Loyola University Maryland


Messina Family Weekend Teach-In 2019

Dear families of the Class of 2023,

We have enjoyed getting to know your students over the last few weeks. As you prepare to come to campus for Family Weekend, we would like to offer you a chance to experience what it is like to participate in a Messina seminar. Messina will be sponsoring a Family Weekend Teach-In on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Two 45-minute sessions that demonstrate how Loyola connects learning in and out of the classroom will be offered at 10:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.  Messina will also sponsor a free coffee and donut social in between the two sessions from 10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m. in the 2nd floor lobby of Thea Bowman Hall. Families may choose to sign up for one or both session time slots. 

Click here to register for the 2019 Messina Family Teach-In

SCHEDULE (Please note: presentations are subject to change and will be confirmed on September 9th)

10:00 a.m.- 10:45 a.m. Session Options: 

Self and Other: Stuck in the Middle with You: Law, Marriage, and Medieval Society - Thea Bowman Hall 230
Presented by Dr. Brandon Parlopiano, History Department 

In the introductory European history survey, one of the big questions we ask is how individuals interact with larger-scale institutions. In order think about this question, we'll take a look at a few marriage cases litigated in medieval church courts. In the process, we can see both how these institutions shaped people's lives, as well as how individuals used these institutions for their own purposes. 

Originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, Brandon Parlopiano received his  Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the Catholic University of America in 2013 and has been teaching at Loyola full-time since 2014. Brandon's main areas of research are medieval jurisprudence and issues of mental and physical disability.

The Visionary: Ignatian Spirituality and Finding Grace in All Things - Loyola-Notre Dame Library Auditorium
Presented by Mary Ellen Wade, Associate Director of Messina 

Attending a Jesuit institution allows students the unique opportunity to develop habits of discernment and reflection in the Ignatian tradition. This interactive session will provide an overview of the examen, the Ignatian tool for reflection, and the role of grace in our daily lives.

Mary Ellen Wade is the Associate Director of Messina and a Messina Mentor for the past six years. In her work at Loyola, Mary Ellen coordinates all of the Messina assessment initiatives. Mary Ellen developed an appreciation for Jesuit education in her previous work at Georgetown University that has led her to continue to explore elements of Ignatian Spirituality at Loyola both personally and professionally.

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Coffee and Donut Social featuring local favorite, Hoehn's Bakery – Thea Bowman Hall 2nd Floor Lounge

11:15 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Session Options: 

The Good Life and Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth – Thea Bowman Hall 230
Presented by Dr. Jim Snow, Co-Director of Messina and Philosophy Department Lecturer, and Sarah Lewis, Messina Mentor and Program Assistant for the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies 

Beginning in antiquity philosophers have argued for particular conceptions of the good life. This session will evaluate how philosophers have defined the good life. These same philosophers took up the question of whether or not a good life is available to all. This year’s Messina Common Text, Heartland, addresses this question in the context of the contemporary United States. Participants will be encouraged to participate in the discussion and offer their insights regarding the nature of the good life and whether or not it is available to all.

Professor Snow is an avid motorcyclist.  He and his wife Dale (also a member of the philosophy department) have toured much of the continental U.S. on an old Harley-Davidson and eight European countries on their Ducati.  They make their home in Guilford, a five-minute walk from campus, where they foster and rehabilitate abandoned and damaged pit bulls for a rescue organization.

Sarah Lewis graduated from Winthrop University with a B.A. in Visual Art and a minor in mathematics. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Japan as a participant in the JET Programme, living and working as an English teacher in the port city of Kobe from 2009 to 2014. Sarah currently works within the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, providing support to Messina, National Fellowships, Pre-Health Programs, and the Class Deans. She participates in the Loyola Chamber Ensemble, and is proud dog mom to an adorable rescue floof named Opal.

Stories We Tell: Discovering Baltimore’s Diverse Neighborhoods – Loyola-Notre Dame Library Auditorium

Presented by Michael Puma, co-director of Messina 

Learn how Messina helps to introduce students to Baltimore – including its history, our neighbors, and over 260 diverse neighborhoods.  

Michael Puma serves as the co-director of Messina. While at Loyola, Mike has taken part in several retreats and immersion trips including Road Trip, first year and senior retreat, UNITE, Spring Break Outreach and Encuentra El Salvador. He also served as president of Loyola's Phi Beta Kappa chapter and is a member of OUT Loyola - Loyola's LGBTQ group for faculty, staff and administrators. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Maryland, College Park.

We look forward to seeing you on the Evergreen campus!


Michael Puma & Jim Snow 
Co-Directors, Messina

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