Message from the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Pauline Nugent: The ACU Rome Centre welcomed more than 80 ACU students and academics who attended four academic programs held at the Centre between December 2015 and February 2016. Preliminary feedback received from lead academics of the programs was overwhelmingly positive, both in terms of student engagement as well as their experiences of the Rome Centre services and facilities.
International Core Curriculum Rome (28 December 2015 – 9 January 2016)
The inaugural Rome offering of the International Core Curriculum UNCC300 attracted 17 students and offered a mix of lectures and community engagement activities. ACU partnered with The Catholic University of America to embed community engagement experiences into the curriculum. Highlights included visits to the Roma Camps, food distribution to the homeless, and participation in the World Peace Day March, among others.
Bible Lands Study Tours: Reading Romans in Rome (3 – 15 Jan 2016)
This two-week intensive included a mix of lectures and site visits both in group formats and individually. Rome Centre Director Dr David Dawson Vasquez gave a lecture and led one of the site visits which was very favourably received by the students.
Health Care Ethics (10-23 Jan 2016)
A total of 35 students joined the program which combined lectures and community engagement activities, including volunteer work with the Sant’ Egidio’s pharmacy, visit to an aged care centre, and a visit to the Dream Program (Community of Sant E’gidio Drug Resource Enhancement Against AIDS and Malnutrition).
The Rome Centre staff invited Msgr Jean-Marie Mpendawatu, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, who gave an excellent lecture which was well received by students. Students also attended the Papal Address at the Vatican on Wednesday morning, followed by lunch at the Centre with the Australian ambassador to the Vatican, Mr John McCarthy QC and Fr Frank Brennan SJ.
I am pleased with the success of these initial academic offerings at the Centre, with several more intensive programs and research seminars scheduled for 2016. Faculties in conjunction with the Office of the Provost are now planning for programs to be offered in 2017 and beyond.