Inclusion on Campus: Help Bridge the Transition to College

For degree completion, some students – especially those who are first-generation college students – need encouragement and support in setting a path to higher education. Donnelly College’s Gateway to College program is designed for high school students who have fallen behind in their studies because of family issues, language challenges, or other reasons. The free program helps motivated students earn a high school diploma while amassing college credits.

Each summer, Duquesne University hosts its Project SEED program, which provides economically disadvantaged high school students an opportunity to define a STEM-related research project and work in a campus lab alongside a faculty supervisor and graduate student mentor. “Project SEED provides these students with the support, encouragement and mentoring that they need to pursue a career in the sciences,” said Dr. Jennifer Aitken, director of Project SEED and associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Duquesne.

The Center for Student Success at Saint Leo University assists targeted student populations and their families in transitioning to the university. The program encourages academic, professional, and personal development through a range of resources.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Villanova University to Lead Lecture Series on Gaudium et Spes

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes: On the Church in the Modern WorldVillanova University, will host a lecture series, entitled, “The Family and Gaudium et Spes at 50“. The series, to take place over the course of the current academic year, will “examine the family, the Church, and issues of modernity as we reflect on the fifty years following Gaudium et Spes.” The themes range from adoption to fatherhood, to mass incarceration to immigration.

Speakers in the series come from multiple Catholic higher education institutions. The events are free to the public and do not require registration. The lectures, diverse in theme and speakers, are as follows:

  • Water Is Thicker Than Blood: Adoption, Social Justice and Catholic Teaching about Families
  • Fatherhood at Will: Philosophical Reflections on Catholic Social Teaching and a Role in Flux
    • November 16, 4 PM, Driscoll Hall Auditiorium
      Bernard G. Prusak, Kings College
  • Collateral Consequences: The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Families and Communities
    • January 28, 4 PM, St. Davids/Radnor Room, Connelly Center
      Jill McCorkel, Villanova University
  • Gaudium et Spes and Immigrant Families 50 Years Later
    • February 11, 4 PM, St. Davids/Radnor Room, Connelly Center
      Mary Holper, Boston College
  • Gaudium et Spes and the Family: A Social Tradition with Room to Grow
    • March 15, 4P M,  St. Augustine Center, Rm. 300
      Kathryn Getek Soltis, Villanova University


2015 Inaugural Presidential Conference on the Integrity of Creation: Climate Change

The Inaugural Presidential Conference on the Integrity of Creation, led by Duquesne University, is an interdisciplinary, academic conference which takes place each year to provide a scholarly forum for exploring a topic related to the general theme of the Integrity of Creation. Beginning Wednesday, September 30th until Friday, October 2nd, the Inaugural Presidential Conference on the Integrity of Creation: Climate Change will be exploring the implications of climate change from a variety of scholarly perspectives to consider ways to improve our planet’s future – safeguarding the Integrity of Creation around us.

Register online now for this year’s conference on climate change! Registration is free but required to include access to the conference lectures and discussions as well as to conference receptions.

Hope for Creation: Awaiting the Encyclical

As the release date for Pope Francis’s new encyclical draws nearer, researchers from various fields and interests share their predictions and hopes for the care of creation. A recent National Catholic Reporter article features thoughts by theologians and other experts from 10 ACCU members: Fordham University, Duquesne University, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, University of Dayton, Boston College, Loyola University New Orleans, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Loyola Chicago University, and Georgetown University. Both ACCU member academics and activists from partnering organizations voiced their expectations regarding the connections Pope Francis will make between care for creation and other themes, such as option for the poor and vulnerable, solidarity, and answering the call to family, unity, and participation.

Academics are also engaging the topic of climate change in other ways.  Last month, Cabrini College hosted “Faith Climate and Health: Creation Care for a Greener Future,” a half-day, interfaith conference focusing on care for creation. The keynote speech by Dr. John Burke treated predictions and hopes for the upcoming encyclical, especially focusing on care for creation through a lens of social justice. Additionally, an address by Rabbi Arthur Waskow compared the current environmental situation with other histories of oppression. The conference was also an ideal time for everyone to share their efforts toward sustainability. Learn more about the conference here.