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Fall 2010 registration

Your student is almost through her freshman year of college.

Can’t believe it? Within a very short time, she will be registering for classes for the fall semester of her sophomore year. Sophomore registration is slated for March 29-30.

It’s time for you to pull out your store of Wise Parental Counsel again.

Remind your student that the answers to many or most of her registration questions can be found in one of two places: the office of her adviser or

Your student should start with, the University’s intranet. There, she will find a link to “degree audit.” From there, she can find a document that will tell her what courses she has taken and what she still needs to take, both in her major and in general University requirements. Before she talks with her adviser, she should use the degree audit to develop thoughts on what she wants to take next semester.

She should also check with her adviser to see whether he wants her to bring a copy of the degree audit along for the advising session.

Once she knows what she needs, she can check the “search for classes” link on That will tell her what classes will be offered next semester, when the class meets, and who will be teaching each section. That information will help her sketch up a tentative schedule to discuss with her adviser.

She should also check her adviser for times that will be available for advising sessions. Many advisers post sign-in sheets on their office doors; if not, she may know from last semester how to set an appointment. A gentle reminder to put that appointment in her planner is in order, especially if she’s likely to forget otherwise.

Then all she needs is to wait for the set time and date and start her planning for her sophomore year.


Opportunities for CORE involvement

Eight short months ago, your student was the newcomer to St. Bonaventure. Now, he or she could become one of those who helps the class of 2014 adjust when they arrive in the fall.

Applications are currently being accepted for students interested in positions as peer coaches. Peer coaches assist freshmen make successful transitions to college life and teach students productive time management and study habits.

The formal name of the program is The Collegiate Opportunities to Reach Excellence Program, also known as the CORE Program. Your student may have taken part in this program, which includes a once-a-week class called Freshman Foundations. Students involved with the program were also assigned a peer coach.

Dr. Will Elenchin, visiting assistant professor of sociology and a member of the Peer Coach Leadership Team, said the 2009-10 school year was the pilot year for the CORE program on the campus of St. Bonaventure.

Mariesa Gianni, peer coach coordinator, said the First-Year Experience Council hopes to expand the program for the 2010-11 school year. One possibility is to make peer coaches available for all incoming freshmen, rather than only those in the CORE program.

That would require more peer coaches. Students chosen for the volunteer position will be able to enhance their professional coaching skills and network with other students, staff and faculty.

Peer coaches must do certain activities, Elenchin said, but are still able to incorporate their creativity when designing programs for their students. Peer coaches meet with their students a minimum of one hour per week, usually in popular campus spots such as Café LaVerna, Hickey Dining Hall or the Reilly Center. They also assist their students with any questions or concerns they have, Elenchin said.

Some peer coaches also have taken their students out to the movies to get to know each other better. Elenchin said peer coaches are also expected to document their weekly meetings.

Mary Masucci, a junior journalism and mass communication major, said she got involved with the Peer Coaching Program because, "I wanted to help freshmen start off their college careers right and let them know there is always someone to talk to and guide them in the right direction."

Elenchin said the position looks excellent on a résumé because it shows leadership and guidance skills.
Applications for peer coaching positions are available from Gianni in room 119 of Falconio Hall. Applications are due March 24. Interviews will take place at the end of March and early April.
Peer coaches will receive training during a session on April 24. Coaches will also return to campus a few days early for training starting Aug. 24.

Peer coaches are expected to assist with Welcome Days, which you may remember from your student's arrival at the University this year. This year, orientation leaders will also be required to become peer coaches. This will allow incoming freshmen to recognize and know some of the peer coaches in advance, since they will meet most of the orientation leaders during orientation and Welcome Days.

If your student is selected to become a peer coach, Masucci offers this advice for them: "Be patient. The freshmen are starting a new chapter in their lives and may be overwhelmed with everything coming at them."

Peer coaching is a great opportunity for your student to become a leader on campus. If your student is hinting at getting more involved on campus, you can recommend The Peer Coach Program to them. Any questions can be directed to Gianni at

-Robbie Chulick
Class of 2013

We have enough service opportunities...

Service is an integral part of the Franciscan mission, the core value of a St. Bonaventure education. And students attending St. Bonaventure have an array of opportunities to participate in service trips.

“I think (going on service trips) is really important because of our Franciscan culture to be able to relate to that other, whomever that other may be, particularly those who have been marginalized by society,” said Larry Sorokes, the associate vice president for the Franciscan Mission.

Campus groups participating in service trips include the Father Michael Judge Center, the Center for Community Engagement, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Embrace it Africa and BonaResponds, among others.

The Father Mychal Judge Center places a strong emphasis on studies in Northern Ireland. The center was created in memory of Father Mychal Judge who died in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City. Students travel to Ireland to study the culture and do service as a part of their Clare 401 Senior Forum course.

“What we developed that center for was to study the reconciliation process between the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland,” Sorokes said. “We are using Ireland as a classroom.”

Over spring break, the first group of students took the journey to both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. They spent the week studying the culture and cleaning a beach on an island off the coast. The center anticipates another trip held over the summer.

Some of the students took trips over this break to Boston, Syracuse and South Carolina, where they spent time in drop-in centers and soup kitchens. Another group journeyed to the Mexican border under the leadership of Dr. Mary Rose Kubal. That group spent time in the southwestern United States and in Mexico studying border relations.

Even though BonaResponds did not host any official trips over spring break, they traditionally offer three or four trips a year. Jim Mahar, the faculty adviser of BonaResponds, said getting involved is easy and benefits students in many ways.

“If you continue to show up and do more events, that grows even stronger, but you also learn valuable tools, leadership, how to be a team leader, as well as construction skills,” Mahar said. “In essence, BonaResponds is a business being run by students ... how to move people, how to market, how to get people involved, how to fundraise. The difference is that those we help can't afford to pay us money, so we accept smiles.”

Over both winter and spring break, trips were held to the Bahamas by SIFE. SIFE members did service projects for the Bahamian community, including installing computers in a school and teaching the teachers how to use them.

“The Bahamas trip is really designed to be a service trip,” said Todd Palmer, the faculty adviser.

The group will be offering two trips over the summer break. One is in conjunction with Embrace it Africa. The other is a service trip to Laos.

Students shouldn’t be discouraged from signing up because of financial reasons, Palmer said.
“All of our trips are affordable,” Palmer said. “We manage the trips ourselves and keep the price low.”

Palmer said the benefits of participating in a service trip are numerous. Students learn about parts of the world, leadership skills, and it’s something valuable to put on a résumé.

“There will continue to be opportunities,” Sorokes said. “I think it’s important for freshmen to know that there is a spectrum of opportunities.”

Service trips provide opportunities for learning that cannot be found anywhere else.

“You learn more in a week of service than in an entire class,” said Rob Ryer, a junior physical education major.

-Elizabeth Grady
Class of 2013


SBU students have a subscription to the online magazine Student Health 101. There is a parent companion piece for you!
Access this online magazine.

...for two stories

Boston. Syracuse. Kingstree, S.C. Twenty-three Bonaventure students, including freshmen, visited those communities for a non-traditional spring break experience, offering the fulfillment only service to others can provide.

Sr. Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F., who coordinates trips through the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, is encouraged by how enthusiastic the current freshmen have been in their participation in service activities.

“They [the freshmen] were a group who got involved from the very beginning this year,” Kush said. “They arrived on campus interested and wanted to get information and signed up. To me it’s encouraging to think that if they have such enthusiasm their freshman year, they will just build upon it and have a very enriching education [here].”
Participation this year was so great that each trip was maxed out and some students were on waiting lists, Kush said.

This is the third year the Franciscan Center for Social Concern has given students the opportunity to serve others over spring break. This year, students went to St. Francis House in Boston, Franciscan Collaborative Ministries in Syracuse and St. Anne’s Shrine in Kingstree.

“All the trips are particularly chosen so that some marginalized, vulnerable population is served,” Kush said. “They were given a variety of experiences (rural and urban locations).”

St. Francis House is a multipurpose day shelter that offers breakfast and lunch, clothing distribution, job seeking and housing services, counseling and art therapy to its guests. Its setup and offerings effectively improve the quality of life for many individuals.

“St. Francis House tries to move people from a temporary living situation into a better quality of life,” said Kate Heaton, the shelter’s volunteer coordinator.

Freshman Jessica Rehac was among the eight students and one faculty member who traveled to Boston.

“I was especially impressed at how quickly a group of students who hadn’t even met each other came together to work nearly flawlessly,“ Rehac said. “We really grew as a group during the week we spent together in serving others.”

At Franciscan Collaborative Ministries, on the north side of Syracuse, students had the opportunity to prepare and distribute lunches and work in the free medical and legal clinics.

“It’s a very eye-opening experience,” said freshman Patricio Alfonso, who was on the Syracuse trip.

In Kingstree, students served with St. Anne’s Outreach Mission assisting with home repair and visits, tutoring and grocery delivery. Students were also given the opportunity to serve at a Chamber of Commerce dinner, Kush said.

“Basically whatever was needed, we responded to,” Kush said.

“I went on the service trip for spring break because I love helping others; I feel that my life is not fulfilling if I do not lend a helping hand,” said freshman Franceline Demosthenes. “When we were tutoring, one of the students said he thought I would make a great teacher; that means a lot to me.”

St. Bonaventure University prides itself in carrying out Franciscan traditions. Service is a prominent tradition set by St. Francis, who gave his life to serving the less fortunate.

“These service experiences give students the opportunity to enrich their educational experience,” Kush said. “It’s very easy to talk about the marginalized, but when students get to have a hands-on experience and meet these individuals, they become more sensitive to their needs.”

(Editor’s Note: The author of this article also participated in the spring break service trip to Boston and shares these thoughts: “I, too, was impressed at how quickly our group bonded. What stood out to me even more was everything the shelter offers to the people of Boston; it truly is an effective avenue toward improvement. With each opportunity I have to serve, I find myself with a better understanding of the world I live in.”)

-Meaghan O’Rourke
Class of 2013


Places to hit the books

Your student has likely already found some favorite places to study. But if he's complaining about distractions in those favorite places or her grades suggest more concentration may be needed, you might suggest trying someplace different.

Even the Friedsam Memorial Library, a classic study spot for many students, can offer new settings for a student who needs or wants a change. Exploring other areas of the library can provide your student with a new location to study and access to the library's media center, reference service and almost 343,000 titles.

Each floor of the library has unique areas. Some of the building's most coveted study spaces are hidden within certain sections. For example, tables and desks are tucked among the bookshelves in the Education Department’s Curriculum Center, found on the lower level of the library.

The lower level of the library is quieter than the main level. Bookshelves surrounding the tables and desks further shelter students from distractions and noise, something that can be particularly helpful during exam week

However, sometimes the library just isn't the right place -- or someone else has your student's favorite space.

“I enjoy going to other places (to study) to have a change of scenery and just to be somewhere else,” said Martin Spear, a junior psychology major.

Spear typically studies in his room, but will sometimes shift to the University Chapel or the William F. Walsh Science Center computer lab.

The Walsh Science Center, which opened in 2008, has become a popular student space. The building has a “secure study area” and boasts new technology.

“With Walsh, they have a lot of updated technology there," said Spear. "All the computers are brand new so that’s a benefit."

Christina Messner, a junior biology major, explained that she uses the whiteboards and projectors in the Walsh Science Center to study.

“It’s really helpful to have a big whiteboard to work on,” Messner said. “Sometimes, we (her study partner and herself) even use the projectors in Walsh to pull up diagrams and work on them.”
When Messner isn’t working on her organic chemistry homework, she usually studies in University Ministries or the University Chapel.

“I like to move around a lot. I find it difficult to study in my room sometimes because I get distracted,” Messner said.

Television, roommates and Facebook are among the many distractions students face while studying in their rooms. Because of those distractions, many keep study time in their rooms to a minimum.
When students are looking for that new location, they will consider what is closest to their location on campus, where they might find resources for their major and where they might find available space.
“Depending on what I’m working on I sometimes stay in my room and sometimes I need to leave my room,” said Chris Hoffman, a junior computer science major. Hoffman lives in Francis Hall, but usually studies in the Walsh Science Center.

“There are times when I need to be over in Walsh because I need to use the computer server over there. So that’s more of a per need basis and not really a choice,” Hoffman said.

Other areas where students can study include the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, the Plassmann Hall lounge and Café La Verna. These three areas have couches, which can make studying more comfortable.

With weeks to go before finals, now may be the time for your student to look for a new study space if her current location isn't working for her. More resources and fewer distractions await.

-Shana Hurley
Class of 2011


Bona’s enters cyberspace

St. Bonaventure is pushing forward into an ever-changing field of technology.

The push started in September of 2008, when the Office of Marketing and Communications created a Facebook page to join its YouTube page. Less than a year later, the University added a presence on Twitter. Bonaventure joined a growing number of colleges exploring the possibilities of the new technology.

The Facebook page has the largest presence, 3,516 fans. The University’s Twitter page currently has 585 followers, most of whom are St. Bonaventure alumni, said Mark Inman, assistant director of communications.

Expanding to the Internet increases the chances a prospective student might find the University. It also offers a quicker way for parents of current students and other people to get information about daily events on campus.

Inman said Facebook and Twitter provide additional channels to get information about the University.
Putting Bona’s face on Facebook also offers current and prospective students an idea of what activities and groups exist at Bonaventure.

“(There are) many links that prospective students would be interested in on the side bar. If they just scroll down and look at our Facebook list (they can) get a general feel of what’s going on,” Inman said.
Parents can become fans of the Facebook site and learn more about what activities their student may be participating in.

Students and prospective students and their parents can also use the Facebook site as another way to get answers to questions about the University. It also provides the University a very direct avenue for communication.

“It’s easy to get in touch with us and converse with us … it’s good to get the word out and hear from other people about what we’re doing and about what they like and what they think we can improve on,” Inman said. “From a feedback perspective it’s excellent. It’s a lot better than e-mail.”

The YouTube presence is developing a bit more slowly, but Inman said his department hopes to change that in the near future.

“Last year I taped a lot of lectures and presentations by visiting speakers and by faculty members. We also have a couple of campus theater productions posted,” Inman said. In addition, the newscasts from SBU-TV are available, allowing parents to see student journalists in action and everyone to keep up with University events.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – all are becoming important avenues of communication for St. Bonaventure. Check back in a year and the University may be doing new things with all three.

-Megan O’Donnell
Class of 2013


Upcoming events on campus include:
Ongoing - Math Lab available for drop-in assistance in mathematics
Friday, 3/19 - Concert with Celtic rock bands McCarthyizm and Black 47
Friday, 3/19 - Acoustapalooza in the Skeller
Sunday, 3/21 - Women's Lacrosse vs. Sienna
Monday, 3/22 - "The Cost of Intellectual Solidarity" - Dr. William Shea
Monday, 3/22 - Etiquette Dinner
Tuesday, 3/23 - Women's Lacrosse vs. Bucknell
Tuesday, 3/23 - "Globalization, The Perspective of the Franciscan Tradition" - Sr. Mary Beth Ingham
Tuesday, 3/23 - Hip Hop for Haiti
Tuesday, 3/23 - A Journey Through Our Eyes - Black History Celebration

Wednesday-Saturday, 3/24-27 - 'Reality Bites: One Act Festival V' at Garrett Theater
Friday 3/26 - Claire Chase flute recital
Saturday, 3/27 - BonaResponds International Service Day
Saturday, 3/27 - Seneca Battalion ROTC Spring Award Ceremony and Military Ball
Saturday, 3/27 - CAB Travel bus trip to Grease at Shea's in Buffalo
Monday-Tuesday, 3/29-30 - Sophomore Registration
Tuesday, 3/30 - Last day to withdraw from an undergraduate class with a W grade
Tuesday, 3/30 - Baseball vs. Buffalo
Thursday-Monday, 4/1-5 - Easter/Spring Break
Saturday, 4/10 - Softball vs. George Washington
Sunday, 4/11 - SBU Chamber Music
Friday, 4/16 -"For the Respect of Women" - Mr. Bryon Hurt
Wednesday, 4/21 - SBU Jazz Band Concert
Friday, 4/23 - Barbara Carr McKee Scholarship Luncheon
Saturday, 4/24 - Honors Project Presentations
Sunday, 4/25 - SBU Band and Choir Concert

Spring semester is jam-packed with Campus Activities Board events!


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