Monday Morning Update

August 22, 2016

Teaching & Technology: Picture this: it’s your first day on the job as a secondary school teacher. You have to direct a school-wide writing assignment that the students are not invested in completing.  How will you motivate them to produce their best work? How will you get them on task without losing valuable time? Thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education and technology startup Mursion, our education students can practice delivering educational content and interpersonal strategies in a low-stakes virtual reality setting. For more on this exciting pre-service immersive training platform, visit here.

Church & Immigration: The Catholic Church’s position on immigration is based on the biblical vision of love for strangers, according to Rev. Jim Fenstermaker ’77 writing recently in the Easton Journal. Noting that both Catholic and Jewish scriptures contain stories of refugees fleeing from oppression, Fr. Fenstermaker, who is the Pastor of Holy Cross Church in South Easton, outlines Catholic social teaching on the topic and the Church’s approach to comprehensive immigration reform. To read his reflections, visit here.

Green Garden: Where once there was asphalt now there is a lush green garden in the Duffy parking lot. This beautification project creates another outdoor social gathering space, building on the success of such spaces near the Shields Science Center and the MacPháidín Library, and as is outlined in the Campus Master Planning report. In addition to trees and shrubbery, the gathering space includes tables with purple umbrellas, several sitting walls and brick pathways. The pathway area connecting the Commonwealth Court area to Duffy and Roche Commons was also enhanced with cherry trees, a rod iron fence and benches. For more, visit here.

Meditation Garden: In the spirit of interfaith dialogue, the College yesterday dedicated the Rabbi H. David Werb Interfaith Meditation Garden near the Chapel of Mary. A pioneering member of the College’s Catholic-Jewish Dialogue Committee, Rabbi Werb spent his career bringing communities of faith together. The meditation garden is a relocation and reconfiguration of a similar garden built in Rabbi Werb’s honor at Temple Beth Emunah in Brockton when he retired in 2007. Stonehill worked to move the garden to campus after the Temple was sold last year. It will be a place for prayerful reflection, dialogue, conversation, and learning that leads to action. For more, visit here.

Skyhawk Football: With a season opener against Bloomsburg on September 2 at W.B. Mason Stadium, the football team is back and very busy practicing for the new season. After nine seasons with Rob Talley, the Skyhawks are now being guided by one of his assistants, Eli Gardner whose first game is fast approaching. To read a recent Enterprise story about Coach Gardner, visit here.

Prof. Wetzel Update: We have positive news about Professor Chris Wetzel, who was seriously injured in a hiking accident earlier this month.  His family reports that he recently passed a speech and swallow evaluation and is increasingly alert. However, Chris remains in intensive care and still has a long way to go, but his family extends their thanks for all of the support and well wishes that the Stonehill community has extended to them. Visits are still too much at this time, but if you would like to send a card, the address is Chris Wetzel, C/O Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756.  There is also a Chris Wetzel Updates Facebook page.