Concurrent Campus Presentations

March 25, 2022

A Different State of Mind: Expanding the Horizons of Vocational Possibility

This presentation will chart the radical changes in, and many successes of, a NetVUE Program Development Grant. While the pandemic induced an initial shock among the team and for the goals of the grant, it also encouraged a more imaginative and global envisioning of the work of grant—and of the vocational goals of undergraduates. Team meetings were moved to the grant director’s back yard; trips to visit local organizations were restructured as opportunities for speakers (including Bethany graduates) to join classes virtually, whether from the local community or from the other side of the world. The discovery of the qualitative wealth of these resources will serve the community for many years to come.

Arminta J. Fox, Associate Professor of Religion, Bethany College (KS)
Rebecca Miller, Assistant Professor of Communication, Bethany College (KS)
Andrea Ring, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology Department, Bethany College (KS)

Calling and the Disciplines: Literary Studies, Vocation, and Difference

As an academic discipline, literary studies can provide rich ground for cultivating vocation and expanding our conversation about purpose and meaning with undergraduates. The process of literary reading—paying close attention to language, form, figures, and voice—can inspire a commitment to diverse worldviews and ethical decision-making within the discernment process. This session will also suggest how other academic disciplines, interdisciplinary fields, and cross-disciplinary programs can examine their own potential for cultivating vocation.

Geoffrey W. Bateman, Associate Professor of Peace and Justice Studies and Associate Dean for Student Support and Experiential Learning, Regis University (CO)
Stephanie L. Johnson, Associate Professor and Chair of English and Director of Honors Program, The College of St. Scholastica
Esteban E. Loustaunau, Professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Purpose and Vocation and SPOHIA Program, Assumption University

Centering Vocation: Re-thinking the First-Year Seminar and Community Engagement

Alma College’s revamped First Year Seminar program, as well as its new Center for College and Community Engagement (CCCE), focus on the exploration of vocation and serve as opportunities for students to learn about and reflect on the college’s mission. This session will outline the process of revising the first year seminar, shifting from a set of largely disparate classes to a highly collaborative program exploring meaning, purpose, and the good life. Presenters will then describe the more recent inauguration of the CCCE, focusing on its vision and initial programming—highlighting what has worked well and suggesting opportunities for growth that could be implemented at other NetVUE campuses.

Kathleen Poorman Dougherty, Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy, Alma College
Andrew Pomerville, Director of the Center for College and Community Engagement, and Senior Chaplain, Alma College
Daniel I. Wasserman-Soler, Director of the First-Year Seminar Program and Associate Professor and Chair of History, Alma College

Courage, Creativity, and Calling in the Wake of the Pandemic

Trinity Christian College’s recent NetVUE grant catalyzed a multi-year revision to its general education curriculum, prompting campus-wide reflection on the relationships among vocation, joy, suffering, courage, and creativity. The last two elements in this list are foregrounded in a required sophomore course titled Courage, Creativity and Calling. Presenters will share lessons learned from the development of the course, its content, and how its themes extend beyond its impact on students—relating as well to the ability of educators to sustain and deepen their work as scholar-practitioners in the wake of the pandemic.

Aaron J. Kuecker, Provost, Trinity Christian College
Rebekah L. Starkenburg, Vice President for Student Life, Trinity Christian College
Jeff J. Timmer, Director of Vocation & Career Development, Trinity Christian College

Engaging with Vocation on Campus: Faculty and Staff Development across a Diverse (Co-)Curriculum

Promoting vocational discernment among students is best achieved when faculty members and staff pursue a common set of goals, adapted to the students whom they teach and lead. This critical insight arose through the process of co-editing Engaging with Vocation on Campus, a recently published collection that describes efforts to address vocation in the courses and programs that are taught and delivered at Dayton. Presenters will share the lessons learned while editing the book, then guide participants through the process of articulating their own institution’s vocational ethos, sharing successful approaches to professional development, and identifying methods of further supporting vocational discernment in diverse settings.

Karen Lovett, Director of Experiential Learning, University of Dayton
Stephen Wilhoit, Professor of English and Assistant Director, Ryan C. Harris Learning Center, University of Dayton

Integrating Vocational Discernment through All Four Years: Advising with Purpose

Two institutions set out to engage undergraduates in vocational exploration through an advising program supported by a variety of campus offices—including academics, student affairs, athletics, and chaplaincy. Each institution created multi-year, developmentally rich vocational exploration programs that have become signature experiences on each campus. Presenters will describe successes, challenges, and lessons learned, with the goal of encouraging participants in creative, strategic thinking around campus-wide programming that engages the whole student. The use of peer mentoring and ePortfolios will be described as strategies that have most efficiently capitalized on the investment of time by faculty members and staff.

Robert M. Bellin, Professor of Biology and Director of Vocare, College of the Holy Cross (MA)
Amy J. Santas, Professor of Biology, Muskingum University

The Pendle Hill Story: Shaping Institutional Culture through Vocational Exploration

A recent NetVUE Vocation Across the Academy grant became the impetus for institutional culture change at Malone University. This presentation tells the story of the Pendle Hill Initiative—Malone’s vocation exploration program developed in collaboration with NetVUE. The presentation will highlight four major lessons from our process: connecting to institutional roots; engaging faculty, staff, and students; finding champions on campus; and focusing on activities that advance purpose, meaning, and service for all members of the campus community.

Scott Waalkes, Professor of International Politics, Director of General Education, and Co-Director of the Pendle Hill Initiative, Malone University

Threading Vocation to the Core: A Case Study of the Student Experience

The program will focus on the trajectory of the student experience, following some of the threads of a new university core curriculum—particularly those related to equity, inclusion, and community engagement. Student voices (provided via video interview clips) will illuminate the progress of a new core curriculum adoption and the infusion of calling and purpose into two academic courses (the first year seminar and one theology course), as well as various co-curricular experiences hosted by campus ministry and the career development center. The presenters will share insights from the holistic, interconnected process of infusing calling and purpose into ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion work on campus—particularly through academic and career advising.

Elizabeth M. Cassady, Assistant Vice President for Career and Community Engagement, Bellarmine University
Laura Kremer Kline, Director of Campus Ministry, Bellarmine University

What Is Ours to Do: Vocational Leadership and Learning through Pilgrimage

Alvernia University’s commitment to experiential learning crosses international borders. This presentation showcases a unique pilgrimage program to Assisi and Rome and its lasting effects on drawing students, faculty, and staff into the Franciscan tradition. Participants will explore the relationship between pilgrimage and experiential learning and its role in holistic student development. Small group discussion, a showcase of artifacts brought back from a recent pilgrimage, and video interviews with student, faculty, and staff pilgrims will engage participants in the ways vocation can touch everyone’s role within the university community.

Jamie Caporizo, Senior Director of Mission and Ministry, Alvernia University
Glynis Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President and Provost, Alvernia University