Rome Centre developments and academic programs

Published: Thursday 8th September 2016

Photo of Provost Professor Pauline Nugent

Message from the Provost Professor Pauline Nugent.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you some recent highlights from my portfolio:

Rome Centre developments and academic programs

Over the last few months, my portfolio has been busy working on various aspects of our joint Rome Centre including the Centre’s academic strategy, academic programs, risk planning, chapel renovation, garden restoration, staffing, policy development and stakeholder events.We also continue to improve logistical support for ACU programs to ensure the overall well-being of our students, faculty/staff and stakeholders, as well as provide an excellent learning and teaching environment at the Centre.

We have worked closely with colleagues in the Research Directorate. The Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry (IRCI) organized a three-day seminar entitled “The Emergence of the Christian Intellectual” which attracted 15 scholars and researchers from leading universities in Australia, the US and Europe.

During the winter break from June to August this year, seven academic programs were held at the Rome Centre attracting 110 students and 13 academics. Under collaborative arrangements, ACU and CUA worked closely to develop aligned activities for these units and utilised extensive networks in Rome and beyond to provide rich learning experiences for participants. Some key academic program highlights include:

  • History and Geography of Ancient and Modern Rome (5 to 17 June): 15 students participated in this two-week intensive unit which took them to various locations around Rome. The immersive nature of the study puts many of these sites into broader context. The experience has given students a better understanding of the interconnectivity between ancient history, modern history and geography.
  • Art, Politics and Society in Renaissance and Baroque Rome (19 June to 1 July): This intensive and immersive unit examined the art, politics and society of Renaissance and Baroque Rome. Students experienced and analysed directly the scale and immensity of the work of 4 key artists of the period: Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and Caravaggio through touring seminars and lectures in churches, basilicas, museums and Palazzos as well as lectures at the Rome Study Centre.
  • Bible Lands Study Tour: Archaeology in the Context of Early Christianity (25 June to 9 July): This two-week intensive course within the Master of Theological Studies included traditional class time (lectures and tutorials) brought to life by multimedia resources, field trips and hands-on learning delivered through the unique experience of the Roman surroundings.
  • Catholic Education: Mission, Culture & Spirituality (26 June to 9 July): This highly successful postgraduate course developed in conjunction with Catholic Education Melbourne attracted a total of 20 participants, 19 of which were principals from Catholic schools. Participants were privileged to interact with important Church leaders including Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Rev Friedrich Bechina, Undersecretary for the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.
  • International Marketing & International Business (3 to 15 July) and MBA Executive International Study Tour (6 to 14 August): The Faculty of Law and Business held these successful undergraduate and postgraduate study tours in Rome attracting a total of 22 students. Guest speakers to the groups included representatives of the Australian Embassy, Westfield Europe and ship building company Fincantieri.
  • International Core Curriculum (10 to 23 July): 29 students participated in this second iteration of UNCC300 in Rome. Staff at the Centre have been an excellent resource and guide for the community engagement activities which included meeting with refugees, distributing food to the homeless, speaking with families in Roma camps, and interacting with children and the elderly at the Community of Sant’ Egidio’s School of Peace and House for the Elderly.

ACU alumnus Fr Lewi Barakat giving art students a personal tour of St Peter’s Basilica. Fr Barakat is an Australian priest studying in Rome and a former ACU Exercise Science student.

Catholic Education Melbourne staff during one of their site visits as part of the Catholic Education: Mission, Culture & Spirituality program in Rome.

ACU at ASEACCU 2016 Conference in Broome

ACU participated in the 2016 Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU) Annual Conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame Australia in their Broome Campus from 22-28 August.

ACU’s Gold Sponsorship of this important regional gathering of Catholic universities was supported by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

Hosted by the University of Notre Dame Australia, ACU's delegation comprised four students and a number of academics/professional staff from our various campuses. It was an excellent opportunity for our students and staff to network, strengthen existing collaboration, and establish new relationships with colleagues from other participating universities in the region.

Professor Anne Cummins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Students, Learning, and Teaching gave a presentation on ACU’s academic, student learning and teaching, and research profile. ACU’s Rev Professor Deni Edwards, Professorial Fellow in Theology was the main conference keynote speaker. His presentation on Pope Francis’s Theology of the Land expressed in Laudato si was very well received.  Identity and Mission Director Fr Anthony Casamento csma and ACU International Executive Director Chris Riley chaired strategic planning breakout sessions on Campus Ministry and Community Development and International Collaboration, respectively.

The event was an excellent platform to promote the University and enhance our reputation as a leading Catholic university in the region.

ACU staff and students at the ASEACCU 2016 Conference in Broome. - See more at: