President's Newsletter March 2017


Our University Life division is teaming up with the Parents Association to offer a series of educational sessions that will be held on campus and rotate through areas where our families live, such as Baltimore and northern New Jersey. The sessions are designed to help parents and families engage with faculty and staff on a variety of timely topics. This semester, Head Football Coach Ralph Clark and Vice President Joe Cicala will discuss how Alvernia will ensure our new varsity football program contributes positively to our university culture. Next semester’s topic will focus on helping students to develop strategies for sound financial management, both while they’re in college and after graduation.

Two recent visits to Grand Manan Island (Canada) have provided a foundation for a research project, “Leading for Sustainable Change: Preserving the Essence of an Island Community,” led by Alicia Sprow (Holleran Center) and supported by Spence Stober (leadership studies). Rob Waller, a recent Alvernia graduate currently enrolled in the MBA program, participated in the research which investigates the connection between nature-centered leadership and community-based tourism. It was shared as a virtual presentation at the 13th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability in Brazil. A recent visit to the island by Alicia has generated community-based projects that may be piloted as early as this spring.

Nearly 50 students have already been awarded “Real World Learning” Awards of up to $2,000 to explore experiential learning opportunities around the globe. Award winners will be participating in distance internship and service opportunities, as well as studying this summer in China, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Tracy Scheirer (nursing) is leading eight students in her Transcultural Nursing course to Dingle, Ireland this spring though an exciting partnership with Sacred Heart University (CT). Dingle is situated in Kerry County — an area in which the traditional Irish language is still spoken (along with 14 other languages).

Di You, (psychology) will be leading a trip to Beifang University with several students that are currently enrolled in an Elementary Chinese course at Alvernia this semester. Beth Roth (arts and sciences) and Tufan Tiglioglu (leadership studies) will also be accompanying the group.

And with an eye towards the future, Joe Cicala, Julianne Wallace (campus ministry), Sr. Rosemary Stets (congregational leadership team), and Beth Roth — with support from our Congregational Minister, Sr. Marilisa — will travel to Brazil in April for a planning trip with the goal of establishing a second partnership program with the Bernardine Sisters. The goal is to offer both service-learning opportunities at the Sisters’ mission and study-abroad options at a local Brazilian university.

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president's newsletter march 2017

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