As a Catholic university, Benedictine’s University Ministry strives to serve the spiritual needs of the entire community no matter the individual’s faith. We do this through spiritual exploration events like the Koinonia Retreat, a weekend-long event that offers an experience in Christian community based on the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ – his life, death and resurrection – designed principally for college students (undergraduate or graduate). The retreat is offered from a Catholic perspective. However, non-Catholics are welcomed as well. University Ministry has a wide number of service opportunities available to students.
Opportunities are available at the local, national and international levels. Additionally, Benedictine University has hosted interreligious dialogue for nearly three years. We continue the effort to create a safe space to discuss issues of understanding in a climate of loving respect.
The University’s core academic programs provide a challenging curriculum aimed at preparing learners to be the next global leaders. This is done by a faculty where 87 percent hold the highest degrees in their fields. Our faculty are innovators who are constantly researching and winning grants to not only support the Benedictine community but the greater society. The University does this through grants like the $1.2 million Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant from the National Science Foundation. Benedictine was awarded the Noyce grant in 2012 to help prepare the country’s future workforce to fill an anticipated 1.2 million new STEM jobs needed by 2018.
The grant will allow Benedictine to award as many as 110 students as well as professionals seeking alternative teacher certification up to $10,000 annually to apply toward tuition for a maximum of two years if they agree to work in a “high-needs” school for at least two years teaching math or science.
Three years ago, Robin Pals Rylaarsdam, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, was awarded a $178,672 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support her research, titled “Intragenic Suppressors of McCune-Albright Syndrome Mutations.”
That grant was due to expire this year, but thanks to a three-year endowment — the William M. Scholl Endowed Professor in Health Sciences — awarded by the provost based upon a recommendation of the deans of the academic colleges, Rylaarsdam can continue the fight to find a cure for this debilitating genetic defect. Rylaarsdam’s project is providing important basic science information that can be used in the rational design of drugs for McCune-Albright Syndrome and other disorders caused by G-protein defects. Faculty and staff have secured numerous other grants aimed at fulfilling Benedictine’s mission to educate students to become values-centered leaders who enter the workplace prepared and able and willing to help others in need.
Here, our students receive an education infused with the Benedictine values. They receive personal attention from dedicated faculty who make students’ learning their first priority. They are embraced by a support system that includes academic and financial aid advisors dedicated to their success. They are guided by career counselors who ensure our students are better prepared to enter the job market. They are part of a diverse, caring community.