By Aislinn Keely
Maura B. Mast, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and dean of Fordham College Rose Hill (FCRH), held the first FCRH town hall of the semester, where students addressed questions regarding student life and academic concerns.
Christopher Rodgers, assistant vice president and dean of students at Rose Hill, Carla Romney, associate dean for STEM and pre-health education and Rev. John T. Dzieglewicz, S.J., Ph.D., dean of the senior class, were also in attendance to address students’ concerns. This town hall included the announcement New York State’s approval for Fordham to pursue creating a new math major.
Mast began the town hall with announcements. She reminded attendees of the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 26 and the Special Lecture given by Jane Chenko, Ph.D. on March 22, part of the Sapientia et Doctrina series and the Dodransbicentennial celebrations. Mast also called discussed the new Jewish Studies minor and the plans for the introduction of Hebrew. She also announced that Fordham College Rose Hill is also in the process of interviewing candidates for 15 arts and sciences staff positions.
Some students used the forum to learn how to achieve their academic goals, while others questioned the direction of the university in certain areas.
Elizabeth Crennan, FCRH ’19, asked about future partnerships between Fordham College Rose Hill and Gabelli School of Business.
“I’ve had the opportunity to take some classes in the Gabelli School and I know that there is still a bit of a split, even though I am able to take classes there,” said Crennan.
Mast said there has been discussion about doing a joint town hall with Gabelli. She also referenced the previous TedX event organized by both FCRH and GSB. Mast discussed working closer with n Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of Gabelli School of Business.
“I’m really open to ways that we can bring the schools and colleges together, so feel free to send me suggestions,” said Mast.
Students also expressed concerns about the CORE.
“I know that I have friends, and even myself, who have taken a course because it fulfills three requirements rather than taking the course because I really wanted to. I think there’s a lot,” said Alina Bills, FCRH ’18.
Dzieglewicz acknowledged concerns with the CORE. “That’s the danger of this, it’s that it’s nothing to do with education after a while, it’s kind of filling spaces on DegreeWorks. That’s not what we’re about,” said Dzieglewicz.
The conversation turned to Integrated Learning Communities [ILC] as Caroline Rossi, FCRH ’18, asked about the expansion of ILCs, particularly the Manresa program.
“I know right now [Manresa is] such a coveted program, I’m curious if there are plans for expansion so that more students can reap the benefits,” asked Rossi.
Rather than focusing solely on the Manresa program, Mast said she thinks that students need more information on the ILCs available to them, to find and build a community.
“If you think about how we build a community for all students, not just students who live on campus but commuting students too, now we start to come at it at very different ways, and then it’s how you message it to incoming students so that they get excited about it,” explained Mast.
Though the Town Hall is an open forum for students to express concerns, Mast reminded students that it is an ongoing conversation.
“This is not the only opportunity to speak to me,” said Mast.