Planning for the second full-semester program of the Lasallian Universities Center for Education (LUCE) is underway as participants from the first session share their experiences.
LUCE was initiated at the Encuentro meeting in Bogotá in 2015. Representatives from colleges and universities in the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) initiated a process to develop a center at the Generalate in Rome to support different types of educational opportunities for Lasallian schools across the world.
LUCE is intended to provide students with a study abroad experience that provides the traditional benefits of study abroad while also enriching students’ sense of belonging to the worldwide Lasallian community. The core of the program features Rome as classroom and has at its heart an academic course or courses focused on the history, culture, art and architecture of Rome with particular attention to the Catholic intellectual tradition as it has shaped the city through the ages. The program also features an emphasis, through curricular and co-curricular enrichment, on Rome as the crossroads of the international Lasallian community.
Representatives from Lasallian universities in RELAN collaborated to develop courses for short-term pilot programs and then a full-semester program. The pilot programs occurred in May 2016 and over the winter break 2016-2017. Students from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona participated in these programs. In the spring of 2018, 20 students from Christian Brothers University, Lewis University, Manhattan College, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and ULSA Bajío participated in a living-learning Lasallian formation program in Rome.
Participants in the spring 2018 full-semester LUCE program presented their work at two different events this fall. At the September 2018 International Lasallian Research Symposium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Eduardo Dimas (Lewis University) and Erin Garcia (Manhattan College) presented an analysis of their experience living in community at the Generalate. Beverly Agsaulio (Christian Brothers University) participated in the study entitled “A Study of an Intentional Lasallian Living and Learning Formation Program for University Students at the Generalate in Rome.” Silvia Fernanda Mena Muñoz (ULSA Bajío), Kaiyun Chen, Katherine Compton, August Kissel and Kelsey Quartulli (all Manhattan College), presented their work from one of the core courses in the LUCE program, Migration and the European Crisis at an international conference at Manhattan College, Global Initiatives in Refugee and Migrant Education, in November 2018.
The second full-semester program will take place at the Generalate February through April 2019. The hope is to have students from the Philippines and Mexico join the program. For information, contact Dominic Colonna (Lewis University) at email@example.com.
Story and photos submitted by Dominic Colonna, Lewis University