Catalyst Grant Projects Are Underway

2023/24 was the most robust year for Catalyst Grant applications since the program launched. Especially encouraging trends were the number of applications for projects involving multiple campuses and academic disciplines, and that truly extend the ideals of Collegium in imaginative ways. Because the number of equally worthy projects far exceeded the modest available funds, another gratifying “catalyst” were all the member institutions who stepped up to fill the gap between what Collegium could offer and the costs of the projects. $250 here and $500 there, multiplied by many campuses pitching in meant the reach of the 2023-24 round of Catalyst projects extended to 14 campuses. Here, in alphabetical order, are snapshots of the good work catalyzed to unfold over the next year:

King’s College (with College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, John Carroll University, St. Norbert College and Xavier University): “So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen: A Panel Video of Continued Collaboration for Collegium Alums and Recruits.” This multi-campus team led by Dara Soljaga will produce a video in which alums offer practical examples of how Collegium has transformed their teaching, creative/scholarly activity and service. Once completed, it will be available on the Collegium website for all member campuses to share in recruiting and planning follow-up formation activities.

Marian University: Jonathan Lowery and colleagues will engage in “The Convivium Initiative,” answering the question “what do you really teach?” from multiple disciplinary perspectives. It will eventually become a collection of essays, following a series of reflective conversations and writing retreats.

St. Catherine’s University: Vincent Skemp leads an endeavor inspired by the Collegium theme of social justice, and will work with local indigenous communities to craft a meaningful institutional land acknowledgement, as well as develop concrete strategies for enacting restorative justice.

St. Edward’s University: Working with a student team, historian Mity Myhr will amplify and disseminate her research on the untold stories of the feisty women of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the earliest days of their ministry in Texas and the Southwest.

Stonehill College: PI Karen Anderson and her colleagues in the Center for Teaching Excellence will develop a series of interdisciplinary teaching circles to create the learning outcomes and content for a newly required General Education course, “Catholic Thought and Action: Ethical Reasoning, and Diversity, Power and Resistance.”

The College of St. Scholastica: Mission officer Sr. Kathleen Del Monte OSB will develop a mentoring program and host a series of listening and reflecting sessions for new and veteran faculty engaged in envisioning practical strategies for infusing elements of Catholic Intellectual Tradition across the entire curriculum.

University of Portland (with St. Thomas More College, University of Dayton, University of San Diego, and Xavier University) led by Kala Mayer and Rachel Wheeler, formed an interdisciplinary online reading group to explore diverse texts and voices on some of the thorniest topics on the Collegium curriculum in a project called “Growing Our Belonging: Integrating CST and DEIJB Work at Collegium Member Campuses.”