This week I am introducing our first “Up Close and Personal” feature. So, let’s meet with Fr. Mark Nowel, dean of undergraduate and graduate studies and associate professor of biology (he also happens to be my boss).
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Union, New Jersey, where I attended a parochial school staffed by Dominican sisters. It was when I was a graduate student studying developmental biology that I first met the Dominican Friars who were the chaplains at the University of Leicester in England. I was impressed by their preaching, their dedicated pastoring of the university students, and their life of evangelical poverty and common prayer.
So, it was after being surrounded by their example and guidance for the five years of my stay there that I decided to apply to the Province of St. Joseph. By God’s grace, I was accepted, and I joined the novitiate class of 1980 — along with Brian Shanley (now PC’s president) and Chris Cardone (now the Archbishop of Honiara in the Solomon Islands) and eight others. I arrived at PC in 1986 — shortly after my ordination — to teach biology and to assist the residence life office as a hall director in Raymond Hall. Since then, I’ve taught in the biology department, headed the residence life office, been assistant academic dean, and now the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. I’ve moderated The Cowl and the Pre-Health Professions Honor Society, served as NCAA Faculty Representative, and assisted in the parochial ministries of many parishes in the Providence area.
What do you like most about your role as dean of undergraduate and graduate studies?
I enjoy problem-solving as our students strive to find their passions and overcome the obstacles to earning their degree. I also enjoy witnessing the passions of our faculty as they propose new courses from their impressive backgrounds to enrich our students in their areas of expertise. And, I tremendously love feeling the joy each year as our graduates cross the stage as I read their names — sharing in the well-deserved celebration of their accomplishment and attesting to their growth as human beings.
When you are not wearing your “dean’s hat” what do you like to do for fun? Any special hobbies?
I’ve always loved to travel, ever since I was given the life-changing opportunity to travel to England to begin my graduate work as a Fulbright Scholar. I’ve taken groups of students to China several times for an educational/travel summer opportunity. I’m fascinated by that complex country and culture. I love snorkeling, and I do a little woodcarving in the little free-time that Fr. Shanley allows me!
(Editor’s Note: I think Fr. Nowel is being pretty modest here. His “little woodcarving” has resulted in some beautiful pieces of work.)
Do you have any advice for parents as the end of the semester draws near and their students are faced with approaching deadlines for papers, class projects, and final exams?
If their sons and daughters have left finishing their major projects until the last minute, they should tell them that they need to take control of the situation to get their work done. There will be plenty of time for rest and relaxation and to catch up on their sleep AFTER their final exams are over and their papers have been submitted: THAT’s what the Christmas break is all about!
This week I am introducing our first “Up Close and Personal” feature. So, let’s meet with Fr. Mark Nowel, dean of undergraduate and graduate studies and associate professor of biology (he also happens to be my boss). Jackie Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I grew up in Union, New Jersey, where […]MORE
I love Thanksgiving because it is centered around family, friends, and, of course, good food (pumpkin pie is my favorite). Most of all, however, it provides us an opportunity to reflect on who we are and who we are called to be. We give thanks for the people in our lives and the many gifts God has bestowed on us. We remind ourselves that Thanksgiving is just one day of the year, and that we have 365 days to show our gratitude and give thanks.
Fr. Kenneth Sicard, the executive vice president of Providence College and a good friend, has forwarded to me a prayer of thanksgiving that I am pleased to share with all of you. I wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Blessed are You loving Father
For all your gifts to us
Blessed are You for giving us family and friends
To be with us in times of joy and sorrow
To help us in days of need
And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration
We praise You for Your Son Jesus
Who knew the happiness of family and friends
And in the love of Your Holy Spirit
Blessed are you for ever and ever
I love Thanksgiving because it is centered around family, friends, and, of course, good food (pumpkin pie is my favorite). Most of all, however, it provides us an opportunity to reflect on who we are and who we are called to be. We give thanks for the people in our lives and the many gifts […]MORE
Hello Parents and Families,
I am happy to introduce to you Brittany Price, a junior at Providence College, who is a social work major and theatre minor from Southborough, Mass. Brittany is involved in lots of activities at PC — she is a member of the Dance Club, Theatre Dept., and secretary of the Asian American Association. She has served as an Orientation leader and student advisor for the Freshman Wellness and Human Flourishing Cohort. In her “free-time” she is a Zumba instructor. Brittany recently attended the PC Career Expo and is happy to share her experience with all of you.
“On Wednesday October 5th, I attended Providence College’s Career Expo for the first time. I did not think it would be valuable my freshman or sophomore year, but as I have been taking courses this semester, I realize I am getting pretty darn close to being an adult in the real world. To my surprise, the Career Expo explored a ton more than future job opportunities — there were more than 40 graduate schools, and the chairs of every department at PC were there for a major and minor fair. As I walked through the sea of PC students, I was proud to recognize several of the freshman I knew from being an Orientation Leader in August, strutting around in pencil skirts and suits and shaking hands with professors and admissions counselors at various grad schools.
In addition to seeing new faces, I was ecstatic and surprised to see recent PC alumni representing various companies such as PwC and Ernst & Young. It was awesome to catch up with them and hear about their experiences in their careers so far. The fact that they were back at PC just a year or two later to recruit also made the Career Expo all the more authentic to me. Now that I know what it has to offer, I definitely recommend that students from all classes drop by the next Career Expo.”
*Please note that the Spring Career Expo will be held on March 22nd.
Hello Parents and Families, I am happy to introduce to you Brittany Price, a junior at Providence College, who is a social work major and theatre minor from Southborough, Mass. Brittany is involved in lots of activities at PC — she is a member of the Dance Club, Theatre Dept., and secretary of the Asian […]MORE
Well, here is some Providence College trivia for you.
Did you know that there were two Brian Shanleys in the class of 1980? Of course, one went on to become our president. The “other” Brian Shanley lives in Newport, R.I., with his wife Susan Walsh ’79. Their son Peter is currently a sophomore at PC. I recently asked Brian to reflect on his son’s first year experience to provide some tips for new parents. Here’s what he shared:
There’s an old college axiom which reads, “What’s the job of a freshman? Become a sophomore.”
Sounds simple, but it is not always easy. A lot goes on as the first semester of college moves along. Besides the excitement of new experiences and developing friendships, there also can be anxiety, loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed. College always looks great on television and through social media. And how many times have we all heard, “College will be the best time of your life?” Expectations can overshadow reality and lead to a sense of disappointment. Helping your child keep a sense of perspective, humor, and self are important during those first few months.
So how do we as parents help? Some tips:
- Set up a weekly day/time to “speak” with your child. Text and emails don’t cut it. A soothing voice, a story from home, brothers/sisters and pets can all help. These check-ins bring a sense of regularity to an often out-of-balance schedule. I advise no more than twice a week. Students need to learn/know they can make it on their own without speaking with their parents daily.
- Help students by supporting them without “doing for them.” They are now in a safe place with quality people, programs, and resources to assist them on their independence journey. Students need to begin to learn how to advocate for themselves and use their own voice to see what it sounds like and how it is received.
- A small, old-school letter in the mail can help wipe out an entire bad week.
- Talk to them about their classes and ask about workloads and study habits. They are there for an education, and so developing good academic work habits is a key to lessening the stress and achieving results.
We all know that each year brings highs and lows. College is no different. Dealing with the issues is the key to the growth and maturity of our children. Enjoy the journey!
Brian is currently an administrator in the Office of Admissions at Salve Regina University, in Newport, RI. He is also a member of the Providence College Parent Program Advisory Team.
Well, here is some Providence College trivia for you. Did you know that there were two Brian Shanleys in the class of 1980? Of course, one went on to become our president. The “other” Brian Shanley lives in Newport, R.I., with his wife Susan Walsh ’79. Their son Peter is currently a sophomore at PC. […]MORE
As we celebrate our centennial anniversary, we are mindful of the many blessings that God has bestowed on our beloved institution. We are a Catholic and Dominican, liberal arts institution rich with traditions and committed to “values that endure.”
Our year of centennial events is in full swing. We began the fall semester with a Centennial Mass and Academic Convocation and with lots of special events during St. Dominic Weekend. Most recently, during New Student Family Weekend, we had the opportunity to continue our celebration with families of the newest members of our PC community.
For the last three years I have been honored to serve on the College’s Centennial Planning Committee. The committee’s working meetings provided me an opportunity to reflect on how so many have helped to make Providence College a very special place. Of course, for parents and families, one of your biggest tasks is to ensure that your sons and daughters are the beneficiaries of all the College has developed over the last 100 years.
With that being said, I am excited to introduce to you our new Parent/Family Blog. I will be sharing my thoughts with you from time to time, invite guests to tell their stories, and even provide some “up close and personal interviews” of PC folks.
Thanks for reading,
Jackie MacKay, Director of Parent Program
As we celebrate our centennial anniversary, we are mindful of the many blessings that God has bestowed on our beloved institution. We are a Catholic and Dominican, liberal arts institution rich with traditions and committed to “values that endure.” Our year of centennial events is in full swing. We began the fall semester with a Centennial […]MORE