New Student Chaplaincy Program at Manor Helps Invigorate Campus Faith

Manor’s campus community has seen a resurgence of student involvement in faith-based activities over the past year. Students now lead weekly bible studies, a prayer room sees regular usage, and Basilian bread baking continues to be a popular group activity. Assistance came in the form of a grant from the Archdiocesan Educational Fund to expand the Campus Ministry Student Chaplaincy program. This represents the first time the fund has been used in support of a religious organization/evangelization program with a Catholic college, in recognition of this important outreach method. Over the past semester, the Student Chaplaincy program has grown to include seven chaplains. The students, who receive a stipend for their work, are tasked with providing spiritual guidance and advice to students, while encouraging students to uphold the school’s Catholic Basilian faith-based values. Having multiple chaplains allows students to work around their existing class, work, and activity schedules, ensuring that one or two chaplains can always be present at events. Chaplains are encouraged to engage their fellow students and to be comfortable working in an inclusive manner, allowing for positive conversations with students of various faiths and backgrounds. “We’re there as like spiritual counselors,” explains newly installed chaplain Aldrin Reginald. “It’s an ecumenical, inter-faith approach which opens up more awareness of the teachings of Christianity as a whole and Catholicism in particular,” explains Campus Ministry Coordinator Thomas Verni. “It’s an opening of dialogue about Christian and Catholic belief.” The inclusive nature of the program helps start the conversation, while ensuring that students can feel comfortable participating. Privish Sadaqat decided to become a student chaplain as a way to incorporate her faith back into her everyday life. “I work, study, work, study – I don’t find myself that spiritually strong,” she says. “Student chaplaincy gives me the chance to be involved spiritually and abide with God, along with my academics, which is very helpful for me personally.” Aldrin, whose father is a pastor, sees his chaplaincy as a way to connect to the larger community. “I strongly believe that it’s important to offer people knowledge about the faith in case they do want to know more, and want to grow closer to God. I want to be the person that helps them get there if they need the support,” he says. So far, he says the experience has been “very rewarding” and he’s already had the chance to answer questions from fellow students seeking religious guidance. This semester, Campus Ministry has helped facilitate a weekly bible study group that meets in the library. The group is led by the chaplains, allowing for an open and friendly exchange of ideas amongst fellow students. “Sometimes when I’m busy I don’t read the bible, but on Wednesday I have to read the bible to prepare my teaching for other student chaplains – that gives me a chance to be with God more,” explains Privish. “We have many ethnicities of students here. They come from many different denominations but we all pray together the same way, and it’s a very beautiful type of unity.” Both Privish and Aldrin encourage students to give bible study a try, stressing that a religious background isn’t necessary. “They don’t need to be Christian,” says Aldrin. “More than focusing on religion, we’re also trying to focus on emotional and spiritual well being.” Several of the chaplains keep office hours, during which students are invited to stop by for spiritual guidance or discussion. Chaplains extend spiritual friendship to students who may need it, and several chaplains report witnessing in their daily classroom experiences. “Some people are really interested and come to us and question us,” says Privish, adding that the distinctive Campus Ministry polos they wear help encourage students to identify them as spiritual advisors. One of Campus Ministry’s most popular events is Basilian Bread baking. Student chaplains assist with this event, which not only helps students learn basic baking skills, but brings together the campus community in the spirit of learning, working together, and generosity – students are encouraged to bake one loaf to keep, and one to give away. What does the future hold for the Student Chaplains, and the Manor College community? “Our fervent and heartfelt prayer is that we may continue to have access to this funding; it is a highly effective means of supporting our Basilian, faith-based institutional mission in a way which is both inclusive and life-living,” says Verni. “By empowering our student chaplains to be spiritual guides and friends to the Manor community, we are essentially spreading God’s healing presence at the most grass-roots level. We are living the Gospel.”

Social Justice Symposium Sheds Light on Important Issues

Manor College’s 6th annual Social Justice Symposium took place on Nov. 7, 2019. The discussion topics were social justice in Philadelphia’s public education environment, and immigration in America. This half-day event honors St. Basil the Great, who was a champion of social justice issues. “In the spirit of Saint Basil, we started the night before with a Continuing Legal Education Course on Non-immigrant Visas with Immigration attorney Emily Cohen,” explained Professor Mary Sims, who helped organize the symposium. “Many students attended that along with some local attorneys and it was a huge success! The Social Justice Symposium the next day complemented that because the main focus was on Immigration, but included other speakers as well who are doing work locally in the name of Social Justice. Social Justice: focus on global, making it local.” Sims introduced the speakers and reiterated the need to be conscious of social justice issues on campus, and in the world. Thomas Verni, who is Manor’s Campus Ministry Coordinator and an instructor of Religious Studies, made opening remarks about the legacy of Saint Basil and how his vision for a more generous world continues to be honored today. Curry Bailey, a Student Disciplinary Hearing Officer for the School District of Philadelphia, then discussed with students the realities of the school-to-prison pipeline and the hurdles in place to dismantling systemic oppression. Bailey’s prior experiences working closely with kids struggling to succeed in the system include foster care-related social work and bullying prevention. Cathryn Miller-Wilson, the Executive Director of HIAS Pennsylvania, led a discussion on immigration and the current realities of immigration reform. Students learned about the history and legacy of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia that provides legal and social services to low-income and at-risk immigrants and refugees. All donations of clothing and accessories were taken to the Career Wardrobe, and food and beverages were provided by the Society for Justice, Law + Policy, along with Student Engagement.  

Dr. Marc Minnick Named Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Manor College is pleased to announce that Marc D. Minnick, DBA, has been named Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Dr. Minnick most recently served as Senior Dean for Academic Affairs and as Dean of the Business and Technology division at Manor College and has been a longstanding part of Manor’s community. He has also taught for Goldey Beacom College, Lebanon Valley College, Widener International Study Centre, Valley Forge Military College, and for the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. He is a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and has presented at the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) National Conference in 2018. “Dr. Minnick’s career of leadership including Manor’s Faculty Senate, leadership of the Division of Business and Technology, leadership in the classroom, and leadership in industry, position him perfectly for the Vice Presidency – Provost role” said Manor College’s President, Dr. Jonathan Peri. “Marc is focused on our students and their success, and he’s focused on excellence and transparency in communicating with our community about academic affairs. He is going to do well.” Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Minnick worked in industry as the Chief Operating Officer for Advanced Enviro Systems, as Assistant Vice President for Acre Mortgage and Financial, Inc, and as Vice President for Sunset Mortgage Company, LP. Dr. Minnick earned his Doctor of Business Administration from Wilmington University, his MBA in Leadership Development and International Focus from St. Joseph’s University, and his dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Organizational Dynamics and Human Performance Management from Immaculata University. “I am truly honored and humbled to accept this position at Manor. Since joining Manor College, I have known I belong,” stated Dr. Minnick. “Manor College has a strong foundation! I look forward to building on this foundation with Manor’s faculty, leadership, and staff. Over the past three years, we’ve had such exciting growth. We anticipate that trend to continue and I’m proud that I will help to lead Manor to fulfill its ambitious vision for the future.” For more information, contact Heather Dotchel at hdotchel@manor.edu or 215-885-2360, x237. ### About Manor College: Located in suburban Philadelphia, Manor College is a small college that offers big opportunities and a stellar education–one with small classes full of big thinkers and a big-hearted community ready to challenge all of our students to reach and grow. Manor offers more than 50 Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Certificate programs in Allied Health, Arts and Sciences, Business and Technology, and Educational and Professional Studies to traditional age and adult students. Manor is America’s only accredited institution of higher education founded by Ukrainian Sisters, the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great. Learn more at www.manor.edu