Thinking about Next Semester

As the semester comes to an end, many of us are looking forward not only to Christmas and New Years, but to the Spring Semester as well.  If you would like to try something new, why not take a look at the PowerPoint that Dr. Kristen Betts presented at the Faculty Technology Forum in October.  There are dozens of good ideas there, so you might very well find something that will spark your teaching next semester.  Dr. Betts also shared a helpful list of resources.  Finally, a number of SJU faculty displayed their technology and teaching ideas, some of which may be useful to you.

So enjoy the break–and the Spring Semester as well.

Immigration Issues

Monday, December 12, 2016
1:50 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. (common hour)
D’Angelo Center, Room 128

In response to post-election immigration concerns, the University is offering a workshop on Monday, December 12, during common hour in the D’Angelo Center, Room 128.

There will be a panel featuring immigration experts led by C. Mario Russell, director of Catholic Charities, New York, Immigrant and Refugee Services and faculty member of St. John’s School of Law.

The guest panelists will discuss the following immigration-related concerns:

  • Obtaining good legal representation
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Undocumented status
  • Student employment and work visas
  • Safety planning
  • Fear of persecution
  • Special issues for children

The panel is open to all St. John’s University students, faculty, and administrators. 

Students can find immigration resources and information on MySJU if they navigate to the “Campus Life” tab and look for the “Immigration Resources” portlet.  Faculty can find this information on CTL Resources.

For students experiencing distress due to immigration concerns, we encourage you to contact the Center for Counseling and Consultation to set up an appointment with Dr. Luis Manzo in Queens, 718-990-6384, or Dr. Erin Ryan in Staten Island, 718-390-4451.  As always, Campus Ministry is available to support the campus community and can be reached in Queens at 718-990-6255 or on Staten Island at 718-390-4475.

Tomorrow’s Professor Will Help You to Prepare for Next Semester

Tomorrows-Professor eNewlsetter sends postings twice weekly, usually on Monday and Thursday mornings. The eNewsletter fosters a diverse, world-wide teaching and learning community among its over 60,000 subscribers in over 100 countries around the world.  It is a wonderful way to keep current on issues of teaching and learning.  Particularly as you plan for next semester, you might want to look at some recent posts:

The Silent Professor — deals with what one prof discovered about teaching when he lost his voice.

Is Balance a Myth? — is about how to maintain your sanity, if not your balance, as you navigate all the challenges of being a faculty member.

Giving Feedback — deals with reviewing others’ manuscripts, but also gives some hints that might be helpful in responding to student work.

Working in Groups and Facilitating Discussions — takes a look at two perennial problem areas for many faculty.

A Dozen Things You Need to Know about Adult Learning — gives some interesting perspectives on why age diversity in the classroom is challenging and rewarding for both students and faculty.

Learn to Use Concur for Travel and Expense Reporting

Concur is the University’s new Travel & Expense (T&E) Reporting System.   Concur, which utilizes the latest technology, provides an integrated T&E solution used by over 25,000 corporate and university clients.  The new system will eliminate the need for the double entry of transactions related to the Purchasing Card (P-Card).  The training is open to those who use and approve Travel & Expense Reports.

The training will be held on Friday, October 14, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Register for the Queens Campus – University Center, Suite D.

Register for the Manhattan Campus – 101 Astor Place, Room 212.

Register for the Staten Island Campus – DaSilva, Room 208.

Rhetoric of Experience: Juan Guerra on Oct. 6

The Rhetoric of Experience: Learning to Navigate Discursive Worlds in Flux
October 6, 2016 Common Hour D’Angelo Center, room 307

In his talk, Professor Juan Guerra will address a question that has guided the work of specialists in writing across the curriculum for many decades now: What, if anything, can we teach students who must learn to write in varied disciplines across a university campus? Implicit in the question is the assumption that students must build on the hard-earned learning incomes they bring to every classroom in the course of developing a broader repertoire of discursive practices that addresses their needs in the academy and beyond. In his response to the question, Professor Guerra argues that students must simultaneously develop their critical language and cultural awareness in the process of learning how to enact what he refers to as the practice of transcultural repositioning. In so doing, students invariably come to see that at the root of any act of reading, writing or rhetoric is a set of dispositions that guides our every effort to communicate meaningfully and productively with others across an array of communities of belonging. Students also come to understand that while a particular ideology typically informs our discursive choices and decisions, knowing that we must navigate and negotiate the various ideologies in contestation with our own is equally important.

SJU Art Exhibit–Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution

You are invited to the talk by TIME Deputy Photo Editor, Paul Moakley on “Photographic Documentation and Revolutionary Ideas” on Thursday, September 29 at 5 PM at the University’s Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery.

This event is one of a series of talks supplementing the ongoing exhibition “Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna’s Photographies of the Mexican Revolution” co-organized by the Departments of Sociology & Anthropology, Art and Design, the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

The exhibit runs until November 18.

Philosophy of Teaching: A Personal Statement

With this post, the CTL begins a new series on teaching philosophies written by SJU faculty.  Our first contribution comes from

Sister Peggy Fanning, CSJ, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Science


My philosophy of education in the area of theological studies is based on and flows from the

Great Commission of Jesus to “Go and teach all nations.” The opportunity to follow this

commission is eminently possible in St. John’s University where the student body is composed

of persons from allover the world. The nations have come to SJU and the opportunity to teach

them is present in every class due to the varieties of cultures and faiths represented in the student


My commitment to teaching theology animates me to strive for excellence in teaching the subject

matter of this fascinating area of study. It compels me to strive for continual updating through

prayerful study and research in the area of theological and biblical inquiries and investigations.

A Catholic university is ideally a place where knowledge and relationships are characterized by a

quest for meaning. I believe that this search for meaning and wisdom can be achieved by study

and reflection and the sharing of ideas. In my theology classes I engage in interactive dialogue

that promotes meaningful communication experiences. I seek to recognize and respect the

views and perspectives of students who are of different or no faiths. I am cognizant of the

importance of leading students to a place of discovery, self-learning and opportunities to think

critically about the multi-faceted aspects of theological issues.

I seek to lead students to appreciate the gift of Catholic thought. Because each person presents

an opportunity to experience the infinite desire for God, I endeavor to lead the students to an

awareness that theology is a subject that grapples with the mystery of God. To this end, I

engage students in the search for truth through reflection, study and participation. Required

assignments that include study, reflection, PPT presentations, discussions and research into the

contributions of Catholic biblical scholars and theologians offer an array oflearning possibilities.

In order to be responsive to the needs of the students, I strive to be relevant and engaging in my

presentations. A ware of the place that technology plays in the lives of the students, I endeavor to

keep up with technological advances and resources that assist in the presentation of material in a

manner that appeals to and connects with the learning styles of the students.

My passion and zeal to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus as a theological educator strongly

resonate with the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves,

the tides and gravity,

we shall harness for God the energies oflove,

and then, for a second time in the history of the world,

man will have discovered fire.”