Faculty Spotlight: Upcoming Webinar with Tish and Therese

16 09 2014


WHO: Dr. Patricia (Tish) Davis-Wick and Dr. Therese Madden, Presenters; Dr. Steven Cady, Bowling Green State University, Facilitator, Nexus4Change

WHEN: Thursday, September 18 at 11AM-Noon Pacific Standard Time AND Thursday, September 25 from 11AM-Noon Pacific Standard Time (a two-part seminar).

HOW: Free registration and participation at this link.  We are honored to partner with Nexus4Change, leaders in issues of global collaboration and change.

INTRODUCTION:  We work with and are inspired daily by the undergraduate students in our program.  They are over the age of 25, have years of professional experience, and are seeking to complete a degree begun as recently as a year ago or as long as 20 (or more) years ago.  When students walk into our offices to discuss enrolling in our program, we begin by asking them about themselves: what they do, what they want to do, where they are from, etc. They share incredibly varied but inevitably rich stories of lives often full of career and life experiences: jobs, families, travels, education, involvement in the community, and more. We never ask why they didn’t finish college in their early 20s, but they inevitably volunteer reasons that are broad and fascinating, though too often offered with apologetic explanations.  Rather than accept the premise that these alternate paths represent a deficit, we tell the students that their experiences indicate that they were “too interesting” to have wanted to finish college at 22. “Oh!” one student responded to that observation recently, “I never thought about it that way. I have done a lot of really cool things!”

In many ways these students could reinforce the argument, coming loudly of late from various educational reform circles, that college is irrelevant for today’s workplace or societal needs.  There is certainly no deficit in who these students are as professionals or as members of the community and by multiple measures they have indeed achieved considerable success without the benefit of a college degree. However, their own reflections before they graduate tell a different story, one that strongly reinforces the value of the degree and the importance of adjusting traditional structures within universities to create full access for these nontraditional students.

About two years after students begin, when they are seniors at the university, we engage them in rich dialogue as they reflect on their learning experiences as part of their senior capstone course. They prepare a portfolio in which they present compiled evidence about the relevance of the courses that they have taken. The thoughtful narratives that they present show both enthusiasm for their instructors and the deep value that they place on their course learning experiences, demonstrating that  college has indeed become both a deeply important part of who they are and relevant to their imagination about how they will appropriate their own futures.

Listen to the media or our politicians and you get the impression that there is but one way to experience college: as an 18-22 year old who moves away from home, lives on campus, and finishes a degree after four years of being a full-time student. And yet, depending on your definitions, nontraditional students compose up to 73% of today’s undergraduates in the United States, truly representing a new majority on college campuses.

In our webinar, we will explore the ways that the sheer numbers of nontraditional students represent a revolution on campus.  We will also explore the reasons that this change captures the very best marriage between traditional structures and the emerging movement toward having learners reclaim agency about what they learn and the relevance of that learning to their lives. We will cover the necessary changes that institutions and the faculty, staff, and advisors who work in them need to make to best empower learning for and with this new majority of college students.

To see this new majority succeed in imagining new worlds into being requires innovative thinking about teaching, advising, and otherwise supporting these students and we look forward to learning through conversation with the webinar participants. We are also very honored to be working with Nexus4Change, a fantastic organization that has adopted a mission of global change on a variety of important issues.

In the first part of our webinar series, we will discuss considerations related to teaching nontraditional learners.   Many educational institutions share a commitment to make education accessible; to truly do so requires meeting students where they are and developing teaching and administrative approaches that facilitate their progress toward individually appropriated goals.  We will explore means for doing so in the second week of this webinar, especially focusing on building a culture that embraces this new majority as a full and relevent part of the university community.

We are passionate about our students, for they inspire and teach us; we are eager to share our enthusiasm with you.  To read more and to register for this (free) webinar, please use this link.  We look forward to the conversation!

Inspiration Friday: 86-Year Old Gymnast

12 09 2014

I overheard a conversation not long ago between Dr. Patrick Arbore and Dr. Helene Laroche-Davis.  They were talking about gerontology, or work with the aging population.  Patrick made a remarkable statement, “when students are through with my class, they will no longer be afraid of aging or of dying.”  Helene responded with her own personal insight, saying “every year since I have turned 50 has been better and better.”  I love how this wisdom from each of these experienced, insightful, and wonderful instructors defies societal expectations about aging, as does the video below, which my mother actually sent along to me.  (She, by the way, just celebrated her 72nd birthday, a month after she won the Pikes Peak Marathon for her age group by ascending and then descending the 14,411′ peak in a 26-mile journey.)

Interested in learning more about defying stereotypes about aging or serving this growing population?  Ask your adviser about courses in gerontology, which count toward a concentration in that area for Human Services students and may count toward miscellaneous upper division electives for others.


Want to be a Student Senator?

11 09 2014

ASNDNUInterested in student government?  The Associated Students Association of NDNU (ASNDNU) has a Senator position open for an intensive student.  The Senate meets every Tuesday afternoon from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

Here’s their purpose statement, from the web site; check there for more info and if you are interested, contact ASNDNU President Kevin Tovar Beel at kbeel@student.ndnu.edu:

The Associated Students of Notre Dame de Namur University (ASNDNU) is the official student governing body of the University. The purpose of ASNDNU is to provide for the general welfare of the Association and the University. In doing so, ASNDNU will be given powers and responsibilities as follows:

  1. To be recognized as the official voice of the Association membership.
  2. To promote student interest in all areas of life at the University.
  3. To raise and allocate funds.
  4. To coordinate and support Association activities.
  5. To review, advise, and make recommendations, as appropriate, to the University Administration regarding the establishment and implementation of University policies and procedures.
  6. To be an active participant on University boards, committees and councils, as designated by University Administration.
  7. To hold elections and meetings to discuss and vote on important issues related to student life.
  8. To uphold and honor the mission of the University, recognize the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur; peace, social justice, and education for all.


Image courtesy ndnu.edu

Faculty Spotlight: Alicia Santamaria on Teamwork

9 09 2014

Alicia SantamariaFaculty member Alicia Santamaria recently wrote a guest post for CompassPoint, a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits to be more efficient.  Those of you working in or with teams might be interested in the entire article, which addresses some techniques for making teams work.

An excerpt:

In many organizations, I see managers and leaders challenged to deal with the interpersonal “conflict” situations that inevitably crop up between people. It can be enough to make some people want to stick their heads in the sand, which unfortunately is what happens sometimes. This avoids the situation in the short-term but the longer term implications for not tending to workplace misunderstandings, disagreements, and other conflicts can be quite damaging.

Those who are able to address situations in a timely and constructive manner and who can use their conflict competence to help people around them resolve their issues are a real asset to their teams and their organizations.

The full article is here and in it Alicia shares tips on building team agreements, explains what it means to be intentional about your organizational culture, and more.  This is relevant to everyone:  organizational leaders, individual contributors, those working on capstone projects and more.

Thanks, Alicia!  Well done.

Grab n’ Go in Tabard All Week

8 09 2014
grab and go
Stop by Tabard Inn before class this week to pick up a F14 Survival Guide, say hello, and grab some coffee/tea and a snack.
Our chance to welcome you to fall classes!





Image courtesy fourwindscasino.com

Internship and Volunteer Fair

8 09 2014

Internship fairSave the Date!

Internship and Volunteer Fair, Tuesday, September 30, 3-6PM, St. Joe’s Lounge.

For more information, contact Career Services Director Carrie McKnight at (650) 508-3667 or cmcknight@ndnu.edu

Download the flyer here: Internshipfaire

Sponsored by Career Services and the Dorothy Stang Center.  Photo courtesy ndnu.edu

Student Spotlight: Maria Sanchez’ Art Show

5 09 2014

Maria AStudent, mother, researcher, artist, community organizer, advocate, and all-round Renaissance woman Maria Sanchez is having an art reception tonight as part of a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Here are the details:

Antologia of the Arts and Global America gladly invite you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Antologia where the art by a Latin American artist Maria Sanchez will be on display from August 24th till September 27th.  

Come to her Open Night reception, enjoy her art meet the artist September 5th from 6pm to 9pm and taste the delicious Latin American wine that Antologia has for you on this special month of the year.


Antologia Vinoteca
515 Broadway St
San Francisco, CA 94133

Hope to see you there!


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