The Latest Campus News

May 7, 2017
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Stonehill mourns the loss of Linsey Malia

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By Lianna Jordan

A Stonehill junior died in a boating accident while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 6.

Rev. John Denning, the college president, announced the death of Linsey Malia, an honors student, to the Stonehill community in an email late Saturday night.

Additional details of the accident were not immediately available but the college president noted he was making the announcement with great sadness.

Just a few days before the tragic accident, Malia posted photos of her time studying abroad to her Facebook account.

“We are a close community at Stonehill, and Linsey contributed to many areas of campus life—as a peer mentor, a teaching assistant, a member of the Moreau Honors Program, and a volunteer with multiple campus partners. Her death represents a deep loss for all of us and, of course, for her family,” Denning said in the email.

Malia was one of four students who regularly donned the Ace the Skyhawk costume at athletic events throughout the year.

The psychology major and sociology minor also handles all of Ace’s scheduling and hires new students each year to take on the role of the friendly Skyhawk.

In an interview with Stonehill’s alumni magazine, Malia said Stonehill was her first choice. Malia said she knew she would want to be the mascot if she got in.

Malia also said in the interview that she learned perseverance and commitment while acting as the mascot.

“I always do my best to push through and make the best out of the experience. If I’m having fun, then chances are the crowd is having fun, too,” Malia said.

Denning said in a follow up email Sunday that counselors would be available May 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Counseling Center in the Chapel of Mary.

Residence Life staff will also be available to students in the residence halls, and Masses will be celebrated today at 11 a.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Linsey will be commemorated at all of these Masses.

Denning said there would be an additional prayer service for Malia at 4 p.m. on May 7 in the Chapel of Mary.

February 2, 2017
by Summit
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Stonehill stands up for rights at Women’s March

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By Aisha J. McAdams

When the bus pulled in at 4:17 a.m., Saturday morning after the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, 6 Southwest St. was empty other than 36 Stonehill students filing off the US Coachways bus after an eight-hour overnight trip to Washington D.C.

After some students brushed their teeth using a water bottle and the sidewalk as a sink, they rallied up their posters, companions and whatever could squeeze into their satchels or the clear backpacks that would pass security for the day.

Four hours later, more than half a million people crowded the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington along with millions of others around the world including cities such as Boston, New York, and even Nairobi, Kenya according to CNN.

While millions joined for particular personal reasons, the common thread among the marchers was unity. According to the Women’s March mission, the march was in response to the rhetoric of the election of President Donald Trump. It was the march’s goal to stand together in solidarity to protect the nation and its vibrant diverse communities that strengthen it.

Katherine O’Donnell, student executive of the Moore Center of Gender Equity, helped organize the trip and said she felt obligated to attend in response to the election.

“I have always been extremely passionate about gender equity and the intersectional nature of this event drew me to it,” O’Donnell said. “It was not intended just to be about women’s rights, but also rights for people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, Muslims, etc.”

Other students including Bertha Roberte ‘18 and Christ Julmice ‘17 attended because they wanted to stand up against issues that affect them on a day to day basis from not only being a woman, but a woman of color.

“I feel like Trump has attacked every layer of what makes me, me. I am black, an immigrant and a woman, so I feel as though I am forced to fight for justice and protect myself, the LGBTQ+ community, my Muslim friends and immigrants,” Roberte said. “I am also voice for the Black Lives Matter movement.”

O’Donnell, along with the rest of the Stonehill students, was excited to hear from members of the Women’s March that they were the first marchers to arrive among the record breaking crowd of the day.

“It was definitely tough with it being the first weekend back at school and my friends wanting me to spend time with them but I was doing it for myself, my country, and my future children so I got over it relatively fast,” Colleen MacDonald ‘17 said.

A rally was held prior to the march from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. between third and fourth on Independence facing Northwest but an overwhelming amount of support from marchers the left neighboring streets booming. The rally featured recognized advocates, artists, entertainers and other leaders including Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansen, and the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards.

Marisa Nieves, a member Women’s Health and Empowerment Now and the Moore Center, felt that America Ferrera’s speech in particular resonated with her.

“The emotional connection to what she was saying was so apparent. You could tell she cared deeply about what she was saying,” Nieves said. “In addition to listening to such strong leaders, seeing all of the unity from everyone coming together, no matter each other’s differences was truly empowering. There was an overall sense of respect for one another.”

The rally extended for more than an hour longer because of the number of speakers. Marchers appeared to get antsy to march because some, including students from Stonehill, had been standing with other protesters for over seven hours straight.

The march began before the rally officially concluded. Officers and emergency vehicles were dispersed throughout the route and according to NBC, D.C. police reported no arrests.

Will Gilmore ‘20 and Todd Gernes, an associate professor and Assistant Dean of General Education, said they felt the march was inclusive even through most of the people there were women..

“The organizers made a point to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for everyone, and I appreciated that very much. I’ve studied and taught Women’s History and African American History for many years, and so critiques of patriarchy and white privilege no longer make me uncomfortable,” Gernes said.

Gernes attended the march with his wife. Gilmore attended with his friends to support LGBTQ+ rights.

“I’m bisexual and it was something that was really important to me to be there to stand up who I am and take part in a moment in history,” Gilmore said. “Being a man I felt like I stood out a little in the beginning but everyone was really welcoming.”

Like Gilmore, O’Donnell believed it was an important moment in history that many Stonehill students missed out on.

“I have been increasingly disappointed by the apathy of Stonehill students over the past four years and this is just one example. Even many students who said they wanted to come, didn’t actually take the step to act,” O’Donnell said. “The fact that 5 million people showed up across the country and not even 55 Stonehill students showed up is frustrating to me. However, the students who did show up 100% made it worth it. And the turnout in DC and worldwide was absolutely incredible and validating in so many ways.”

But according to those who did attend the march was a truly remarkable experience and incomparable experience, even to the snowflake soiree

“I’m proud to go to Stonehill. It’s lit the fire in me to that the sentiment of care is simply not enough- that we need to take action to protect our fellow humans,” MacDonald said.

 

February 2, 2017
by Summit
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Sexual assault prevention enhanced with 10k grant

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By Amy McKeever

To Jessica Greene, Stonehill’s Health and Wellness coordinator, the college has been dedicated to working towards violence prevention.

“We see more and more colleges nationally addressing sexual violence prevention,” Greene said. “Stonehill has been very proactive in offering services, resources and prevention efforts dedicated to this topic.”

So Greene teamed up with Director of Corporate & Foundations Relations Marie Kelly to apply for a grant that would aid Stonehill in continuing prevention efforts and training related to sexual violence.

Stonehill was chosen as one of 20 colleges to participate in a leadership program that enables participating schools to develop and implement action plans to prevent and respond to sexual assault, according to the College’s website.

The Avon Foundation awarded the College a grant of $10,000 to go toward furthering sexual assault and violence prevention programs such as; Bystander Intervention Training, One Love: Escalation workshops on recognizing and responding to dating violence prevention, R.A.D. Self Defense classes, awareness weeks and other events that promote healthy living.

Greene said Stonehill has taken a big step in sexual violence prevention with addressing the subjects of dating violence and students perceptions of safety on campus. The grant will help the College increase training and resources that address sexual violence prevention, Greene said.

“We are working on a new Bystander Intervention Social Media Campaign and will be hosting an area wide Bystander Intervention Training on our campus, which we are inviting staff and students from other schools to attend as well,” she said.

In addition, Greene says the College plans to look at ways to increase support services for survivors and implementing trauma informed trainings.

“We want to further institutionalize sexual assault prevention,” Greene said in a press release by the College. “We’ve been asking ourselves, ‘How do we make this something that is addressed at every area of our college campus?’ We’re glad to have more resources to answer that question.”

The Avon Foundation works to improve the lives of women and their families and provides funds to colleges seeking a decrease in gender-based violence on their campuses. To learn more about the program visit www.avonfoundation.org.

February 2, 2017
by Summit
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Free Range Minds: tuning into our own thoughts

Last week I went to the gym.

If you know me well, that last sentence should be enough of a story for you; however, for everyone else I will continue.

I found myself at the Sports Complex trying to pick a machine to start a cardio routine on. When I finally (and somewhat begrudgingly) hopped on the treadmill, I reached in my pocket for my earbuds.

Now in my head, the ensuing anguish of discovering no such earbuds played out with the gravity and anguish of a Scorsese film. In reality, I’m sure anyone who bothered to look only saw a slack-jawed expression of disbelief on my face.

How was I going to get through an hour of cardio with no music? I don’t even undertake the seven-minute walk to The Hill without my iPod (I firmly believe Cat Stevens can accurately represent my voracious appetite for Mac’n’Cheese bites).

It was only after I had spent an hour truly alone with my thoughts that I began to see the shape of a problem I hadn’t noticed before. I’m a fervent believer in the power of music and all the good it can do for the mind, body, and soul, but I don’t think any musician or serious artist would want a life constantly barraged by sound—I’d argue that no serious, self-reflective, individual would.

Many of us wake up in the morning and want to listen to some music while we get ready, then we put in our headphones on the way to class, we listen to discussion or a lecture for an hour, then head out to lunch where we talk to our friends for another fifty minutes before more class, then dinner, then homework set to the background noise of a “productivity playlist.”

That’s just active listening! What about news broadcasts, podcasts, commercials, television, YouTube videos, live streams, and social media soundbites?

With all of these noise pollutants, it’s no wonder that many people lose the discriminatory faculties of the ear and can’t listen to a song, or a person, properly.

Giving oneself time to think—and only think—is a beautiful thing.

We like our meat free range, so why not our minds? A mind free to wander is a powerful tool to crystalize opinion, deepen understanding and unleash creativity.

All of that might sound like the synopsis on the back of a self-help book, so I’ll try this instead: letting your mind wander can be a bit troublesome at first, especially with deadlines looming or busy schedules, but is ultimately a deeply relaxing exercise. Without the boundaries of a specific conversation or context, the line between thinking and meditating blurs beyond discrimination.

So the next time you reach for your headphones, consider giving yourself the benefit of undisturbed free thought: it’s worth your while. How else do you think I came up with this?

February 2, 2017
by Summit
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Think. Act. Lead. Conference provides important career planning opportunity

By Erika Sasso

296 first-year and sophomore students gathered in the Commons Jan. 21 to participate in the Think. Act. Lead. Planning Conference. The event offered input from various alumni from fields including business, education, and healthcare.

The day started with the “Think” portion of the conference that featured the key note speaker, Augusto “Cookie” Rojas, Jr. JD. Rojas has a career in sports managing for the New Orleans Baby Cakes baseball team. He offered some advice for Stonehill students to be used in their future careers.

Rojas expressed to students that moving up in your career is all about forming relationships with people.

“It is not what you know, but who you know,” he said.

Following the keynote speaker, students had the opportunity to break out and visit different panels to learn about various tools that can be used to help them shape their careers in the “Act” portion of the conference. This allowed the students learn about how they can make their goals attainable.

The Career Development staff and other Stonehill faculty members led the sessions providing students with everything they needed to know about studying abroad, interning away, managing their finances, how to use LinkedIn, how to become a leader on campus, choosing the right major, graduating on time and how to start a resume from scratch.

“It is critical that students intentionally plan their time at college,” Director of Career Development Christina Burney said. “Plan early to take advantage of all opportunities because the earlier you start the more successful you will be in life.”

After the “Act” portion of the conference, students were able to eat lunch with alumni in a range of fields and ask them questions about their work and how they ended up in the career field they were in. Students got to know different alumni at a personal level in a relaxed environment.

The Career Development Office constantly encourages students to reach out to alumni and attend alumni luncheons. This part of the conference made it easy for students to network with over 40 alumni of all age ranges, expertise levels, and career fields.

The last “Lead” portion of the conference featured panel discussion with the alumni students had the chance to meet at lunch. These alumni included professionals who have started their own businesses, ended up on unexpected paths that they could have never predicted, and have exceled in the medicine, business, and education fields.

Pamela Bardhi ’13 led the panel discussion “Becoming Your Own Boss.” Shortly after graduating from Stonehill she opened Ria Café in Boston and is now also the founder of Bardhi Investment Group. She inspired students to stay motivated and not let anything get in the way of their dreams.

“When life throws you problems you find solutions,” Bardhi said.

Another popular panel among the students was “Unexpected Paths,” led by alum Chad Gaughan ‘10 and Beth Rea ’95. Gaughan majored in Biology at Stonehill and to become a dentist; however, after graduation he decided to take what he thought would be a temporary job at a concierge company and ended up becoming the Director of Operations. He is now President at a Local Property Shop.

Rea majored in English at Stonehill and planned on receiving her master’s degree in English as well. Over the course of her four years at Stonehill, she realized she had a knack for graphic design, which led her to study at the Massachusetts College of Art. She is now the Creative Director at Fidelity Investments’ and still has thoughts on switching her career everyday.

Sophomore, Katie McGovern said she appreciated the “Unexpected Paths” panel telling unique stories.

“It is very refreshing to hear about people who did not exactly know what they wanted to do when they started but are now successful in paths they never even imagined,” she said.

The conference began the spring semester encouraging students to explore their options and move forward with their careers, with insight provided by the experienced alumni, dedicated professors, and the hard working staff at the Career Development Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 10, 2016
by Summit
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Stonehill faculty band together to encourage post-election conversation

By Amy McKeever

Any student worried their voice would be silenced after election results were released, found reassurance earlier this week.

Their reassurance was found in a petition signed by 156 faculty members that outlined encouragement to come forward and talk about their feelings in the classroom.

In the coming months, challenges will come,” the petition said. “We stand ready to face them together and will be offering events to encourage discussion on these important issues.”

By signing the petition, faculty members welcomed conversation by any student on the political spectrum.

The petition was posted in each class Facebook page in order to be seen by all students. It can be found at https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/letter-from-the-stonehill-faculty.html.

December 10, 2016
by Summit
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Sculpture on Quad vandalized in two days

By Jamie Fleming

Two days after a wooden sculpture crafted by artist Philippe Lejeune was installed on the quad with the help of students, it was knocked down.

“It doesn’t seem like there’s a way to apprehend the perpetrators in situations like this and that’s something they run up against,” Professor Candice Smith Corby said.

Stonehill’s Exhibitions and Collections Capstone’s class worked with the artist Oct. 18 to put up the sculpture, called “Totem”, as part of his “timber!” exhibit. The sculpture is valued by insurance at $5,000.

Oct. 20, it was moved to the senior courts by students late on the night of Midnight Madness. Nov. 10, the statue was put up again in the quad and on Nov. 12 it was knocked down.

The person that knocked it down has not yet been found.

“What it means is that we have some members of our campus community who are capable of really bad decisions. It is one thing to express disagreement with the artist piece; it is quite another to destroy it,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Favazza said

Students said they were disappointed by this latest act of vandalism on campus.

“The greatest violence is the violence we do to ourselves. Honestly, this is only hurting our reputation, our campus, our student body. I had faith that we would be able to put our art on the quad and it would be fine, and people would appreciate it, see it, and recognize that it was art,” senior Caite Sheehan, who is in the class that worked on getting the artist here, said.

Student Sara Shevlin shared her sentiment.

“It’s not just Philippe’s ‘Totem,’ itself. It’s the fact that this happens all of the time. We’re affected by it because this is our thing, but it’s the bridge, it’s the garden,” Shevlin said.

Smith Corby and Professor Allyson Sheckler had worked with the Provost office to get the artist on campus. During his stay at Stonehill in October and November, he hand-painted tree designs on the bike shed near Villa Theresa and on a guard rail near Duffy.

Favazza said the installation was part of Stonehill’s continued support of the arts.

“Public art is a surprise and a catalyst. When we see it, it surprises and evokes a non-literal reality for us. It is a catalyst for conversation and expression, so I want to support public art at Stonehill; it challenged us to think in a different mode while allowing each person who sees it to engage and interpret it in their own way,” Favazza said.

The fact that the sculpture was taken down on weekend nights specifically stood out to those who had a hand in putting the sculpture up.

“My inclination is to appeal to the good nature of the people that I believe we have. Granted, that gets a little foggy if you have too many drinks sometimes,” Smith Corby said.

This, however, has not been the only vandalism on campus, and people are beginning to take note of that.

“It diminishes us as a community of scholarship and faith when art is destroyed, art that has been created quite literally to advance the academic mission of the College,” Favazza said.

December 10, 2016
by Summit
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60-year-old time capsule removed unopened

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By Aisha McAdams

A nearly 60-year-old time capsule that was removed from the Old Student Union remains sealed until a ceremony is planned for this spring to reveal what has survived over half a century.

Joseph Kelleher, associate director of building operations, said facilities management decided to remove the time capsule during a hazardous material assessment Nov. 8 of the building.

The Old Student Union building will be demolished after commencement in 2017. Kelleher said it was convenient to remove the capsule now.

According to a Summit article from 1958, the time-capsule was sealed in the cornerstone of the building May 20. In the cornerstone a catalog of the college, news clippings and a picture that showed the campus as it existed was said to be placed.

Nicole Casper, director of archives and an alumni herself, said that they have not opened the time capsule yet and are not sure what is inside.

“We don’t know what news clippings or photos they put in it,” Casper said. “It will be interesting to see if what comes out if they are readable. News clippings are most fragile and are more likely to break down.”

According to Casper, the articles were only protected by a copper tin inside the cornerstone so they could have easily been damaged by the elements. Capser said that it sounds like whatever is contained in the capsule is solid.

For preservation purposes the time-capsule will remain in archives. Casper said Stonehill plans to have a community event to open the time capsule sometime next semester with hopes of having those who were at the original event in 1958 join.

November 16, 2016
by Summit
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Students pick up the pieces from a messy election

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By Jamie Fleming

When Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States, Stonehill students felt the same roller coaster of emotions experienced by others in the country.

“I stayed up watching the news until 4 in the morning. When I first heard he won, I didn’t believe it at all. Then the next day I woke up, I was just sad,” sophomore Francesca Rizzo said.

Other students around campus felt the same feeling Rizzo experienced.

“I’m worried about our global representation more so than our domestic problems right now,” sophomore political science major, Tyler Hanlon said. “I feel like these protests and marches will fizzle out but there has been a lot of foreign leaders who are worried about working with Trump.”

Hanlon said he does not know how the people of the United States let Trump get this far in the political process.

There were some polarized opinions on campus when it came to Trump being nominated.

Sophomore Megan Tryder said she felt the election made it apparent that our nation is still working on long-running issues.

“I was heartbroken. It was truly a surprise; I didn’t think America would elect someone like that,” sophomore Megan Tryder said. “I had thought we were moving in the right direction of becoming somewhere that was more inclusive and having equality for all people.”

Tryder said she is worried about what the future holds.

“I’m obviously worried about my rights as a woman… I think my biggest worry would be the environment because Trump denies that climate change is real. With America being one of the leading nations in regards to clean energy and fighting human caused climate change, that could spell a really big issue for the next generation,” said Tryder.

However, other students on campus, were relieved with the election of Donald Trump.

“When Trump won me and my entire family were overwhelmed with relief. America needs a change and hopefully he will give us that. For those who support Hillary, I’m sorry but he won fair and square. Now we have to come together as Americans and stand by our president. He did not come to power by overthrowing Obama, he won through the power of a democracy,” said senior Marissa Rosati.

Sophomore Jason Comeau said he was thrilled with the election results.

“When I heard Trump won, I was elated. I couldn’t have been happier. I stayed up until he received the call from Hillary because I couldn’t believe it,” Comeau said.

He said the results were a shock for so many people since the silent majority has stayed with Trump for a while and they weren’t as vocal to overcome the negative attention that came with being a Trump supporter.

To create an open discussion on the topic, professors reached out to their students in class.

“I’m a political science major and my teachers talked about it in all of my classes. One of them was surprised at the outcome and was almost embarrassed for the nation because of the things that he has said and for all of these people to vote him into office. Its saddening,” Hanlon said.

“Two of my professors reached out to our class, both of them were crying… people got to talk about their feelings and their worries and fears… one of my professors is a minority and she was very heartbroken that America still felt that way towards minorities,” Tryder said.

Stonehill’s Race and Racism class this week was dedicated to discussing the election, Rizzo said. The professor of the class, Megan Mitchell, wrote three key points of discussion on the board. Emotional validation regardless of opinion, the good and bad consequences from the election, and moving forward.

As for moving forward and picking up the pieces, students at Stonehill have a lot to say.

“I think he answer is clear; we need to come together under President Trump…. He has the true values that a lot of people in this country do have, he will work for the majority of the people and do what’s best fort he country not what’s best for the few,” Hanlon said.

“Both sides have to come together and respect that he won, they have to come together and try to work collaboratively with him to pass sound legislation,” Hanlon said.

“Its definitely an uphill fight for the democratic party but through compromise and hopefully some rationale, there can be group work.”

Stonehill allowed students to reach out and express their opinions through prayer and through a post election healing and hope space at the Office of Intercultural Affairs.

While Stonehill students worked together, across the nation, hundreds protested the results of the election chanting “not my president,” or “we do not accept the president elect.”

“I think that rejecting him as our president is almost counterintuitive. We would never have a unified nation; rather than rejecting him, we have to accept him as our president but under the recognition that there are things that can be done to promote positive change,” Rizzo said.

“What’s done is done and now we have to move on. We’re all in it together at this point, you’re not a Trump supporter or Hillary supporter anymore. You can’t hope that Trump fails as a president because you’re in America too,” he said.