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Fordham Students Share College Life with Bronx High Schoolers

What’s a typical week in the life of a college student? Bronx high school sophomores from the Pablo Neruda Academy found out in November, spending a week with Rose Hill students through the College Shadow Program administered by Fordham’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. A total of 24 student-mentor pairs attended classes, took notes and shared discussions and meals; some students even stayed for the weekend Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by Asili, the University’s cultural organization for students of African descent.

“The students were really engaged and enjoyed themselves,” said assistant dean and director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs Nina Longino, who said she was particularly interested in the mentoring, one-on-one aspect of the program. “Whatever you do,” she told her student-mentors, “let them see you do it.” (She added, smiling, “and let it be studying!”)

Longino said the program fits into the Multicultural Affairs mission well. “I support the activities of all the multicultural student organizations, and stress that community service is central to that,” she said.
Administrators at Pablo Neruda Academy were also pleased with the outcomes. “I was looking for ways to extend and change the sophomore program to make it more meaningful,” said the school’s internship coordinator, Alyssa Simon. “I thought it was our responsibility to really bring meaning to the idea of ‘college’ in terms of how much work it entails,” said Simon. “I thought meeting with actual students—particularly those of similar backgrounds and from similar places—would have much more of an impact.”

Simon hopes to formalize a program in which Fordham mentors work with Neruda Academy students throughout the year.

— Brian Kluepfel

Social Service Conference on Health and Mental Health Benefits

Penny Schwartz, D.S.W. (left), with Peter B. Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Social Service, and Ji Seon Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of social service, who organized the event.
Photo by Meredith Hanson
Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) held a government benefits conference focused on health and mental health, at which keynote speaker Penny Schwartz, D.S.W., program coordinator, Department of Social Service, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, spoke about the health care crisis in the United States and the importance of advocacy among social workers to meet the needs of clients during difficult times. The conference was held on Jan. 4, in the McNally Atrium, Fordham Law School, on the Lincoln Center campus, and attracted more than 100 students and faculty. Following the keynote address, students participated in seven different workshops on health, mental health, government benefits that affect the elderly, developmentally disabled persons, homeless persons, children and families, victims of abuse, the working poor, immigrants and persons with HIV/AIDS.

Law Students Volunteer in New Orleans

A contingent of 30 Fordham University Law School students traveled to New Orleans in January to help the city’s public defenders with a backlog of criminal cases caused by Hurricane Katrina’s ravaging floods in 2005.

Fordham was one of 12 universities that sent more than 345 student volunteers during the winter break for weeklong stints to help the backlog that is estimated to be as high as 6,000 cases. As part of the project, students interviewed indigent defendants in jail, some of whom had been waiting to see a lawyer for months. The students were supervised by Ian Weinstein, J.D., professor of law and director of clinical education, and Martha Rayner, J.D., associate clinical professor of law.

The volunteers were part of an initiative known as the Katrina-Gideon Interviewing Project, in which law schools from across the country send teams of students to provide behind-the-scenes assistance in an effort to help get Louisiana’s courts moving again, and the Student Hurricane Network, a national association of law students and administrators dedicated to providing long-term assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Katrina.

— Victor M. Inzunza

Eleven Fordham employees celebrated 20 years or more of service to the University at the annual 1841 Awards ceremony. Back row, left to right: Robert H. Hinkle, Pablo Ballesteros, Sandra Hopard, Patricia Allinger. Front row, left to right: Fernando Bonilla, Helena T. Cunniffe, Rosa Accetta, Paz Ramos, Brenda Broomes. Not pictured: Alclay R. Sturm, Frank Spadafora.
Photo by Chris Taggart

Longtime Fordham Employees Honored

Eleven Fordham employees were presented the 1841 Award, which honors 20 or more years of service to the University, at a ceremony in Duane Library on the Rose Hill campus in December. The honorees, accompanied by family, former 1841 Award recipients and coworkers, were given the medals by Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, and lauded by their individual department heads.

Father McShane told the audience that as Fordham celebrated the Feast of St. Lucy, the bringer of light, the 1841 medalists brought their own illumination to the University. “You are all bearers of light, and bringers of warmth into the University family,” he said. “These quiet, unassuming women and men who never seek the spotlight for themselves—today is their day and we insist on shining a spotlight on them.”

The 1841 Award was established in 1982 by former president James C. Finlay, S.J., in honor of the year Fordham was founded by Archbishop John Hughes.

— Brian Kluepfel

Fordham University Association Hosts Winter Wonderland

Ann Gannon, president of FUA (left) with Angela M. Belsole, interim director, Office of Sponsored Programs.
Photo by Chris Taggart
Fordham staff and faculty came together for the annual Winter Wonderland luncheon organized by the Fordham University Association (FUA) on Jan. 11in the McGinley Ballroom on the Rose Hill campus. Approximately 75 staff shared holiday stories and lunch while preparing for the return of the student population.

Vincent Dimunuco, S.J., rector of Fordham’s Jesuit community, opened the afternoon with an O. Henry story and a prayer of thanksgiving. Ann Gannon, president of FUA, handed out prizes at the post-luncheon raffle, which included tickets to a New York Knicks’ basketball game, the Westchester Broadway Theatre’s Nunsensational and the Broadway hit Mama Mia. The big winner on the afternoon was Frank McLaughlin, executive director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation, who won the 50/50 raffle.

FUA also is planning a Bring Your Child to Work day at the end of March, as well as the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

— Brian Kluepfel

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