Stonehill Celebrates the Start of the 74th Academic Year at Convocation
The 2022 winner of the Louis F. Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching was announced during the ceremony.
Community members gathered to commemorate the start of Stonehill College’s 74th year at Academic Convocation, held Wednesday, August 24 in the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex. DeBrenna Agbényiga, provost and vice president for academic affairs, served as mistress of ceremonies.
Open Hearts & Minds
Katherine Garside ’23 opened the celebration with the Invocation. She prayed that God may grant members of our community the diligence and enthusiasm needed to complete their work. She also asked Him to bless our students, faculty and staff so they may be open to new perspectives. She concluded with the following:
Lord, we ask that you bless the entire Stonehill community, but in a special way the Class of 2026 as they begin their journey here and the Class of 2023 as our journey comes to a close.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
An Immeasurable Impact
Stephen Cobbs ’23 introduced Assistant Professor of Chemistry Pamela Lombardi, who received the Louis F. Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching last year at Convocation. Reflecting on his experiences working with her, Cobbs discussed the impact of Lombardi’s interactive and inclusive teaching style.
“Though I can only hope to someday achieve even a flash of her magic, I know that the model that she showed me will serve as exemplar as they come,” he said.
Finding Joy, Sparking Passion
Lombardi encouraged students to embrace life’s joys. She noted that being in college provides many unique opportunities to do so.
“Let’s make a promise to one another as we start this new academic year: to look for and find joys in the present and unexpected, to not let comparison to others steal our joy, and to unselfishly experience and celebrate the joys of those surrounding us,” she said.
A Pillar of Light and Hope
Read by Provost Agbényiga, the citation bestowing the 2022 Hegarty Award upon Assistant Professor of Biology Tracy Rosebrock showcased her commitment to teaching excellence, mentoring and student success by highlighting the nominations she received from her colleagues and students.
One message submitted in support of Rosebrock read, “Her passion for science allows her to teach with her whole heart. She has a knack for simplifying complex concepts and making them fun. She spreads positivity while inspiring her students to set high standards for themselves. For many, she is a pillar of light and hope. Because of her, I am grateful I chose Stonehill.”
More Than Just a Student
Alumni Council President Jacquelyn Tracy ’88 presented members of the Class of 2026 with their class pins, typically worn by students at Commencement. She referred to them as symbols of seniors’ academic accomplishments and personal development. Tracy then presented the first-year class pins. She took this opportunity to offer some words of wisdom and encouragement to incoming students.
“Stonehill sees you as so much more than just a student,” she said. “They see the whole person and provide opportunities to broaden your horizon such as volunteering and community outreach. Take advantage of the opportunities provided to you.”
Challenging Expectations, Creating Change
Senior Class President Emily Hartford ’23 presented this year’s class shovel, a square point blade shovel with an ice pick handle, to Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., president of Stonehill College. She chose this multi-purpose device because she feels it represents the student body’s collective experience pursuing a degree amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like the users of this shovel, we have had interesting tools to challenge expectations and create change,” she said. “While so many curves were thrown into our college experience, each and every one of you faced those challenges with the tools you had. I hope you all take these learning experiences with you throughout our final year and into your post-grad experience.”
Igniting Joy, Zeal and Purpose
Fr. Denning noted that the start of the school year is a time for students to reconnect with each other, engage with their community and set intentions for the future.
“As you chart your own course this year, my hope is that the new experiences, challenges and opportunities that this campus offers will ignite within you sustaining joy, zeal and purpose throughout your entire life,” he said.
Competence to Understand, Courage to Act
While giving the Benediction, Rev. Adam Booth, C.S.C., assistant professor of religious studies and theology, asked God to bind our community of scholarship and faith together. He also prayed that He may help us all learn as we go about exploring the wonders of the world.
“May the competence to understand the world we gain here never be separated from a courage to act to make it more just and equitable for all,” he said.