Stories This year's "Well Inc." Living Learning Community learns about healthy food preparation from a local nutritionist.

Published on January 22nd, 2014 | by SMUMN

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Living Learning Communities help students adjust and engage

 

The four Living Learning Communities (LLCs) offered to freshmen this year help students both fit in and stand out as they begin their college careers.

CAPTION: This year’s “Well Inc.” Living Learning Community learns about healthy food preparation from a local nutritionist.

Living Learning Communities are residential groups within the greater Saint Mary’s community that help students connect and grow during their first year at college. The program combines academics with residence life, providing students with out-of-class opportunities to participate in social, cultural, recreational, academic and community service programs.

Some of the best conversations on campus are taking place in the comfort of students’ own residence halls. They become a part of an instant community of students who are passionate about similar interests, have common goals, and who want to be engaged outside of the classroom. They build an instant and lifelong support network of friends (and professors) while participating in unique experiential learning opportunities. And they begin their college career with a unique and in-depth examination of forces and issues alive in our world.

Each LLC is centered around a course that fulfills the first-year Lasallian Core Tradition course requirement. Students will learn together as they learn from one another. Saint Mary’s offers four different Living Learning Communities so that students can choose the best fit for themselves.

ArtsAlive!

An arts Living Learning Community
Faculty advisors: Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, music, and Lisa Truax, art and design

This Living Learning Community is designed for first-year students either enrolled in the School of the Arts or with a strong interest in the arts. Students will learn, create and collaborate with others who share their creative passion for one or more arts areas. The program includes opportunities to both experience the arts and express themselves in collaboration with other community members.

Activities may include:

  • Restoring a stone grotto on campus.
  • Visiting artistic events and shows in the region including the Commonweal Theatre, the Walker Art Museum and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.
  • Participating in a citywide art tour.
  • Enjoying creative art outlets including free-form dance, the Black Box theatre, or create a campus or community mural.

Global Faith

An interfaith Living and Learning Community
Faculty advisors: Dr. Daniel Bucknam, psychology, and Dr. Erich Lippman, history

Many difficulties in our global society stem from religious intolerance and misunderstanding. This Living Learning Community will strive to offer an alternative view. It will look at role of faith and values and incorporate those with different faith traditions and those without faith traditions. By interacting with diverse faith perspectives, the hope is to strengthen students’ own values, engage with their community, and explore global conflicts stemming from faith intolerance.

Activities may include:

  • Visiting local faith centers.
  • Incorporating meaningful readings and films.
  • Discussing differences openly.
  • Participating in dialogue about faith and values with people from different faith (and non-faith) perspectives.

Well Inc.

A wellness Living Learning Community
Faculty advisors: Dr. Moni Berg-Binder, biology, and Chandu Valluri, business

The wellness Living Learning Community is for students interested in achieving, maintaining and promoting wellness in themselves and others. The community will explore what it means to “be well” in four areas that impact human health and well-being: mental, physical, spiritual and financial. Service learning will immerse students in one or more of these areas of wellness and may offer opportunities for vocational and career growth.

Activities may include:

  • Visiting local medical facilities.
  • Conducting a Health Risk Assessment.
  • Exploring exercise and wellness options including yoga, meditation and nutrition.
  • Learning about financial wellness from local banking experts.

Wide World and Sports

A global leadership Living Learning Community
Faculty advisors: Dr. Joe Tadie, philosophy, and Dr. Kyle Black, modern and classical languages

This Living Learning Community welcomes students who are interested in issues related to sports on both the local and global levels. Both in and out of the classroom, learners will explore the fundamental aspects of sports, especially the realm of camaraderie and enthusiastic devotion. At the same time, they will be exposed to interdisciplinary thinking (sociology, economics, theology etc.). Sports will be used as a starting point for developing the core academic skills that lead to both college and professional success. Programming will relate to academic success, personal health and wellness, identity, teamwork, critical thinking, and global consciousness.

Activities may include:

  • Taking off-campus trips to matches and other events.
  • Participating in a film club/series.
  • Completing community service projects with area organizations.
  • Hosting weekly soccer events with community youth.
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