Celebrating Diversity with Kente Cloth Ceremony
Surrounded by family, friends and the Chestnut Hill College community, 20 students celebrated their diversity and collective unity as part of the first annual Kente Cloth ceremony. The ceremony, which was organized by the Black Student Union and CHC’s Office of Student Life, was designed to allow students to pay tribute to their own unique heritage, experiences and achievements as well as to pay homage to those who have paved the way for them prior to and during their time at the College. Each cloth was designed with colors to represent, among other qualities, growth, energy, wealth and victory.
In April, Jacqueline Reich, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, visited CHC’s partner school in Belgium. Reich taught about the U.S. political system during "Global Partner Days" at the Howest University College of West Flanders. She also had the chance to meet with Howest students who had done a distance learning exchange with CHC students. Howest and CHC students will travel to their respective partner schools for the fall semester. See the link to the Howest International Facebook post here.
Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP, professor of psychology, has just published a new book about working with families. He co-edited “Contemporary Families at the Nexus of Research and Practice,” which covers topics about stepfamilies, fragile families, addiction and families, families of incarceration and reentry and more.
Walking for a Purpose
In 2014, It’s On Us, was launched. The organization's mission is to “educate, engage, and empower students and communities across the country to do something to end sexual assault." Since then, Chestnut Hill College has taken that mission on itself and every year, during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it hosts events that meet the three pillars of It’s On Us – consent education, increasing bystander intervention and creating an environment to support survivors.
This year was no different as the College offered bystander intervention training, encouraged students to take the It’s On Us Pledge to end sexual violation, participated in the Clothesline Project to address the issue of violence against women, and for the second year in a row, hosted the aptly named, Title .9K walk around campus. Members of the College community joined to walk the short distance around the campus and stand in solidarity with both victims and survivors of sexual assault.
PAGES Conference Makes Science Fun
Eighty-six 6th grade girls from 25 schools as far away as the Lehigh Valley, Jersey shore and Delaware joined older (CHC) students and adult volunteers on Earth Day to learn about science while having fun.
The bi-annual PAGES (Philadelphia Area Girls Enjoying Science) conference brings together female scientists of all ages for a day of lab sessions including extracting DNA from strawberries, creating a non-toxic slime polymer and making ice cream out of liquid nitrogen, always a crowd favorite.
“Studies have shown that around middle school age, it becomes less cool for girls to be interested in science,” says Karen Wendling ’03, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and the College’s point person for the PAGES events. “This program is really geared toward fixing that issue by bringing in the girls right at that stage where they might be starting to think science isn’t cool. Then we let them experience science for themselves—which really is cool and there are plenty of women who are good at math and good at science. It’s just a stereotype that women are not successful at these things.”
Almost 20 years ago, Helen Burke, SSJ, former chair of CHC’s Chemistry Department, founded the program through a grant from the National Science Foundation
“We want to make sure the day is fun and safe for the girls,” says Kathy Shaginaw, Ph.D., a chemist, instructor at the Community College of Philadelphia and textbook consultant who has organized the PAGES conference since 1999. “We want them to have a hands-on, great experience with science, and we appreciate the support that CHC has given the program.”
The next PAGES conference is scheduled for November 4.
Ninth Graders Learn About CHC
For the last seven years, CHC has hosted 9th-grade students from Roxborough High School to expose them to a bit of the college experience and perhaps inspire them to pursue a college degree after high school.
Roxborough High has been a CHC community partner since 2007, when the College received a grant for service-learning. The two institutions learn from each other: CHC students volunteer there, tutoring and helping high school seniors with the Senior Project requirement.
The high schoolers hear from admissions counselors and representatives of other departments and get a campus tour before ending the day with lunch in the Dining Hall.
Griffins Spruce up St. Mary’s by the Sea
Ten students and alumni cleaned up and fixed up the Sisters of Saint Joseph retreat house in Cape May, N.J., St. Mary’s by the Sea. This tradition of volunteering to get the house ready for the summer season was started years ago by a former student and is continued by Jennifer Thorpe, director of residence life.
The Grackle Has Arrived
CHC staff, faculty and students were treated to an end-of-year launch party for the newest issue of The Grackle, CHC’s student literary magazine. Students whose work was included in the publication read from some of their stories or poems and students with published artwork shared the inspiration behind their pieces.
IDHP End-of-Year Event
During this annual end-of-year gathering, students from the Interdepartmental Honors Program enjoyed stimulating conversation with their peers and faculty members as they said goodbye to one year and looked ahead to the next. In addition to talking with their professors about their experiences this past semester, the gathering also gave the younger students the opportunity to say one last goodbye to the seniors of the program and to thank them for their mentorship and advice.
Grant Awarded to Student’s Non-Profit Organization
Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad is a fourth year doctoral student at CHC and founder of a mental health non-profit, Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF). MWF has been awarded an $8,000 Action Learning Seed Fund grant from the Leadership Learning Community.
The grant will fund an intensive leadership and wellness retreat for Black Muslim Youth. This project aims to support emerging Black Muslim young adults through their racial healing process; in particular, it centers the importance of emotional development as a necessary component to cultivating leadership capacity. The convening will center the developmental needs of Millennials through experiential learning, team building exercises and self-reflection. They will also gain new skills and awareness related to racial trauma and healing, emotional intelligence, compassionate leadership and community organizing.