T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. Begins at Panuska College of Professional Studies
Incoming freshmen in the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies are the first to participate in a new co-curricular initiative devoted exclusively to developing healthy and well-rounded adults.
The T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. program, a four-year program geared toward personal and professional development, offers students an opportunity to experience all the University can provide through a series of structured offerings. As part of T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y., Panuska College students will attend special lectures, complete service learning projects, meet with advisors, and participate in wellness activities designed to build a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
“We’re looking at the whole person and what the person needs to be successful as a professional, including things outside of the classroom,” said Victoria Castellanos, Ph.D., associate dean, Panuska College of Professional Studies. “T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. provides a framework for these co-curricular activities to help students organize and understand how all of these things fit into their University of Scranton education.”
While traditional classes within Panuska College are designed to develop the whole person, Dr. Castellanos says some topics inevitably fall through the cracks. T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. bridges the gap and provides opportunities for aspects of personal and professional development that don’t cleanly fit into a syllabus.
“The term T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. comes from the idea that there are threads across all the programs and across all four years of their undergraduate education in Panuska College.” Dr. Castellanos said.
Each year of the T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. program has its own theme, such as contemplatio ad amorem, meaning that love should manifest itself through deeds rather than words, and cura personalis, which is an Ignation value that involves demonstration of care and concern for the individual person. The theme for the freshman year is Magis, the latin word for “the more.”
Rick Malloy, S.J., vice president for university mission and ministry, one of the first speakers in the T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. program, addressed the theme and spoke to students about how important it is for people in the helping professions to do “more” than what is required.
“He talked about the idea that as you train to become a certain type of professional, we want you to be inspired to do more and go beyond what is normally expected of you,” Dr. Castellanos said. “He also asked students to think about their chosen profession within the Jesuit mission of caring for the whole person.”
In addition to Father Malloy’s speech, students had the chance to listen to other speakers including Gregory Boyle, S.J., author of the book “Tattoos on the Heart,” which was the selected reading for freshmen.
T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. also has a health and wellness thread across all four years. The primary focus for the freshman year is “physical wellness,” with students participating in the “Walk 100 miles with the Dean” program. In this initiative, students set physical activity goals for the year, keep weekly exercise logs and work with student mentors from the Community Health Education and Exercise Science and Sport departments to reach their goals.
The mentors will meet with students, help them carve out time in their schedule for exercise and develop simple workout plans they can integrate into their lives. The program culminates with a walk with the dean - Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies – on Thursday, Nov. 29.
T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. will also provide service learning opportunities like the Blessing of the Books, slated for Thursday, Dec. 6. Each student will be required to bring in a book that they enjoyed as a child to donate.
“To add a personal touch the students will write inscriptions in the front of the books that are donated, such as, ‘This is a book I loved as a kid, I hope you enjoy it,’” Dr. Castellanos said. “The inscription will be written on a University of Scranton book plate that will go in the front of each book.”
The collection of new and used children’s book will be distributed to organizations of need in the spring.
Dr. Castellanos said the Blessing of the Books is a good example of the type of project-based initiatives she hopes students develop moving forward, “We’re trying to get students to think about project-based service learning,” Dr. Castellanos explained. “We want them to identify needs in the community and working on a project to address that need. We really want to make sure the Jesuit mission is coming through.”