Well, the spring semester is certainly moving along. Spring Break has come and gone, and before we know it Commencement will be here. Hopefully we will soon see signs of spring — daffodils blooming and tulips ready to pop!
In my experience, this time of year can be pressure packed for students. They have exams to prepare for, papers to write, they need to deal with registration issues, and also address housing decisions for next year. Of course, seniors have a whole array of added pressure as they make plans for the next stage of their life after PC.
I think this is always a great time for parents to remind students that we have lots of resources and support services to help them to feel less stressed and more in control. All they have to do is ask for assistance. But I know that for some students asking for help is no easy task. Perhaps, parents, you can give your sons and daughters that extra nudge to get them moving in the right direction. As a very wise person once said,
“When I was a boy and would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me — Look for the helpers. There is always someone who is trying to help.”
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
So, if your students are feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, please suggest that they look for a “helper” — a chaplain, a counselor, a dean, a hall director, and the list goes on.
Well, the spring semester is certainly moving along. Spring Break has come and gone, and before we know it Commencement will be here. Hopefully we will soon see signs of spring — daffodils blooming and tulips ready to pop! In my experience, this time of year can be pressure packed for students. They have exams […]MORE
Well, February might be the shortest month in the calendar year, but at Providence College it has been one of the busiest. There’s so much going on involving our students, families, faculty, and staff. And, of course, our Dominican presence is a constant reminder of the kind of community we are called to be.
Alumni & Family Weekend was a great success with so many families and alumni returning to our beautiful campus. Deirdre Driscoll-Lemoine ’98G, the director of college events and the parent of a junior, told me that she and her team “are especially committed to delivering a great schedule of events in order to enhance the family visit back to PC.” She wanted to thank the students for doing “a phenomenal job highlighting the best of PC at Friarcon,” which took place on Friday evening.
It was a busy time for me that weekend, but I loved every minute of it — especially since we didn’t have to deal with a snowstorm this year! On Saturday morning, I had breakfast with the Parents Leadership Council and then spoke to families at Spotlight Providence, a program for early admitted students. A very special part of my activities that morning was to greet students and their families at the College’s first PC1G Senior Celebration, a reception celebrating the accomplishments of seniors who identify as first generation college students.
This month, we are also launching our “Language Bank,” which is a resource for our non-English speaking families. What I love most about this project is that it is truly a campus-wide endeavor coordinated by the Parent Program and the Division of Student Affairs, with special support from faculty and staff volunteers. I want to give a “shout out” to Alison Sjovall, student affairs communications & assessment specialist, and her student Rhiannon Palmieri for all the work they did to get the website up and running. Check it out here: https://parents.providence.edu/language-bank/
As I recently shared with you, the spring semester began with a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation Week, which included an address from Dr. King’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King. I hope you will take a moment to hear from alumnus and current Director of Multicultural and Student Success Programs, Ralph Tavares, as he talks about his own journey and his current efforts to support our students.
Finally, classes will soon be suspended for spring break. I know that many of your sons and daughters will be headed for home, while others have special commitments or trips planned that have them going in different directions. In any case, I hope they all have some time to refresh before classes start and mid-semester examination period begins.
Well, February might be the shortest month in the calendar year, but at Providence College it has been one of the busiest. There’s so much going on involving our students, families, faculty, and staff. And, of course, our Dominican presence is a constant reminder of the kind of community we are called to be. Alumni […]MORE
I hope you enjoyed some time off with your student during the winter break. Now, with second semester classes well underway, we are all getting back into our routines. I often think that one of the nice things about college life is that a new semester provides more opportunities for students to engage with members of their academic community in lots of different ways.
And … this semester started off with a memorable celebration, indeed. During the first week of classes, the College hosted the first “Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation Week.” Weeklong activities included panel discussions, presentations of art, music, local food vendors, and a very special MLK Candlelight Vigil in St. Dominic Chapel
The highlight of the week was the convocation at which Bernice King, daughter of Dr. King, was the keynote speaker. This event also featured the presentation of the first MLK Vision Award to the three originators of the MLK Scholarship Program at Providence College. (I am proud to say that my husband, Dr. Francis MacKay, was one of the three that received this award. Oh, what a night it was!)
So, what’s next? Well, we have our Alumni & Family Weekend on February 9-11. I always think of this as a very special weekend as families and alums come together to experience the true spirit of our PC community.
The weekend includes some great “Super-Powered” sessions for students and families that address everything from information on career resources, keeping students safe, and helping students find their passions. Designated tracks for sophomore/juniors, seniors, and alumni are an added feature this year that can help you to choose a session that works best for you and your student.
As always, I look forward to connecting with many of you during this weekend. And, as you engage with families of friends and roommates, I encourage you to connect with alums — hear their stories — and celebrate with them their devotion to an institution that we all love.
I hope you enjoyed some time off with your student during the winter break. Now, with second semester classes well underway, we are all getting back into our routines. I often think that one of the nice things about college life is that a new semester provides more opportunities for students to engage with members […]MORE
Be safe and enjoy this time together.
During this blessed season, I send my very best wishes to all of our Providence College families. I look forward to reconnecting with all of you as we approach a new year. Be safe and enjoy this time together. JackieMORE
I always feel that the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the busiest times for me. Maybe, many of you can relate to that, as well. I have projects to finish, papers to correct, and, of course, lots to do to get ready for the holidays. It is times like this that I especially appreciate having a friend or family member to help me to put things in perspective – and remind me that it will all work out.
Now that your sons and daughters are back from Thanksgiving break, they are probably finding themselves feeling a bit overwhelmed with all they need to do before heading home for winter break. Time is running out on the fall semester and students are racing to meet deadlines to complete papers, projects, and other class assignments. Parents you can be a real source of support to your sons and daughters at this especially stressful time — and remind them that it will all work out.
Here are a few helpful strategies you might want to consider as your student gets ready for finals:
- This is an especially important time to encourage use of support services. The Personal Counseling Center and the Office of Academic Services are two resources that can help students feel less overwhelmed and more academically prepared to deal with end-of-semester responsibilities.
- Help them to reflect on how they coped with stress in the past. What worked for them? Remind them of some of the positive choices they have made to get them through challenging times.
- Be mindful that right now students may neglect some of their own physical/emotional needs. Staying up late, pulling “all nighters,” consuming large amounts of caffeine, and eating on the run, can contribute to students becoming physically ill at a time when they need to be healthy and in control. Encourage a visit to the Student Health Center at the first sign of trouble.
- Time management skills are put to the test right now. For a student who is on real “overload,” just helping him/her to break down larger tasks into smaller ones or strategizing a plan of action can make a real difference as the semester comes to a close.
Finally parents, as you well know, this is a great time to send your student a care package. Of course, goodies and snacks are always appreciated. One mom told me that at this especially stressful time she always puts little notes of encouragement in every package she sends her daughter. She calls this her own version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Remember to take good care of yourselves at this busy time.
I always feel that the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the busiest times for me. Maybe, many of you can relate to that, as well. I have projects to finish, papers to correct, and, of course, lots to do to get ready for the holidays. It is times like this that I […]MORE
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I can’t wait. I have family members flying in from Chicago, some extra time to spend with friends, and, yes, lots of my favorite foods to enjoy — especially pumpkin pie.
As most of our students get ready to travel home for the holiday, I am sure that parents and families are looking forward to this time with a good amount of anticipation and excitement. It goes without saying that family gatherings are a big part of what Thanksgiving is all about.
Most of all though, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. It also allows us to take pause and reflect on ways that we can continue to show our gratitude, not on just one day, but all through the year.
As director of the Providence College Parent Program, I send my warm thoughts and prayers to all PC families. I am grateful for your support, your insights, and, most of all, for allowing me to journey along with you as we promote and celebrate student success.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I can’t wait. I have family members flying in from Chicago, some extra time to spend with friends, and, yes, lots of my favorite foods to enjoy — especially pumpkin pie. As most of our students get ready to travel home for the holiday, I am sure that […]MORE
During the last month or so, I have had a number of parents ask about food choices for their sons and daughters who are vegetarians. Although I am familiar with most of what our dining service offers, last week I decided to take a walk over to Raymond Dining Hall to chat with Jennifer Wells of Sodexo. It was a lovely fall day, so it also gave me an excuse to get out of my office and take in the beauty of our campus. I am happy to share with you some of what I learned from my visit with Jennifer.
- For our vegan and vegetarian students, there is a self-serve hot entrée station called “Also at Classics” where items like quinoa primavera, teriyaki tofu, sofrito black beans, and nutrient-dense sides, such as roasted sweet potatoes and fresh steamed broccoli spears, are available.
- At the cold vegan bar, students will find hummus, tabbouleh, bean salads, and other specialties like Moroccan roasted carrot salad. (I love their hummus!)
- The menu at the “Vegetarian Toss” station offers options like quinoa bowls, crispy Buffalo tofu sliders, lettuce wraps, and falafel. Ingredients can be customized, and the dish is prepared fresh in just minutes.
- Throughout the dining hall, a variety of options can be found on any given day. Flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, and soups are all included in the rotation of vegan and vegetarian choices. Of course, there is always the large salad bar that offers fresh produce along with whole grains, beans, and seasonal ingredients.
Parents, please let your sons and daughters know that if they have any questions or concerns about dining options they can make an appointment at email@example.com to meet with Sarah Ereio, the dietitian. In the past, parents and students have informed me that she has been very helpful in working individually with students to help them make the most of their food choices.
Well that’s all for now. It’s time for lunch!
During the last month or so, I have had a number of parents ask about food choices for their sons and daughters who are vegetarians. Although I am familiar with most of what our dining service offers, last week I decided to take a walk over to Raymond Dining Hall to chat with Jennifer Wells […]MORE
This week I am pleased to reintroduce you to our “Up Close and Personal” feature. So, let’s meet with Peter Palumbo, director of academic advising, who joined the Providence College community in February, 2016.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am originally from West Long Branch, NJ., and did my undergraduate and graduate work in Communication Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Before coming to PC, I was the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising at Suffolk University, taught in the Communication Program at Suffolk, and, then, was the Director of Academic Advising at Dean College. I live in Charlestown, RI, with my wife, dog, and cats.
(Editor’s Note: Peter and I both work in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies — and I am happy to know that he is a “cat person.”)
What can you tell us about your current role?
As director of academic advising, my primary goal is to enhance the advising experience for students and faculty. To achieve that goal, I am focusing on increasing the use of technology and other advising tools, as well as providing opportunities for students, with the support of their advisors, to take an increased role of ownership for their education.
What led you to become involved in the field of academic advising — what do you like most about your role?
I was drawn to academic advising because, based on my own experience as a first-generation college student, I am fascinated by the impact an academic advisor can have on a student’s development. I am passionate about being an advocate for students, and I relish the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and staff to continually improve the student experience at Providence College.
As director of academic advising, do you have any advice for parents as to how they can assist their students to make the most of their PC academic experience?
My advice for parents would be to have an open dialogue with your students about your expectations. Be sure to listen to what your students tell you and encourage them to become strong self-advocates, in order to enrich their experience at college. In academic advising, we always focus on helping students to cultivate transferable skills that they will be able to draw on throughout their life. As a parent you can reinforce this message by recommending to your sons and daughters that they make good use of academic and non-academic campus resources to help them in this process.
When you are not wearing your “advisor hat” what do you like to do for fun?
I love nature and take every opportunity to spend time at the beach, camping, and hiking. I enjoy traveling and am always looking for my next adventure.
This week I am pleased to reintroduce you to our “Up Close and Personal” feature. So, let’s meet with Peter Palumbo, director of academic advising, who joined the Providence College community in February, 2016. Jackie Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am originally from West Long Branch, NJ., and did my […]MORE
“Help,” which was written by John Lennon (at Paul McCartney’s house), is my favorite of all Beatles songs. (“Here Comes the Sun” is a close second). To me, the lyrics to this song present a request for assistance, as well as an appreciation for the person providing the help. A powerful combination, for sure.
During the last few months, I have had lots of opportunities to speak with parents of our new incoming class, and the word “help” has been a constant in those conversations. Over and over again, parents have asked how they can help their students — to thrive in their new environment, to make the most of their academic experience, to find a balance between work and play.
Lately, I have spent some time reflecting on these recent discussions with families, and I have been thinking about this concept of “help.” Parents, remember as the song goes, “Help, not just anybody …” Most often, it is you that your sons and daughters first reach out to because you know them and they know you far better than anyone else.
Yes, by all means, help your students. Listen, encourage, support, challenge, but try not to have your actions replace theirs. As a father of a senior said to me recently, “Over the last few years I’ve learned that the best way to help my daughter is to do more listening and less fixing.” I guess sometimes the best help we can offer is to step back a bit to allow someone else to step forward.
For my part, as director of the Parent Program, I will continue to look for ways “to help parents, to help students, to help themselves.” And of course, listen to my Beatles music.
Help, I need somebody Help, not just anybody Help, you know I need someone. Help! The Beatles “Help,” which was written by John Lennon (at Paul McCartney’s house), is my favorite of all Beatles songs. (“Here Comes the Sun” is a close second). To me, the lyrics to this song present a request for assistance, […]MORE
With so many stressors, including hectic schedules, homesickness, and a full course load, it is important that students learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few helpful tips to share with your student on how to choose meals in Raymond Hall Dining that can help reduce stress and increase energy. These tips come courtesy of Jenifer Wells from Sodexo.
- Replace refined grains, like white bread and pasta, with whole grains – wheat pasta, bread, or a whole grain-composed salad available at the salad bar.
- Fried foods, such as chicken nuggets, can be substituted with grilled chicken. Instead of French fries, try roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes from Also at Classics.
- Really want dessert to finish off your meal? Skip the baked goods and ice cream, and try a piece of fresh fruit instead. Raymond offers a variety of fresh fruits daily for students to choose from.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there is no need to skip it because of time. Fill a to-go cup with low fat yogurt, granola, and fruit, or grab some oatmeal and fruit to take with you to class.
We encourage students to think outside the menu. By learning how to create meals for themselves and utilizing what is available in the dining hall, students not only take control over their meal plan, they find a delicious, healthy meal that meets their lifestyle.
With so many stressors, including hectic schedules, homesickness, and a full course load, it is important that students learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few helpful tips to share with your student on how to choose meals in Raymond Hall Dining that can help reduce stress and increase energy. These tips […]MORE