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Jesuit Honor Society Welcomes New Members

A student recites the pledge of Alpha Sigma Nu as part of the induction ceremony.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

More than 125 Fordham students representing all 10 schools of the University were inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit academic honor society, at a ceremony on April 7. Two faculty members and one administrator were welcomed as honorary members.

Inducted as honorary members were:

Veronica Boland, administrative assistant to the dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, who received the Sursum Corda Award this year at the University Convocation; Constantine “Gus” Katsoris, Ph.D., the Wilkinson Professor of Law at Fordham Law School; and Anne Mannion, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Fordham College at Lincoln Center and co-director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Michael Tueth, S.J., the associate chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

Alpha Sigma Nu is the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education. The society was founded in 1915 to honor a select number of students each year on the basis of scholarship, loyalty and service. Inductees demonstrate an intelligent appreciation of and commitment to the ideals—intellectual, social, moral and religious—of Jesuit higher education. Chapters also may initiate honorary members—people who display the outstanding qualities sought by Alpha Sigma Nu members.

The ceremony, held at the McGinley Center on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, was presided over by Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham; Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., senior vice president for academic affairs/chief academic officer; John N. Tognino (FCLS ’75), chairman of Fordham’s Board of Trustees; Claire Donnelly (FCRH ’09), president of the chapter, and Rosemary DeJulio, Ph.D., adviser and chapter coordinator.

—Gina Vergel

GSAS Offers Interdisciplinary Masters Degree in Ethics

Starting in September, Fordham will offer a master of arts degree in ethics and society through its Center for Ethics Education (CEE).

The 30-credit interdisciplinary curriculum has, as its signature, two core courses that offer team-taught cross-disciplinary perspectives. The courses are taught by professors from the social or natural sciences, paired with professors from the humanities, and focus on contemporary ethical issues of common interest.

The core courses for the master’s will be offered by CEE. In addition to the cross-disciplinary courses, students must complete coursework in the areas of philosophy, theology and natural or social sciences (psychology, sociology, political science and economics). Students can take electives in these disciplines, as well as in approved courses in law and business.

The degree is also available to undergraduates as a five-year program.

“A degree in ethics can be applied to almost any discipline where questionable issues arise and responsible solutions are needed,” said Celia Fisher, Ph.D., director of CEE and Marie Ward Doty Professor of Psychology. “That includes careers in health care, business, medicine, law, education, government, non-profit agencies and policymaking.

“Being educated in a single discipline or even one singular way of looking at an ethical problem is not enough,” she continued. “Each year, the public is made aware of new issues in social responsibility—whether it be with respect to embryos and research, religion and politics, or banks and lending.”

For example, the upcoming core course “Theories and Applications in Contemporary Ethics,” offered each May, features a segment pairing philosophy and computer science. The joint curriculum is taught by Damian Lyons, Ph.D., associate professor of computer and information systems, and Michael Baur, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy. Together, they will explore ethical issues ranging from automated surveillance to robotic machines.

“Privacy is an issue already raised by automated surveillance technology,” Lyons said. “There will be many other issues raised, and as a society we need to be prepared to develop human and ethical solutions to these issues in a timely manner.”

Last year’s course, “What is Enough? Can Ethics and Economics Reunite?” paired Christine Firer Hinze, Ph.D., professor of theology, with Mary Beth Combs, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, in a segment about distributive justice.

Interest, so far, said Fisher, has come from a broad base of students, including professionals as well as current graduate students. They hail from the health care, social work, business and legal professions, and also from the humanities and social sciences.

— Janet Sassi

Getting to the Heart of the Crisis

Dominick Salvatore, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Economics, moderates an April 14 discussion on “Understanding the Current Economic Crisis” at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. A panel of distinguished alumni as well as economic experts from different financial fields and markets gave insight on the economic crisis at home and abroad.

—Gina Vergel

IT Confirmare Initiative Hits Milestone

Confirmare, Fordham’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project launched in 2006, reached a milestone in March with the beginning of student registration for fall classes using newly implemented Banner software.

The rollout introduces students and faculty to the new system, which includes the University portal, a main access point for online University functions.

“We are very excited about the introduction of the portal,” said Frank Sirianni, Ph.D., vice president for technology and chief information officer. “It is a main entry point for students and faculty that will allow us to integrate many University functions into a single location.

“Student registration through the portal has gone flawlessly. There have been no service interruptions or issues relating to the system, which is a positive indication of the direction we’re headed,” Sirianni said.

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