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NetVUE Professional Development Award Winners Announced


Mount Granted Nearly $15,000 For Professional Development Programming

The University of Mount Saint Vincent excited to share that it is the recipient of a nearly $15,000 professional development award from NetVUE (Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education).

Part of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), NetVUE is a nationwide network of 300 colleges and universities formed to support and enrich vocational exploration and discernment among undergraduate students. NetVUE’s programs are supported through both the generosity of the Lilly Endowment Inc. and member dues. The CIC oversees and administers NetVUE programs with guidance from an advisory council comprised of representatives from participating institutions.

One of the benefits of becoming a NetVUE member includes the opportunity to apply for several professional development awards. Members commit to creating campus activities that encourage vocational exploration by students. Supplemental funding through professional development awards supports opportunities for faculty and staff to enable their institutions to strengthen vocational exploration programming.

The purpose of professional development grant funding is to develop campus conversations about vocation and to deepen the capacity of those who lead vocational exploration efforts at NetVUE member institutions, such as UMSV.

Mount Saint Vincent’s Provost and Dean of Faculty Dr. Lynne Bongiovanni spearheaded efforts to put together the Mount’s proposal for grant funding after learning about the award.

“As new members of NetVUE, we were invited to apply for a professional development award,” Dr. Bongiovanni shared.

Through the award, the Mount will offer the opportunity to engage in unique professional development to members of the faculty and the academic support services and advising staff—who are also cross-trained in career exploration—on framing discussions of vocation with students who are convinced that the only “best path” for their life is the one they think will bring the highest financial reward.

“While UMSV is, of course, committed to equipping students with the professional skills they need to achieve their career goals, we are also charged by our mission to ‘seek the development of the whole person,’” Dr. Bongiovanni added. “Our commitments to social justice and the awareness of ‘our responsibilities to one another’ have always been a hallmark at UMSV, and this increased attention to vocational awareness will help students to identify their calling, a pursuit that will lead them not just to career goals, but to lives of meaning and purpose.”

Faculty and staff participating in the professional development will read Patrick Reyes’ “The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive” with the goal of better framing the dialogue of searching for a meaningful and purposeful career with students from communities who have often not been encouraged to see themselves on a journey of self-discovery.

Participants will also read excerpts from NetVUE’s collection of essays “Called Beyond Ourselves: Vocation and the Common Good,” giving particular attention to the essays that examine “pedagogies and practices” as a framework to discuss ways to manage fruitful and productive classroom discussions of often difficult and divisive social issues that must be unpacked and addressed for the benefit of all.

The professional development programming is yet another mission-centered initiative aimed at strengthening the Mount’s ability to prepare its growingly diverse population of students for a career, not just a job.

Conversations about vocational direction are often difficult with low-income and first-generation students, who are often understandably more motivated by financial gain than vocational calling.

“The award will enable faculty and staff to lead classroom discussions about meaningful topics that are sometimes avoided because of fears of conflict, especially in today’s environment,” said Dr. Bongiovanni. “By providing our employees with resources to model civil and productive discourse about important social topics, the campus community will be better versed in discussions about the common good that are so vital to ensuring lives well lived for all.”

Grant programming begins shortly in preparation for the upcoming academic year. More information will be shared with participating faculty and staff soon!

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers a nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the University equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment, and leadership in the 21st century.