Changes in Store as Stonehill Prepares for Start of Classes
August 24, 2010
by Stacey Gallotta
Returning and incoming Stonehill College students will descend upon the sprawling 375-acre liberal arts campus next weekend for move-in day, but they will only have a few days to socialize with old and new friends before classes begin on Sept. 1.
With a new five-story residence hall opening this fall, Stonehill officials will be better equipped to handle the college's expanding student population, which has seen significant growth in the last several years.
Last year, the college was overenrolled by about 50 students, which forced many students into overflow housing behind O'Hara Hall while the $22 million dormitory was being constructed.
With the completion of the new residence hall, the college will have enough housing for another 250 students - space that will be used in the coming years, as officials say the collegeis currently on target with plans to grow its student body to 2,500 students.
"Our enrollment numbers are in line with our goals," said Martin McGovern, director of communications for the college.
This year's incoming freshman class is expected to number 725 students - a 6-percent increase over the class of 2013, which numbered 683 students. The class of 2014 shatters last year's record-breaking incoming freshman class size by about 42 students, making it the largest incoming class to date.
After students finish settling into their residence halls, there will be little time for boredom, as the college officials say there will be plenty of new and familiar activities on tap for students during the upcoming school year.
The 19th annual Into the Streets Day will take place Monday, Aug. 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. This year, the community service program will send first-year students to nearly 46 different sites, including the Brockton Boys and Girls Club, Easton Food Pantry, American Red Cross and My Brother's Keeper.
The college's annual academic convocation, another freshman tradition, will be held Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m. in the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex.
As in prior years, the freshmen class performed a required reading assignment over the summer as part of their collective intellectual experience. This year's reading assignment, Jonah Lehrer's "How We Decide," gave students an opportunity to explore decision-making processes and the interconnection of reason and emotion.
To keep the conversation about decision-making going, Lehrer will pay a visit to the college campus on Thursday, Oct. 7. He will address the college community the same day in the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex.
While the first year experience remained relatively unchanged, they way in which students engaged with the summer reading assignment and other first-year curriculum differed slightly, as this year marked the launch of Stonehill's First Year Experience blog (see www.stonehill.edu). The website provides freshmen with basic information about their first year experience, including their summer reading assignment, as well as videos, links to outside articles and blogs, as well as Twitter and Facebook feeds.
"Our marketing department worked with the academic division to create this well-received site," McGovern said. "The first year experience is one of our most critical encounters with new students, as it is important to engage them in their summer reading assignment."
Also undergoing a slight change this year is the college's curriculum focus.
After a two-year focus on globalization, the Martin Institute for Law and Society will launch a new thematic focus on indigenous peoples.
"This two-year endeavor will provide a unique interdisciplinary opportunity to understand the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere," McGovern said.
The theme will serve as a starting point for students interested in self-creating their own majors and minors, and for those interested in future graduate work.
In addition, the college will welcome 10 new faculty members this fall: Bronwyn Bleakley, assistant professor of biology; Kerri Bowen, visiting assistant professor of English; Maureen Boyle, assistant professor of communication; Virginia Cortijo, assistant professor of business/accounting; Rudy de Mattos, assistant professor of foreign language; David Kinsey, assistant professor of visual and performing arts; Bettina Scholz, assistant professor of political science; Robert Spencer, assistant professor of business/management; Karen Teoh, assistant professor of history; Stephen Wilbricht, C.S.C., assistant professor of religious studies.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.