly dropped.

“We’re down just a little bit this year for entering students. In the grand scheme, we’ve had relatively similar application numbers for the last two or three cycles. Last year, we had about 6,000 applicants, this year we’re a little over 5,900,” Tobias said.

He said the new sports complex could be an attraction for new students.

“Anything you can do to improve your facilities on campus is going to be something that can attract students, so in that sense it’s the same thing we saw historically with the science center being opened, seeing an increase with the students with interest in the sciences. Anything we can do on campus to improve our facilities is going to be something that is going to improve our ability to attract and retain students on campus,” Tobias said.

Tobias said every first year class is different.

“I think it depends on the look and feel of the class. I’ve heard about this year’s class. Folks are very satisfied about students on campus this year from my perspective. This is a very diverse class, also in addition this is a group of students who are academically focused,” Tobias said.

Tobias said the admissions board is still reading applications. The applicants are an academically competitive group who will change Stonehill for the better and impact the school in a positive way, he said.