Author: mpok3180

02 Jul

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Fanjeaux Pilgrimage

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All of the “pilgrims.” There were forty-three faculty, staff, and students representing eleven Dominican institutions.

On Memorial Day, I, along with A.J. LaPoint, assistant director of campus ministry, and two students, Stephanie Rivera and Ilci Valarde, flew to Fanjeaux, France to study medieval France, Saint Dominic de Guzman, and the Dominican order. Upon arrival we met the other members of our pilgrimage group, thirty-nine faculty, staff, and students from ten other Dominican institutions. Over the next two and a half weeks we discussed the Dominican charism and how it forms the shared foundation of the missions of Dominican colleges and universities.

Top: The town of Fanjeaux, France, taken from the spot where St. Dominic converted two Cathar assassins. Fanjeaux was home to St. Dominic from 1206 to 1215. It was our home base for the first two weeks of the pilgrimage. Bottom left: The Cathar fortress of Monsegur. The group started here and climbed our way to the top. The view of the Pyrenees is breathtaking. Bottom middle: The church of St. Mary at Vals. The original church was carved out of the stone. Over several centuries, the rest was constructed. Bottom right: A watchtower in Coulliure, on the Mediterranean Sea. The tower was painted by Matisse and the town features structures built by the Visigoths in the fourth century.

Fanjeaux was home to Dominic for nearly a decade.  In and around the village we saw Dominic’s home, the altar where he celebrated mass, the spot where he converted Cathar assassins, the convent of the original nine Dominican sisters, and at least three wooden beams claiming to be the one that was hit by the book during Dominic’s debate with a Cathar. I was privileged to be able to direct a quick rendition of The Miracle of Theophile, a French favorite, in the chapel space where Dominic preached. Even as a non-Catholic, it was moving to walk in the steps of Dominic.

Left: The remains of St. Thomas Aquinas at the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse. Right: The altar in Fanjeaux where St. Dominic celebrated mass. The students were fortunate enough to perform a medieval miracle play in this space.

Most days included an excursion to an important site in Southern France. Some of the highlights for me were the Abbey at LaGrasse, the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse that holds the remains of St. Thomas Aquinas, prehistoric cave paintings at Niaux, a falconry exhibit in the Pyrenees, and the Mediterranean Sea at Collioure. The trip was packed with places and things to see. At each location the leaders of the pilgrimage had every detail well planned and executed.

Left: The pyramid at the Louvre. I can now say I saw the Mona Lisa. Right: The interior of Sainte Chappell in Paris. The stained glass in this cathedral is stunning. As a friend said, it’s like standing inside a jewel box.

The last three days were spent in Paris. I went to the Louvre and the Orsay, but for me the highlight was the Comedie-Francaise. Being in the theatre that had been Moliere’s home was a real treat. I also walked through many Parisian neighborhoods and found a few unexpected gems. If you’re ever in Paris, look up Deyrolles taxidermy shop, you won’t be disappointed.

The Comedie-Francaise in Paris. This building hosted many of the great French playwrights, including Moliere. For a theatre professor, it was an exciting place.

The trip was only possible for me due to the incredible generosity of the Dominican Sisters of Hope. Their faith in the continuing mission of the college is now partially my responsibility to maintain and strengthen. In Fanjeaux we spoke a lot about the idea of midwifing; how the sisters at each of our institutions have helped give birth to something that is now in our hands. I hope I can do my part to continue their legacy.

A falcon seen at a birds of prey exhibit near the Pyrenees. Nearly every day included a trip to an historical or culturally significant spot in Southern France. The falconry show illustrated the hunting and gaming interests of medieval nobility.


James Phillips is the Assistant Professor of Theatre at the Mount.

To learn more about the Fanjeaux experience and find out how you can get involved, visit www.msmc.edu/fanjeaux

02 Apr

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Getting down to business

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Above: Amanda Cavaciuti (bottom row, second from left) poses with other members of SBA and Jack Belsito, CEO of Voss Water.

The Student Business Association, also known as SBA, is a fairly new club at the Mount. Formed in the fall of 2013, this club is designed to teach and educate students about the work force. The club is not limited to business students, and is open to all students here at the College.

I recently joined this past November. As a public relations major, I thought it would be a great opportunity.

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18 Dec

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Marketing at the Mount

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Jade Hanley

Interning this past semester has taught me more than I ever thought I could learn, not only about my field, but about myself as well. I was lucky enough to have an internship in the Marketing Office at the College. During my time there, I experienced first-hand every aspect of marketing, including photography and videography, advertising, web content management, social media management, and so much more.

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11 Dec

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Mathematics at the Mount

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NCTM ConferenceMount students and faculty at the NCTM Conference

As a senior mathematics major getting certified in adolescence education with a middle school extension, I’ve had the chance to get to know professors in both the education and math divisions, and I’ve thrived here at college thanks to everything I’ve experienced within the past four years. I am currently student teaching and have had an adequate amount of experience in the education field. During my first student teaching placement, I was at Bishop Dunn Memorial School teaching math in grades 6-8. My second placement was at NFA North, where I worked with many different classes and played different roles inside of the classroom. Getting to experience teaching in middle school and in high school has helped me decide that I want to be a middle school math teacher.

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20 Nov

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Clinical experience as a nursing student

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Brianne SmithAs a junior nursing major, I am currently taking Adult Health Nursing and I go to clinical weekly at the Orange Regional Medical Center. I truly enjoy my time there and feel I am able to apply my classroom knowledge in the hospital setting, like when I administer medications to patients.

Doing something new at clinical always excites me, and recently I had the chance to administer the pneumococcal vaccine Pneumovax for the first time. Vaccines require important paperwork and the registered nurse’s signature. Initially, the patient was not too thrilled about having a student administer the intramuscular injection, but he still allowed me to. I felt confident when I gave the injection, and afterwards, I asked the patient, “Are you alright?” He said, “Excellent job! I hardly even felt that!”

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