In Their Natural Habitat: Friars Participate in Spring Break Service Trips
By Matthew Mazzella ’20
This past spring break, Providence College students traveled across the East Coast to get their hands dirty and volunteer through Habitat for Humanity. These Friars made it their mission to give back to various communities and showcase what Providence College is all about.
Volunteer sites that Friars travelled to include Rockport, Maine, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Georgetown, Deleware, Mechanicsville, Virginia, York, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Kittanning, Pennsylvania.
Senior coordinator and group leader, Ryan O’Keefe ’19, had his calendar marked for this trip every year, as it is one of his most cherished activities as a PC student.
O’Keefe elaborates on his passion for this trip by stating, “This was my fourth Habitat for Humanity Trip, second as group leader, and first-time coordinator. Habitat for Humanity has held a special place in my heart over the four years here at Providence College and when I was offered the position to be the 2018-2019 coordinator a little over a year ago, I was absolutely ecstatic to accept. This year we had over 100 participants at eight different sites across the east coast, stretching from Maine down to Virginia.”
With so many students looking to volunteer, Habitat for Humanity is the perfect trip for Friars looking to give back and help out others.
Sarah Kerrigan ’20 loves the opportunity that Habitat for Humanity offers to give back to those less fortunate. Kerrigan loves incorporating service into her spring breaks, which is exactly why she chose Habitat for Humanity. The trip was a rewarding experience for her, as she got to help out those who needed a helping hand, as well as meet some amazing people along the way.
Kerrigan elaborated on her love for this trip by stating, “Habitat is the perfect way to spend spring break; it’s a total mixture of giving to those less fortunate, as well as meeting and working with some of the most amazing people who become lifetime friends.”
Paige Christianson ’20 is an annual volunteer on Habitat for Humanity trips, making this past spring break her third trip while at PC. Christianson looks forward to these trips every year; it is always the highlight of her spring break.
She not only loves the friendships she builds along the way, but the lives she impacts by her vow to help others. Christianson described her love for these trips by saying, “Habitat is a way to help give others a fresh start with a new home, while making new friends and memories with fellow friars.”
The trip was a huge success, and many cities and towns benefitted from the help of PC students lending a helping hand.
O’Keefe reminisces on his final trip by saying, “The most beautiful thing about Habitat for Humanity is that no matter where you go, or who you are with, each participant is able to make the trip unique in their own way. A Habitat for Humanity spring break trip gives the participant a rare opportunity to escape the Providence College bubble and become humbled by the environment around them. That is why this program is near and dear to my heart and that’s why I keep coming back to serve for this special organization.”
With so many students raving about their trips and the impact it has had on their lives, students should consider making this trip a part of their spring break at Providence College. If you have any interest in next year’s upcoming trip, contact Campus Ministry for more information.
Celebrating the Luck of the Irish: Gaelic Society Holds Irish Fest in Honor of St. Patrick’s Day
Matthew Mazzella ’20
The Irish celebrations at Providence College did not stop after St. Patrick’s Day this year, as the Gaelic Society hosted its annual Irish Fest in McPhail’s this past Tuesday to keep the festivities rolling.
The event was a great way for students to come together and celebrate their Irish pride, all while enjoying food, live music, and performances.
President of the Gaelic Society, Camille Greaney ’19, was very excited about the event, saying, “The event is Irish Fest, and it is an annual event around St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the holiday and the Gaelic culture in general. We will have food, live music, and a dance performance. We would love to have the PC community celebrate the Gaelic culture in a special way through this event, and, hopefully, people will be intrigued to learn more about it at our meetings.”
Greaney was not the only one who was very excited about the Irish Fest. Elizabeth Connor ’20 had a great time at the event and was very proud to celebrate her heritage, especially through her involvement with Irish step dancing on campus.
“It is always great to celebrate different cultures here at PC. I am very excited that through the Irish Step Dancing Club I can celebrate my heritage in a way that is creative and fun. The Irish Festival is a great way to celebrate Irish heritage, and it was exciting for the club to perform!”
Thomas McMahon ’20 is a very proud Irishman on campus, and said he stopped by to check out the event and socialize with some of his fellow Irish descendants, as well as talk about his Irish traditions.
McMahon prides himself on his family’s famous Irish soda bread recipe, which has been passed down from generations of McMahons.
McMahon elaborates on his traditions by stating, “March is a very important month for my family and me, especially because of St. Patrick’s Day. We love to celebrate our Irish heritage, especially through our annual Irish soda bread making competition we have as a family using our treasured recipe. It was great to go to the Irish Festival in McPhail’s to try some more Irish food and continue the Irish celebrations, as well as meet some great people in the process.”
The event was a huge success for the Gaelic Society as more than 100 people showed up, but they hope the fun does not stop here.
Julia Crowley ’20, a member of the club, thinks that students should consider coming to meetings if they thought this event was fun. Crowley said, “If you loved the event tonight, you should come to our meetings to help create more nights like these.”
Thanks to the Gaelic Society, Providence College got to showcase its Irish roots, all while having a fun night with plenty of food and live entertainment. Sláinte!
Getting a Better Sense of Sales in Marketing: PC Business School Hosts Sales Showcase
Matthew Mazzella ’20
On Feb. 27, Providence College hosted its first ever Sales Showcase in the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies.
Dr. Ronald Jelinek, associate professor of marketing, organized the event so PC students could start making professional connections, especially for students interested in sales. The participating companies included 3BL Media, Dell EMC, EverQuote, Toast, HubSpot, Western Digital, CyberArk, and Oracle NetSuite.
Jelinek credits the close connection with former sales students as well as strong industry ties for the success of the inaugural event.
The event had a massive turnout and exceeded all expectations. In total, 150 students pre-registered for the event, and many more showed up at the door to learn more about what was being offered on campus.
When he first arrived at PC in 2005, Jelinek’s mission was to improve the sales curriculum, and he has done just that during his time in Friartown.
Jelinek stated “When I arrived, the department did not have any regularly-offered sales courses and few students were graduating with the goal of pursuing a career in professional selling. I set out to develop two business-to-business (b2b) sales courses—MKT 310 (Personal Selling) and MKT 311 (Sales Management)—when I arrived here. Each of these courses were first offered just once per academic year, but as interest in and student demand for the courses grew, the marketing department gradually increased the number of sections offered. We now graduate 80-90 students per year who have taken at least one of the two sales courses, and many of these students go on to pursue careers in b2b sales.”
Ryan Gallahue ’20 believed the event was a huge success and provided him with opportunities and connections that can really help him down the road.
Gallahue said, “It was really helpful to have another opportunity to meet employers on campus. It gave me a better sense of what I want to do in the future, especially by participating in the open forum held by sales alumni. I made some really strong connections here and gained great professional advice, and I hope that it could lead to a job opportunity in the future.”
Jelinek is excited for the future after seeing all the success from this program. He believes “building upon our College’s commitment to transform lives, develop minds and souls and motivate a quest for truth, our sales program provides an opportunity for graduates to stand for integrity and virtue and sell for success. Today’s world needs this and companies which have recruited from us for years have long-understood this: we generate grads who know the sales process really well, but there is something else in our secret sauce. The showcase gave these eight new organizations a glimpse of that. Friars are different, and that is the way we like it.”
The marketing department at the college believes this is a step in the right direction in terms of not only enhancing student-alumni relations, but also in building upon the career education that takes place on campus.
There are never enough opportunities that can be given to college students looking for career advice and job offerings, and the Sales Showcase is another way for Friars to get their feet in the doors and help enhance their career paths.
PC Goes to D.C. for an “Abroad” Experience:Students Work and Study in Nation’s Capital
by Matthew Mazzella ’20
Looking to study and gain experience in the nation’s capital? Now you can, as Providence College has teamed up with American University to offer students the chance to study in Washington, D.C. for a semester.
The College is looking to give students more opportunities to gain exposure and broaden their horizons. This program gives students a chance to stay on American soil and get work experience through an internship in Washington, while taking classes towards their degree at PC.
Dr. Joseph Cammarano, professor of political science, is the director of the Washington Semester program, and he believes this opportunity is a great chance for students to gain some valuable experience.
Cammarano said, “The program is designed for students who wish to spend time gaining valuable and practical experience in public affairs, including law, journalism, public health, government, business, economics, and politics.”
He continued, “Once an area is selected, students complete a related internship, seminars in the concentration area, and an optional elective course in any discipline offered at American University.”
One of the biggest myths about this program is that it is only for political science majors.
Cammarano emphasized that it is open to all majors, stating, “Any major can find an internship experience and seminar that relates to their academic and career interests. In addition to political science, students from economics, business, philosophy, English, history, health policy, psychology, art, and theology have attended the program in recent years.”
When asked about the benefits of the internship experience, Cammarano said “It provides an enormous number of internship opportunities in almost any discipline (for example, a biology major could intern at the National Institute of Health), access to a wide array of free cultural and political venues, and provides a wonderful international experience for students who prefer to remain in the United States but would like a chance to study for a semester elsewhere and broaden their educational experience.”
Matthew Williams ’22 believes this is a great opportunity for PC students and that the program is something he could see himself taking advantage of later in his academic career.
Williams said, “I never knew about this program. With the study abroad program so popular here, it is easy for this program to fly under the radar. This program sounds very interesting, and is something I will definitely take into consideration.”
With the addition of this program, students no longer need to go overseas to gain a new perspective. Living in another country is not for everyone, which is why this program is so great for Friars looking for a different experience.
Having the opportunity to get an internship not only offers a great experience in your major, but also allows for great networking opportunities for the future.
This is a great opportunity for students at the College. With the professional world getting more competitive, this is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on internship experience as a part of their course of study while studying in Washington. PC students now have the chance to build their résumés in the nation’s capital.
Unwanted Visitors in Suites Hall: Mice Pose a Problem for Students and Staff
by Matthew Mazzella ’20
As the spring semester kicks up at Providence College, students were hoping to start off without some uninvited guests in their rooms.
On Jan. 13, Suites Hall residents reported mice in various rooms throughout the building. These sightings have left students wondering what could have caused this issue, as well as what the College is doing to keep students safe.
Jana Valentine, director of Residence Life, believes the cold weather and abundance of food is the reason the mice were spotted. Valentine states, “Any time there is cold weather, pests tend try to find a warm place to stay. Suites is a food-rich environment, which can contribute to the problem when food and crumbs are left out.”
Students such as Elizabeth Connor ’20 are not happy with the situations they have had to deal with. Connor stated, “The mice issue is not only gross, but it also makes us super uncomfortable and anxious in our own living space. Nobody should have to worry about mice being in their room, especially if you are cautious about your room being clean.”
Residence Life believes that there is more that needs to be done on their part to educate students about keeping the dorms clean so issues like this do not keep happening.
Valentine believes, “We need to educate students and stress the importance of keeping food in the cabinets and in containers, as well as taking all trash to the trash rooms, and ensuring all rooms are neat and not messy to prevent an environment where mice would want to be.”
The Physical Plant is doing everything in its power to meet students’ needs and make sure all dorms remain pest-free. Andrew Sullivan, executive director of the physical plant, supposes the problem stems from the perfect combination of the large amounts of food in Suites and the vacant environment during winter break.
When asked about his opinion on how the mice ended up in Suites, Sullivan mentioned, “Mice like to rest in areas with not a lot of activity, which makes apartments a perfect environment for them, especially over winter break when no students are on campus.”
Sullivan and his team have been aggressively trapping and carrying out preventative methods to make sure this problem is put to rest. They will continue to keep traps out and service the building until they have found the entry points or eliminated all the pests.
PC has been working with a new vendor, Reliable Pest Control, who has provided the College a 32 percent decrease in pest-related issues since 2017 after making the switch from an old vendor who was providing inferior service on pest-related projects around campus.
The Physical Plant believes this company gives them a better chance to be more aggressive in pest control to keep Friartown pest-free.
Sullivan stressed the importance of emailing FixIt when issues like these arise.
He says, “Always submit the issue to FixIt immediately. If you do not hear a response, don’t be afraid to email us again. Also reach out to RAs and Hall Director to ensure the urgency of the issue. Also contact your RA, Hall Director, or ResLife if you have any questions or want a better understanding of what actions are being taken in response to the issue.”
While PC seems to have a handle on the mice outbreak, it is up to students to make sure that campus remains mice-free, and that starts with making sure the residence halls remain clean.
Keeping all halls free of loose food and trash, especially during the weekends, can make a big difference in keeping students’ rooms clear of any unwanted critters.
Riding the Radio Waves: Christopher Judge Gives Inside Look At PC’s Podcast
by Matthew Mazzella ’20
There are many voices to be heard around Friartown, and the Providence College Podcast team is looking to find them by sharing the stories of the people who make this campus so special.
The Providence College Podcast releases new stories from people in the PC community in the form of a podcast every week and providing students with compelling stories that are just a click away.
Christopher Judge ’05, multimedia producer for PC marketing & communications, believes this new method of communication for the College is a great way to connect with the Friar Family.
Judge states, “It is a new way to reach alumni, parents, students, donors, and fans of the athletic program at PC. We want to hit every piece of the College and hear about what people on campus are doing, and it gives us a chance to share stories unique about Providence College.“
Although the podcasts about Friar athletics are the most popular, Judge believes there are some other very interesting stories to be heard. He found the interview with Father Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. to be particularly compelling.
“This was one of my favorites because of how amazing of a person he is and the stories he can tell. I especially liked hearing about his MBA process,” says Judge.
Without the podcast program, stories like these could go unheard, especially for people not directly on campus. The podcast team is looking to change that.
Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications Joseph Carr ’83, finds this to be a great platform for storytelling. He believes that “it is up to us to provide compelling content about the Providence College community, and we want to make a good connection with the Friar Family that tunes into our shows.”
While there is a large following already, marketing and communications is always looking for new ways to get Friars to tune into their shows. Luckily, these shows are readily available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and SoundCloud and are easily accessible for those looking to learn a little more about the people who make PC so unique. These podcasts are produced every week and have been in the making for the past two years.
Although the podcasts are mainly geared toward alumni and parents who have more time to listen, the Providence College Podcast team would like more students to tune in and become a part of this storytelling platform.
Judge mentions, “We understand that students are busy and may not have time to listen to podcasts, but they should really check out what we are offering and open their minds to the amazing stories that are being told by the people right around them.”
Joseph McDonald ’20 loves keeping up with the podcasts and the stories being told around campus. “I enjoy hearing about people I see on campus but have never had the chance to sit down and talk to. One of my favorite podcasts was the interview with Ed Cooley. He is such a motivating figure on campus, and to be able to follow him on the podcast was really cool for me.”
PC is a special place to so many people, and this program allows Friars to remain informed about what is going on around campus. It also gives older generations a way to stay connected to their beloved Friar community.
These podcasts describe the quality and uniqueness of the College, and it allows everyone in the community to learn more about the people that make this campus and community so special.
For access to PC’s podcasts, click the link below to see their playlists:
Professors Discuss Building a ‘Beloved Community’
By Matthew Mazzella ’20
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Providence College hosted Dr. Comfort Ateh, associate professor of education, and Maco L. Faniel, professor of black studies, for its’ monthly FaculTEAS event on January 22, 2019.
This event was held in rememberance and reflection on Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,’s legacy.
FaculTEAS is an event that takes place every month and gives students and staff a chance to talk over a cup of tea and discuss social issues around the world and on campus.
Because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this month’s gathering was geared toward discussing Rev. Dr. King’s idea of a “Beloved Community,”and how it can be created here at the College.
King’s definition of a “Beloved Community” is a community where people recognize their interconnectedness with each other based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.
Many of the conversations focused on inclusivity and working on listening and empathizing with other people around campus. They also stressed the importance of putting prejudices aside and understanding people for who they really are and what their story is.
Having the chance to discuss these topics with different types of people at FaculTEAS is an exceptional opportunity to get the ball rolling on social issues in today’s society and how to apply them to life on campus.
Faniel believes this event is a good way for people to start talking about change on campus. Faniel says “our focus is getting students and faculty to understand and engage with the responsibility for creating the Beloved Community right here at Providence College.”
Elizett Pires, assistant director of student activities and cultural programming, believes that “FaculTEAS’s goal is to get teachers and students to talk in an environment that is different than that of a classroom discussion setting. The purpose is to be in a comfortable setting for people to talk and speak their minds about the issues that matter around the world, and at PC. Students don’t always speak their full opinions in a classroom, so this event allows them to talk about their ideas in a pressure free setting.”
Pires also believes that more students should take advantage of events like these to begin speaking their minds.
She says, “People will see the mugs from the event and could be curious and begin talking about it. The best way to get people to attend these events is through word of mouth. We want to promote the event as a place for students to enjoy talking to other staff members over a cup of tea, which happens to be from a new country every time.”
FaculTEAS is a great way for students and staff to voice their opinions together through discussion, as well as generate ideas on how to create change on campus.
This event commemorated the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as gave students and staff a chance to look through his eyes and find ways to incorporate his ideas of a Beloved Community at the College.
Addressing Student Concerns on Raymond Cafeteria
by Matthew Mazzella ’20
On Sunday, March 25, a student at Providence College’s Raymond Dining Hall found a cockroach in their serving of fried ravioli, and the picture of this finding went viral around campus. Since then, there have been multiple other sightings of insects in and around students’ food at Ray.
Student outrage concerning the quality of their food has sparked the Instagram page “Sodex-no,” which encourages students to send in pictures of their unsanitary findings to draw attention to the problem occurring in Ray. Stu Gerhardt, general manager of dining services at PC, was asked what happened regarding the roach situation. His response to the cockroach findings was “prior to the circulation of the photo, Reliable Pest Control came in twice a week to perform routine pest control prevention. Since the dead roach in the ravioli was found right before Easter break, Reliable came in on Good Friday, ‘bombed’ the dining facility with pesticides, and cleaned the dining hall the following Monday. One or two German cockroaches were found, but no infestation was found, which leads us to believe it is an external problem.”
Since the source of the problem is still being determined, Gerhardt and Warren Gray, assistant vice president of business services, believe that the roaches are being transported in the cardboard box shipments to the dining hall, as they are attracted to wet cardboard and can get in the bottom of boxes very easily. Gerhardt has issued a protocol for all Raymond workers to unload all shipments outside the hall so no insects make their way into the building from the boxes.
In regards to the insect found in a student’s french fry, Gerhardt said, “Any time there is food found with a foreign matter in it, we will send that piece of food back to the vendor or manufacturer because it is crucial to find out how it got there.” For example, the fry was sent back to McCain Potatoes to be inspected because if an insect was embedded in the fry, it could have not happened here.”
Gray also mentioned that after the ravioli photo was circulated, the Rhode Island Department of Health was notified and an inspection of Raymond Dining Hall was issued, and a clean bill of health was issued. “We have decided after both instances that the pest control services come every day to ensure the problem is fixed,” he said.
While the problem seems to be taken care of, students at Providence College are still upset, and hope to never see something like this occur again while eating at campus dining facilities. Gabrielle Montoya ’20 said, “I think what happened was gross. Students eat at Ray every day, and sanitation needs to be taken more seriously when so many kids are being fed each day. If this keeps happening, someone could get really sick.”
Marie Sweeney ’20 said, “My friends and I have been avoiding Ray once we learned about the bug problem. It’s just pretty unappetizing. Students shouldn’t have to fear that something is in their food, and they also shouldn’t feel the need to spend their money off campus or use their Friar Bucks on other food because their meal plan provides them with insect infested foods.”
The Dining Services team at the College have implemented new changes in protocol, but the sightings of roaches by students has not ended as hoped. A video of a cockroach running on a table in Ray has circulated around the internet, and is only raising more questions from students and parents as if the problem is really fixed. Since the last video of the cockroach, there has been no further sightings of any cockroaches.
Student liasons to Sodexo, Daniel Keating ’20 and John Stablien ’19, have met multiple times with Gerhardt to address studnet concerns. Keating reported to the Student Congress on Tuesday that the Board of Health did inspect Raymond Cafeteria last week, and declared that there is no infestion, and therefore the hypothesis that the cockroaches came from outside the cafeteria is likley.
PC Raises $1, 157,334 During Friars Give
Over 700 Current Students Donated to the College
by Matthew Mazzella ’20
On Thursday, April 5, Providence College held its second annual Friars Give fundraising event. The school’s goal was to have all 3,989 students contribute, as well as parents and alumni, to help raise money for the Providence College experience.
Sarah Osowa, director of annual giving at PC, defined the meaning of the event by saying “this is PC’s second annual day of giving. It is an opportunity to invite internal and external people of the Providence College community to make a collective impact by making a contribution of any size to support the future of PC. The hope is to get 3,989 student donations to unlock generous gifts from the board of trustees, a grand total of $250,000. These funds would be used to support the student experience at Providence College.”
Between parents, alumni, and students, there was a total of 4,682 donors, and a grand total of $1,157,334 raised. Specifically, there were 718 student donors, totaling $19,500, and 655 parent donors, totaling $164,000. The bulk of the donations came from alumni, as the classes of 1983 and 1988 totaled $97,800 in donations over the course of the day.
When asked about the planning that took place to make this event possible, Osowa said, “For the past six months, a group of campus partners have worked to build awareness, help build activities, and promote the event externally to parents and alumni who are a part of the Providence College community.” Osowa and the Friars Give team are trying to create a brand for this event by making this a day to give not only for the people on campus, but for parents and alumni to look forward to each year.
Thomas McMahon ‘20 said, “I chose to give back to Providence College because of my love for the school. PC is my home away from home, so I felt it would only be right if I gave back to the school I love so much. I think every student should give some form of a donation. It doesn’t have to be much, but a little donation can go a long way, and can truly make a difference for the future of this school.”
When Brendan Cooney ’20 was asked why he chose not to donate, he responded, “I did not donate because I owe the government money for student loans because of the high tuition at this school. When I graduate and have a PC degree, I will gladly give back for future generations. But right now, I see my tuition as a donation in itself.”
Regardless of the amount of student donations, the day was a huge success. With over a million dollars raised, these funds will be going towards the student experience. The Friars Give event looks to build off this successful day of giving and look to make improvements to increase donations even more for next year. With the Friar community being so generous, PC looks to put this money to good use in the coming years to make sure every student embraces the true student experience of Providence College.