Notes from the Hilltop May 2022

June 15, 2022

By Kathryn Williams '24

Final Showcase celebrates Access Academy Student Work

Students admire Access Academy showcase workDuring the Access Academy Final Showcase on May 4, around 30 Manchester high school students presented their final projects and learning experience throughout the semester to more than 100 community members. “These presentations empower our high school students to take ownership and pride in their learning experiences, sharing them with their community members in a very special way,” said Access Coordinator Meghan O’Brien. “The final showcase represents all of the time and effort that our students have committed to their learning and growth. It's an amazing event.”

Access Academy is a free educational service program through the Meelia Center for Community Engagement in which college students, faculty, and community partners teach after-school classes for Manchester high school students of underrepresented backgrounds. In the spring 2022 semester, Access Academy offered 10 courses and welcomed 106 high school participants. There was a wide range of courses offered, such as College and Career Exploration, Radios for Jupiter, Youth Activism, and more. This program gives students the opportunity to make connections with their peers and college students, grow in their learning with the potential to earn course credit, and envision their future in higher education. 

 

Paul Finn receives Abbott Gerald McCarthy ’36, O.S.B. Award

Professor Paul Finn, Ph.D., is the 2022 recipient of the Abbott Gerald McCarthy ’36, O.S.B. Award for Faculty of the Year. Professor Finn is the chair of the psychology department, the director of the sports studies interdisciplinary minor, and the faculty advisor for the Psi Chi Honor Society in Psychology. “Like other faculty, I am dedicated to student growth and learning, so to be recognized with this award is the most valued award I could and did receive from our students,” said Professor Finn. He was presented with the award at the 2022 Student Government Association Inauguration ceremony.

 

Students in the spotlight during first Club Talent Showcase

The first-ever Club Talent Showcase took place in the Koonz Theatre at the Dana Center on Friday, May 6. Members of the acapella group Hint of Lime, the Saint Anselm College Club Jazz Band, and the Irish Society collaborated on the event. Hint of Lime sang four songs, the Jazz Band played three songs, and the Irish Society danced to five songs. 

Cassidy Manti ’23, president of the Jazz Band, credits Claire Newhall ’23, Hint of Lime president, for her work organizing the event. “It was a great way to show off what we’ve all been working on for the year, especially because Covid hasn’t allowed a lot of us to really perform in a while,” Manti said. After the success of their first event, the clubs hope to make the showcase an annual occurrence.

 

Current Issues in the U.S. Housing Market stun participants in hybrid ethics event

The Center for Ethics in Society virtually welcomed Paul Willen, senior economist and policy advisor in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Research Department, for a webinar addressing the current issues in the U.S. housing market. The webinar was part of a larger discussion for realtors in New Hampshire hosted by the Center for Ethics in partnership with the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. The webinar and discussion focused on the affordable housing crisis in New Hampshire and the ways realtors can be part of the solution. 

During a hybrid presentation, Willen spoke with realtors in person and to the virtual audience about issues with the housing market across the country, why prices are going up, and the effect higher interest rates are having on the housing market. He discussed inflation as one of many factors of higher housing costs, citing other causes such as the pandemic for the increase. “He did say, to the shock and surprise of the audience, that housing production has kept pace with population growth,” said Philosophy Professor Max Latona, P.h.D., executive director of the Center for Ethics. This stunned many, including the realtors, however, Willen explained how even though there is a sufficient number of homes they may not be in the places that need them. “All in all, the talk was thought-provoking. We were glad to have him visit the center and College,” said Professor Latona.

 

Students reflect on new perspectives after service during Anselmian B.R.E.A.K Trips

Three groups of students and student leaders traveled across the country to participate in service projects through Campus Ministry’s Anselmian B.R.E.A.K. program. The pillars of the trips were hospitality, stewardship, and hearts of humility.

The hospitality group worked at Andre House in Phoenix, Ariz., which ministers to homeless and impoverished people in the area with an emphasis on ministry of presence and recognizing the dignity of each person. “At Andre House, hospitality and gratitude go hand-in-hand, and it is a place where when people say, ‘God bless you,’ you can tell they mean it from the bottom of their hearts,” said Brian Deignan, a co-leader for the service trip. There were four participants, including co-leaders Brian Deignan ’22 and Julia Doucet ’22, who helped with all of Andre House’s daily service projects, such as providing meals and clothing. 

The stewardship group at Bethlehem Farm, a Catholic community in West Virginia focused on community service and sustainability. The group consisted of 10 students, including co-leaders Soleil Skehan ’23 and Jaime Kask ’23. They worked at the farm completing a variety of chores and spent three days in the community doing home repairs. Skehan shared how Bethlehem Farm welcomes each person with open arms. “The joy of the people who live, serve, work, and pray there can only be achieved by finding true peace in Christ, and it is through this joy they impact the lives of all those who meet them,” she said.

The hearts of humility group served at Re-Member on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Pine Ridge is home to the Oglala Lakota Nation and is one of the poorest areas in the U.S, with one in five Oglala employed on the Reservation and the lowest per-capita income in the nation, an estimated $8,768. Nine participants, including co-leaders Kiara Phair ’23 and Saylor Garcia ’24, served at Re-Member, a non-profit that seeks to learn from, empower, and walk alongside the Oglala. “Through this experience I learned the importance of appreciating a culture different from my own, of learning from and listening to different perspectives of history, and ultimately I encountered just a small portion of the layered mixture of “mystery and light” that exists on the rez and within the beautiful Lakota people,” said Phair.

All three trips returned safely home after their time of service. For more behind-the-scenes information about these trips, check out the Anselmian B.R.EA.K. blog.

 

Business Department discusses "Optimal Taxation & Wealth Distribution"

The Department of Economics and Business welcomed Professor Lane P. Hughston from Goldsmiths University London for a special common hour event on May 9. Professor Hughston, an expert in the field of quantum physics and mathematical finance, gave a talk on optimal taxation and wealth distribution which emphasized a utility approach. “Based upon the idea of aggregate utility he showed that any form of redistribution among a society leads to a higher aggregate utility for society than the sum of the individual utilities before wealth distribution,” explained Professor Stephan Unger, Ph.D., of the Economics and Business Department. Another point of Professor Hughston’s talk was how a thermodynamic analogy serves as justification that the dynamics in economics follow the basic laws of nature. 

Professor Hughston was Professor Unger’s Ph.D. supervisor at Imperial College London while Professor Unger studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Professor Unger invited him to Saint Anselm for the event and said that it was “very well attended by a variety of students and faculty.”

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