Centers

Centers

Center for Catholic Studies
The Center for Catholic Studies hosted the Third International Receptive Ecumenism Conference on the University campus from June 9-12. The event brought together over 120 academics, church personnel, and ecumenists. Representatives of Roman Catholicism, the Orthodox Church, Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Evangelical, and Pentecostal churches from as far away as Singapore, Australia, Pakistan, South America, Africa, and Europe gathered to listen to one another with the aim of improving relations and unions among different Christian faiths while drawing from a diversity of denominational perspectives. Dr. Paul Lakeland, director of the Center, organized the event jointly with Paul D. Murray, professor of systematic theology and director of the Centre of Catholic Studies at Durham University in England.

Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies
A dramatic production of the play Way to Heaven by Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga was presented over several nights in the Wien Experimental Theatre, sponsored in part by the Bennett Center. The play was inspired by the infamous 1944 visit by the International Red Cross to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, when the Germans created a model village — complete with a synagogue, school, and playgrounds — in order to hide the true nature of the Final Solution. Post-performance discussions by Drs. Ellen Umansky and Gavriel Rosenfeld raised historical and theological issues brought into question by the play.

Center for Faith and Public Life
In June 2014, a group of seven faculty and staff, sponsored in part by the Center for Faith and Public Life, travelled to Tanzania in East Africa, where they participated in three different professional immersion experiences and engaged in efforts to strengthen Fairfield’s Study Abroad Program in Dar es Salaam, which has a strong service learning component.  After a week of research, professional development, and meetings with 71 teachers from area Jesuit and public schools, the group embarked on a six-day safari that took them to the world-famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.  Dr. Jocelyn Boryczka, the group leader, wrote, “We saw so many lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests that we lost count. We visited the Maasai, a tribe in Tanzania that maintains their traditional way of life as nomadic pastoralists, and the Oldupai Gorge, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It was the experience of a lifetime.”

Center for Academic Excellence
The 13th Annual Innovative Pedagogy & Course Redesign Conference was hosted in May, with a focus on collaborating for empowerment and learning. Dr. Peter Felten, executive director of the Center for Advancement of Teaching and Learning and the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University, spoke about partnering with students in learning.  Dr. Katie Linder, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Suffolk University, discussed ways of helping students learn “in an age of digital distraction,” and provided participants with “Tech Decks” to inform their use of technologies for teaching and learning.  Almost 100 participants from Fairfield University and other institutions engaged in two days of interactive workshops, roundtable sessions, and a poster session. “I loved the relaxed atmosphere,” wrote one participant. “I enjoyed time to speak with others outside the sessions, and I thought the keynotes were really engaged in our conference, as opposed to some who drop in and leave right after their talks.”