Lourdes' Franciscan Pilgrimage program continued this spring, as Admissions Transfer Coordinator Kelly Bishop, Dean of the College of Nursing Judy Didion, PhD, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies Patricia O'Connell, PhD and Associate Professor of Chemistry & Physical Sciences Elizabeth Wise, PhD, joined nearly 60 others in Assisi and Rome, Italy.
There, the group spent 11 days learning about the history of the Franciscan Order and touring historical and religious landmarks such as the Basilicas of St. Clare and St. Francis, La Verna and the Porziuncola.
After the pilgrimage concluded, Dr. O'Connell and Dr. Wise remained in Europe to work on academic research. Dr. O'Connell gathered data and feedback for her World-Applicable One Leadership Philosophy (Franciscanism) and Dr. Wise studied painting conservation at the Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence.
Lourdes University is the newest member of the Studio Arts Centers International (SACI) consortium. Founded in 1975 by artist Jules Maidoff, SACI is the oldest and most prestigious American art institute in Italy. SACI offers university-level instruction in studio art, design and the liberal arts and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
The SACI consortium was founded in 1988 in order to unify the many art schools with which it had established regular, yet informal, partnerships. Lourdes joins an additional 45 SACI consortium members including Boston Architectural College, Cleveland Institute of Art, Columbia University (NYC) and Parsons: The New School for Design.
"We wanted to be involved with SACI because of the wonderful reputation it has," reflects Erin Palmer Szavuly, Art Department Chair. "By being a link to the SACI program, we'll have direct knowledge of what our students will experience when they study abroad.
"The degree of professionalism we've experienced (over this past year of communication) with SACI has been outstanding at both the administrative and student levels – this contributes to the knowledge that our students will continue to receive an excellent education, even when they are abroad."
Last summer, Lourdes art history senior Brian Screptock, Jr. and Associate Professor of Chemistry Elizabeth Wise, PhD, took courses at SACI. Brian studied Renaissance art history and batik and Dr. Wise learned about art restoration and conservation.
Find out more about SACI on their website.
Each fall, millions of Monarch butterflies migrate from the north to areas in Mexico and the southern United States where they wait out the winter. Monarch migration is truly one of the world's greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat and plant loss in North America.
In order to combat threats to the Monarch butterfly, waystations are being established across the continent. The Lourdes' Life Lab has recently been approved as one of Ohio's Monarch Waystations by the Monarch Watch organization.
"The Life Lab has encouraged the growth of the Monarch butterfly population since its inception on the Lourdes campus, 22 years ago – we are helping to continue a phenomenon which actually began in the mountains of Mexico before the Ice Age," shares Sr. Rosine Sobczak, Life Lab Director.
The Life Lab's butterfly garden provides several species of Monarch host plants that are indigenous to Ohio. Teachers and children visiting the Life Lab are able to directly study the life cycle of the Monarch as well as expand their knowledge of other native Midwestern species of Lepidoptera.
As a Monarch Waystation, Lourdes Life Lab will continue to provide resources necessary for Monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. For more on the Life Lab visit www.lourdes.edu/lifelab.
In the summer of 2008, the Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development (GLC) established the American Summer Institute (ASI), a 3-week educational and cultural exchange program in Hungary.
Dariel Jacobs, PhD, Associate Professor of Education and Paul Longenecker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Business & Leadership were part of the original ASI team. This year, Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Longenecker returned to Hungary with a program focused on leadership along with Patricia O'Connell, PhD, Associate Professor of Business & Leadership and interns Medea Loibl and Adam Longenecker.
The ASI team worked with 60 students ranging in age from 14 to 56 in the cities of Szeged and Veszprem, Hungary. Students participated in activities and lesson-plans designed to enhance their English language and leadership skills and engage them in contributing creative ideas to expand mutually beneficial economic, educational and cultural programs between Hungary and northwest Ohio.
"Building and maintaining international relationships was also a key point in this year's program," shares Dr. Longenecker. "Szeged is a sister city of Toledo and we really want to keep the connection strong. Also, because part of Lourdes' strategic plan is to increase international partnerships and opportunities, we felt this was something important to focus on."
Through the ASI, the team intends to work on maintaining relationships and creating an ongoing exchange between Lourdes and partners in Hungary in the future.