“No More” Moments

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


Throughout second semester, the Providence College seniors have been reminded day after day that graduation is quickly approaching. Students in the class of 2019 have been gearing up and preparing for post-graduation life.However, as some of us are learning, in order for post-grad life to happen, we must do this thing called “graduate.”

Graduation is a word that many of us have avoided saying since freshman year as it horrifies many students. Before writing this, I went around and asked members of the senior class why they are so afraid to graduate, and I received responses such as: “I don’t want to go into the real world,” “I don’t have a job,” “I don’t have a place to live,” “I will have to share a room with my 13-year-old sister,” “I will have to make new friends and they have to be as crazy as me,” “I won’t be able to avoid responsibility,” “No more Whiskey Thursdays,” and my personal favorite, “I’m terrible at everything and just want to nap.”

These responses were not shocking, in fact, they are all quite normal. This time of year, everything is beginning to wind down as the semester comes to a close, but for the senior class, once this year concludes there will be several of those “no more” activities.

Throughout the course of this year, I have experienced several small “no more” moments. Once second semester began, I completed my art minor exhibition, my collegiate swim career in February, my student teaching in April, and I will soon hand over this position as Associate Editor-in-Chief of The Cowl to my successor.

There has been an assortment of our own “no more” moments and each are unique to our experience at PC, however, there is another word us seniors need to remember, and it is not graduation. The word I am referring to is commencement, and I guarantee many will look at that word and think graduation or end, but commencement actually means beginning.

The commencement ceremony, which is the last time the class of 2019 will be together, is an opportunity to recognize the beginning of something new we are all about to take on. For some of us, it will be the beginning of a new job or even, for you brave souls out there, attending another school and receiving a masters degree.

Although this is the last editorial I will write for The Cowl, and my days here at PC are numbered, the moments I thought would be “no more” will begin again but this time at a different place, with different people, and as an alumna of PC.

PC Welcomes Steve Pemberton

by The Cowl Editor


Campus


Author and Philanthropist to Speak at 2019 Commencement

by Taylor Godfrey ’19 and Abigail Czerniecki ’19

Editor and Associate Editor-in-Chief

Photo courtesy of Providence College

Steve Pemberton has been announced as the 2019 Providence College Commencement speaker. Pemberton is a human rights advocate and currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer at software company, Workhuman. Formerly the Vice President and the first Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreen’s, Pemberton speaks from his troubled childhood to advocate for human rights today. 

The committee to select the Commencement speaker chose Pemberton after watching hours of video of his previous speaking engagements. Pemberton was elected for his engaging manner of speaking and the strong interest towards student success that he has demonstrated over the years. It is especially crucial the Commencement speaker is able to captivate that the audience and the graduates after several speeches by the president, honorary degree recipients, and degree announcements. The role of the Commencement speaker is to inspire and offer advice to the graduates and the committee believes Pemberton will deliver.

Pemberton’s story is one of facing and overcoming adversity. After being put into foster care at the age of three, Pemberton suffered hardships such as abusive foster families, but despite this adversity, he was able to earn both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Boston College.

In 2012, he published a best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, A Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home, about his childhood experiences and how they made him who he is today. A Chance in the World was also made into a film, directed by Mark Vadik, that was released in May 2018.

The title of Pemberton’s book, and the subsequent film, was inspired by one of his old babysitter’s diary entries. His babysitter had written that the little boy, Pemberton, “didn’t have a chance in the world.” Pemberton used his hardships, such as this one, as a means to excel in academics and his adult years.

A Chance in the World is also the name of the foundation Pemberton runs with his wife, Tonya. Aimed at giving more kids the opportunity to get an education and reach their goals, the foundation supports schools and charitable organizations, as well as offers the Steve Pemberton Scholarship to deserving students at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Massachusetts. 

Pemberton discusses in his memoir the “lighthouses” he had throughout his difficult journey from his adolescent and teenage years. These “lighthouses,” Pemberton describes in his book, are those who showed him small acts of kindness, such as his neighbors or his teachers. It was those who showed him love and taught him kindness that influenced his future successes.  

He has been awarded the Trumpet Award, created to recognize black humanitarians who have succeeded against tremendous odds, as well as the U.S. Congress’s Horizon Award for individuals from the public sector who have changed the lives of young Americans.

Pemberton is also an accomplished speaker, delivering addresses at many different corporations and nonprofits. He has given keynote addresses and Commencement speeches at numerous colleges and universities, including Boston College, DePaul University, Mount Ida College, and Northwestern University. 

In his 2016 Commencement speech at Mount Ida College, Pemberton mentioned how he will likely be forgotten by the graduates gathered before him, but that he hoped they would allow him to jump into their family photos after the ceremony. This is a spirit that Steven Maurano, associate vice president of public affairs, community & government relations, noted Pemberton is eager to bring to the PC Commencement. He added that Pemberton hopes he will be able to go out among the community and the students before the ceremonies, emphasizing his dedication to the communities of which he is a part.

Pemberton will receive an honorary degree from the College for his participation in this year’s Commencement exercises. 

In addition to Pemberton, five other honorary degree recipients will be recognized at Commencement: Sister Larraine Lauter, an Ursuline nun whose 40 years of service include work as a teacher, pastoral minister, environmentalist, and advocate for minority communities; Marta Martinez ’79, the executive director of Latino Arts RI, manager of La Galería del Pueblo Cultural Center in Central Falls, artist-in-residence at Trinity Repertory Theatre; Marifrances McGinn, PC’s first female vice president and formerly the College’s in-house legal counsel for 20 years; Dr. Steven Mecca ’64 and ’66 G (posthumously), a PC physics professor who also served as vice president of academic affairs and president of the Faculty Senate during his time at PC; and John Murphy, Sr., CEO of Beara Capital, LLC and founder of the Dr. Kenneth R. Walker ’57 & ‘83Hon. Scholarship at PC.

The Commencement ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 19 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence.

Spring Has Sprung: Keep the Campus Green

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


As we approach the beginning days of spring, it is common for New Englanders to rush outside and enjoy the 55 degree weather that we consider warm.

However, New Englanders are not the only ones excited about spring. Environmentalists have their special day coming up as well—Earth Day.

Earth Day has become a celebrated event to demonstrate support for environmental protection, and with spring upon us, it is time to start becoming aware of sustainability techniques and things Providence College students can begin to do to preserve our campus.

At PC, clubs like PC Go Green educate the College community on ways the students can participate in making PC more sustainable on campus.

PC Go Green also educates students on better ways to recycle and reduce waste. The clubs at PC that are in support of environmental awareness are eager to encourage and teach students to become more aware of the environment and the sustainability of PC’s campus.

The campus has taken several steps to move in a positive direction within the realms of the environment by incorporating recycling bins, koozies for those Dunkin’ drinks, and metal straws. Now it is the student’s responsibility to further pursue an environmentally friendly approach to making PC’s campus more sustainable.

Remaining environmentally aware is especially important as the weather begins to warm up the cold New England air.

As the PC community has done a considerable job at making our campus eco-friendlier, I challenge PC students to become more aware of what can be done to remain a community that works towards keeping our campus clean of waste in a sustainable way.

Spring is the time for Slavin and Smith lawn hangouts, spike ball and frisbee games, and Board of Programmer’s Clam Jam.

Let us work towards keeping our campus clean in the right way, especially since spring has sprung.

Following the Oscars’ Example: Learn to Embrace Change

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


We all like to believe in fairytale endings, and Hollywood, for most people, is often predictable for telling stories that have happy endings. Its stories are not always relatable to the “real world,” but this year’s Academy Awards have given viewers a positive story, focusing on the various triumphs of several ethnic and racial groups.

Although Hollywood does not always represent the everyday man, the 2019 Oscars may have been the best produced show the public has seen in years. In past years, politics and race have blanketed the Academy, but the 2019 Oscars allow edviewers to let go of any traditional expectations and ultimately embrace change.

Embracing change is not limited to the Oscars or other highly acclaimed and viewed events. The concept of embracing change has been a common trend on Providence College’s campus as well. All year, PC faculty and staff have encouraged the PC community to embrace change that will better lead our school.

The spotlight for this year’s Oscars was accepting and open, falling on the important stories that need to be told about “real world” scenarios and current events. The Oscars not only broadened their spotlight, but they also accommodated the dwindling Oscars audience by skipping over the opening monologue, eliminating a host, making the awards the priority, and featuring multiple presenters.

This year’s Oscars were encouraging as they demonstrated their capability to focus on important issues while championing the cause of diversity. As PC approaches the last few months of the 2018-2019 academic year, our community should embrace change and create a beloved community as Reverend Nontombi Naomi Tutu challenged PC to do.

The Oscars are making exceptional leaps that are bound to place our generation in a put that will always accept and honor divergent citizens. It is now our turn to embrace change and rediscover our beloved PC community. As a college campus, let us make our own strides towards permanent change in recognizing and preserving diversity.

Remember to Thank Your Educators

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


As a future educator and current student teacher, I have learned the importance of teaching students skills that go beyond the classroom so that they can apply those skills to various situational moments in life.   

Until the bell rings for first period, teachers are permitted to enter the school with their key cards, as students wait in the cafeteria. However, on this particular day, rather than entering as I normally do, I was directed to a line where my bag was checked, and I was patted down.

I thought this was odd, but I kept a peaceful mind as I approached the officer who would check my bag. I looked around at the students, who were also being checked. I could see fear in their faces, but a majority of their faces expressed confusion.

I found out that there had been a gun threat the previous night posted on Facebook, and although the gun threat was not in proximity to the school, an uneasiness filled the abnormally quiet hallways of the school.

My first period class contained approximately 10 kids out of 20. My typically noisy and ingenuous freshmen were now silent and cognizant of what was occurring. I had several students ask me panickedly why there are not gun control laws implemented, or why they are in school if there is something wrong in the school. I was obligated to come up with answers that explained the truth while keeping them safe and at peace with the situation.

We tend to forget those who have kept us safe and calm during times of distress or confusion. We often look to others for answers and advice but neglect to recognize those who provide us with that guidance and security.

As students of Providence College,  we are embarking upon the last semester of the 2018-19 academic year, and it is time to give our thanks for those educators who have kept us safe and those who have offered answers to our difficult questions.

Whatever the situation may be, educators have always been a positive force, pushing us beyond our limits and teaching us skills we can carry with us beyond graduation.

Take the Leap: New Year, New Journey

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


by Abigail Czerniecki ’19

Associate Editor-in-Chief

The new year, whether we like it or not, comes with changes and adjustments. 

For some, these changes are easy to notice and adapt to. Yet, for others, new routines and journeys may require a roaring alarm in order to awaken the greatness within and embrace a new adventure.

New beginnings are easier said than done. As Providence College students begin a new semester, they undertake a new routine as well. Thus, students must be willing to turn endings into new beginnings. 

Recently, I celebrated my last home swim meet as a PC athlete, and in that same week, I began student teaching. It felt as though I had ended one very familiar journey and begun a very foreign one.

As I wrap up my 18-year-long swim career and my time as a student athlete at PC, I know that although it will soon be time to hang up my cap and goggles, PC will always be a strong presence in my life.

Every step I have taken and every step I will take tomorrow is necessary to progress in my endeavors. I believe it to be true that when one door closes another one opens, it just requires courage and strength. To continue to grow we must push fearlessly through change, knowing that PC will always be there when we look back.

Whether it be a new class, student teaching, an internship, or a new year, starting a new journey is exciting and daunting. Regardless, having the Friar Family in our back pocket will bring us peace as we make the leap from the known to the unknown.

To the Class of 2019: Pursue Goodness in Final Semester at PC

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


by Abigail Czerniecki ’19

Associate Editor-in-Chief

Whether we like it or not, in just one week we will be second semester seniors. I have been avoiding any conversations, emails, or thoughts about graduation and even about my future plans, but avoiding the concept of graduation does not prolong our time at Providence College.

The fall semester has been memorable, but what is important is with whom you are making your memories.

Whether those memorable moments were made with our class during Senior Ring Weekend, during a class with those in your major, or maybe the moments you remember best were simple and just with a friend or two.

All of these moments are built into our fall semester, and even though we leave PC, PC will never leave us. 

This should not be a time of sadness as our class enters into our last semester at PC, rather, it should be a time of togetherness, and of course, getting our ducks in a row in order to have some type of future. Let us support one another before we venture off to our paved futures.

Take the time that we have left to reflect on what you have accomplished or what you still hope to accomplish.

Cherish the essence of our Friar Family and pursue the discovery of something new—pursue goodness. Make more memorable moments before we can no longer call ourselves PC undergraduates, and can no longer call PC home.

To the Class of 2019: Pursue Goodness in Final Semester at PC

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


by Abigail Czerniecki ’19

Associate Editor-in-Chief

Whether we like it or not, in just one week we will be second semester seniors. I have been avoiding any conversations, emails, or thoughts about graduation and even about my future plans, but avoiding the concept of graduation does not prolong our time at Providence College.

The fall semester has been memorable, but what is important is with whom you are making your memories.

Whether those memorable moments were made with our class during Senior Ring Weekend, during a class with those in your major, or maybe the moments you remember best were simple and just with a friend or two.

All of these moments are built into our fall semester, and even though we leave PC, PC will never leave us. 

This should not be a time of sadness as our class enters into our last semester at PC, rather, it should be a time of togetherness, and of course, getting our ducks in a row in order to have some type of future. Let us support one another before we venture off to our paved futures.

Take the time that we have left to reflect on what you have accomplished or what you still hope to accomplish.

Cherish the essence of our Friar Family and pursue the discovery of something new—pursue goodness. Make more memorable moments before we can no longer call ourselves PC undergraduates, and can no longer call PC home.

Dedication Determines Success

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


by Abigail Czerniecki ’19

Associate Editor-in-Chief

 

With midterms coming to a close, we have a chance to reflect upon our academic success and choices we have made thus far.

Midterm season is a stressful time for everyone, but it also gives us the opportunity to be honest with ourselves and either modify or improve upon what we have accomplished, what we want to accomplish, and how to accomplish our end goals.

November is the time to look back on what you have done and make adjustments based on the results. Reflection upon oneself is crucial if we want to not only succeed, but to improve the Providence College community.

Look beyond the midterm grades you receive this semester and look forward to the next chapter. Midterms are not there to discourage or overwhelm us; rather, midterms are there so that we can be honest with ourselves, know what we must do, and act upon it.

Holding ourselves accountable for our work effort is a difficult thing to do, but in order to succeed and reach our goals we must constantly reflect on the past and move forward.

For freshmen, you have survived your first fall semester at PC, and for seniors, we have just completed our last first semester. It is time to put aside our fears of the future and challenge ourselves to better our academic and personal success.

Midterms should not be the only time we reflect upon our work ethic, our successes, or even our failures. Self-reflection should be reoccurring and frequent if we want to better ourselves.

Accomplishing this takes more than just a quick glance at the grade book on Sakai or CyberFriar to see a result. It takes the adjectives we have heard all our lives—dedication, discipline, and motivation, that will determine our greatest successes.

United as One: Friar Family Brings Us Together in Times of Tragedy

by The Cowl Editor


Editor's Column


by Abigail Czerniecki ’19

Associate Editor-in-Chief

When our president, dean, alumni, or fellow Friars talk about Providence College being a Friar Family, it is not taken lightly.

The College community welcomes students with open arms by reminding them that PC is more than just an institution, but indeed a true family.

In times of hardship, it is crucial for students to remember that no one is alone in Friartown and that it is always Us, We, Together, Family, Friars—it is a culture that is embraced all across the PC campus.

Every individual reacts differently when faced with a tragedy, and it is important to stay united as individual classes, and more importantly, as a school. There is no formula to cope with life changes, but we can be compassionate and selfless towards those around us.

We have a strong foundation of family present on campus, and we use that to support one another in our academics, athletics, and tribulations. With all that has happened locally and nationally, it is vital that we support one another.

Tragedy should not be the only time we come together, but rather we should shed our differences and reach out to fellow Friars to remind them that “Friar Family” is not just a slogan.

We all have a responsibility to this family, so in the time we have left on campus, let’s make sure that Friartown is motivated by love and kindness.