ACU staff members Joel Walker, Whitney Smith, Kate Mahedy, Sam Kanaris and Brigitte White recently attended the Mission Integration Institute.
Once again this year, five ACU staff attended the Mission Integration Institute (MII) at the University of San Diego (USD) through the sponsorship of the Directorate of Identity and Mission.
The five-day program provides an in-depth look at Catholic Higher Education and the integral role of mission in Catholic Universities. It aims to enhance participants’ knowledge about the unique history, role, mission and identity of Catholic colleges and universities and to become empowered and equipped to contribute to creating a mission driven culture.
“This experience helped me see the bigger picture and it gave me a better understanding of how we can put our Mission into practice,” said Kate Mahedy, National Manager of Student Recruitment at the Marketing and External Relations office. “The Institute encouraged me to find new ways to connect with our prospective students, as well as providing me with a clearer insight into how Catholic Higher Education centres on forming the whole person, rather than simply training them.”
The sessions are aimed at deepening staff members' personal sense of purpose, sense of vocation and individual leadership development, gain skills to engage the tensions that arise from contemporary moral issues in a meaningful and productive way and strengthen skills to foster vocational discernment, faith development and spiritual formation in students. The workshop is enriched by the picturesque grounds of the USD, featuring an 80-acre campus perched on a pristine canyon overlooking the Pacific Ocean with beautiful 16th century Spanish renaissance architectural style.
Whitney Smith, National Manager of AskACU Service Operations, appreciated the fellowship and the insights she gained from the experience. “We felt welcomed and part of the community as soon as we met everyone,” Whitney said. “I appreciated the focus of inclusiveness and acceptance entrenched in Catholic teachings, which is often not how the Catholic Church is viewed.”
“I also appreciated how our actions feed into who we say we are – both as individuals as well as the institution, and therefore how important as a Catholic University that our teachings and actions reflect our Mission and Catholic identity.”
Since its inception in 2014, the Directorate of Identity and Missions has sponsored over 20 ACU staff to attend the program. Fr Anthony Casamento, Director of Identity and Mission said the MMI program represents the commitment of ACU to engage its staff in the Mission of the University through professional development opportunities at home and abroad. “I am delighted that our staff that attend the program come back renewed and refreshed about how they can live the mission in their particular roles in the University,” he said.
The program is designed for entry-level and mid-career professional administrators working in Catholic higher education.