Loyola University Maryland


Messina Modules

Messina Modules are a series of facilitation guides and resource documents designed by Loyola departments and offices for use in Messina enrichment sessions. Modules provide instructor teams engaging activities and up-to-date information regarding a variety of first-year transition issues. To view the modules, click on a title listed below and enter your Loyola username and password. You will be directed to the Messina Share Point site where you will find all documents related to the module you requested. It is recommended that you download a copy of the module and then open the downloaded document.

If you do not have a Loyola username and password, please call or e-mail the contact person listed next to each module for access to the resources.
If you have a Loyola username and password and cannot access a module, please call or e-mail Mary Ellen Wade for access to the resources.

If your office would like to create a new module, or if you have ideas for future modules, please contact Mary Ellen Wade, Associate Director of Messina at 410-617-2225. Please note that for consistency, all new modules need to be created in our Messina Module Template.

Modules with an * in the time of year column have content in a format that is already ready for virtual use. However, all module content can be adapted by working groups to be used in online learning. If your group adapts module content for online engagement, please consider emailing it to messina@loyola.edu for inclusion on our site.



Academic Integrity Honor Council Mark Lee, 410-617-2353 Students will gain familiarity with the Honor Code and the Honor Council, and be able to articulate why these exist at Loyola. Students will be able to identify honor code violations and learn which have been the most common in our community. Working groups are encouraged to reach out to Mark Lee to have an Honor Council representative present this to your Messina class.


Anti-Racism  Messina Sarah Lewis, 410-617-2849

Based on Ibram X. Kendi's book How to be an Antiracist, students will identify and explore racist policies that continue to plague American society; distinguish between the terms racist, not racist, and antiracist; and explore resources for dismantling racist policies.

Baltimore 101: Getting Around Baltimore  Messina Michael Puma,
Introduces students to basic geography of Baltimore and resources that help them to navigate and experience the city. 


BRJA/Messina Racial Justice Lesson Plans  Messina/Baltimore Racial Justice Action Mike Puma, 410-617-2190  These three lesson plans are designed to continue
To think critically about institutions and the causes and roots of oppression
To think about race through a critical lens at the institutional level
Determine how to actively participate in a solution (organizing, letter writing, taking related courses, offer different takes on what justice looks like)
 Late Fall/ Spring 
Career Self Discovery 
The Career Center Jackie Altebrando, 410-617-2232
It is important for first-year students to understand that identifying their interests, values, and talents is one part of the career planning process. Becoming more self-aware can help guide students toward rewarding careers, work activities, academic majors or educational programs and leisure activities  Fall or Spring*
Collection of Community Development Activities
Messina Mary Ellen Wade, 410-617-2225
This folder contains tools you can use to get to know your students better at the beginning of the semester. If you have additional activities that you have used with your section, please email them to mewade@loyola.edu to be included in this collection.
Common Text Facilitation Guide Messina Mike Puma, 410-617-2190 Includes Common Text discussion day conversation starters, lesson plans, primary sources, links to video and music clips and a bibliography of additional resources. 


Communication Styles Counseling Center Jason Parcover,
First-Year students will be able to identify their predominant communication/problem-solving style and consider benefits and drawbacks of that style. Students will learn about cultural differences in communication/problem-solving style. Students will interact with others with diverse styles in considering common first-year interpersonal challenges. Students will identify areas of future growth.


Community 101: York Road Initiatives Tour York Road Initiative Marie Anderson, 410-617-1171

On this tour, first-year students will become a presence and gain some comfort in the York Road community. They will learn the history that has led to such drastic differences between the east and west side of the road, and the current initiatives/active non-profit and community organization working for positive change in the area.

Course Registration  Academic Advising and Support Center Stephanie Andrews 410-617-5050  As registration approaches, many students may feel anxious about choosing next semester’s classes, or confused about graduation requirements. This module aims to quell those concerns by teaching students to approach course selection though a lens of discernment and thoughtful information gathering. A step-by-step process for choosing courses is provided, and students are also introduced to on-campus resources that can aid them in their decisions.  Fall or Spring
Critical Thinking Resources Messina Mary Ellen Wade, 410-617-2225  This folder contains tools, activities, and resources that you can use with students to foster their development of critical thinking and deeper learning. If you have additional strategies or resources, please email them to mewade@loyola.edu to be included in this collection.  Fall or Spring
Digital Detox Messina Mary Ellen Wade, 410-617-2225 For college students there are countless things competing for their time: classes, clubs, exercise, friends, social life, and sleep. The list is seemingly endless. We also know that our technology also competes for our time and attention. This module is designed to help students examine how technology impacts their lives by looking at the time they spend on it.  Fall or Spring
End of the Year Reflection Activity Messina Mary Ellen Wade,
This reflection activity is designed to be used during one of your final enrichment sessions to provide students a chance to reflect back on their first-year at Loyola. This can be used on its own or as a continuation of the reflection students completed during their mentor session during Fall Welcome Weekend. Spring (one of the final enrichment sessions)
Engaged Voters  Student Engagement Ben Cowman, 410-617-5675 Students will gain an understanding of what it means to be an “engaged voter” and citizen; identify the benefits and motivations for voting and being informed; and become familiar with voting processes, resources, and overcome barriers on how to vote. Fall or Spring
Exploring Leadership: What It Means to Lead and Follow Student Engagement Ben Cowman, 410-617-5675 Students explore the interrelated concepts of leadership and followership in addition to what it means to lead and follow at Loyola. Students become familiar with opportunities and resources for leadership development and growth. Fall or Spring
Financial Literacy  Accounting

JP Krahel 

 All students – no matter their means – will need to understand how money can work for and against them. Everyone pays taxes, deals with debt, interacts with the healthcare system, and (hopefully) will retire. This module will explain the importance and demystify the basics of taxes, debt (both debt in general and student loan debt in particular), health insurance, and retirement saving.  Fall or Spring 
Finding Grace in All Things: A Reflection Activity Messina Mary Ellen Wade,
This is a personal reflection activity for students to spend time recognizing the daily moments of grace they experience personally and provide for others. Students will leave with a memento to remind them of the grace in their lives. This is a good activity to do during stressful periods in the first year, or a tool before a separate enrichment session on discernment.

 Fall or Spring*

Housing: Deciding What I Value Student Life Tim Cherney, 410-617-5081 Students will be able to identify a value that important to them as an individual as they move forward in Student Life’s housing selection process.

(most appropriate in late January/ early February)

Identity Trees: Exploring Aspects of Self-Identity Messina Mary Ellen Wade,    
In this module, students will explore aspects of their identity, reflecting on the aspects of self that influence their experience and discover those aspects that are most salient for their peers.  Fall or Spring
Ignatian Spirituality and Introduction to the Examen Messina Mary Ellen Wade,    
This module will introduce the Examen to your students and will provide a practical opportunity to engage in a reflection using the components of the spiritual Examen (or another type of Examen).

 Fall or Spring*

Inclusive Language Student Activities & Student Engagement Mary Ellen Wade, 410-617-2225 Language is our main form of communication and it plays a powerful role in the relationships we work to establish and the community we hope to create. In this module, first-year students will learn the impact language can have on fostering relationships and the ways in which language can either include or exclude individuals.  Fall or Spring
Information Literacy Messina Mary Ellen Wade,
This technology-based activity provides students with a range of tools they can use for evaluating online sources while establishing a deep understanding of the difference between a general and a scholarly source.


Integrative Learning Reflective Assignment Messina Mary Ellen Wade
This is a presentation you can use with your class to introduce the Integrative Learning Reflection Assignment to students- including information on what it is, why it is an important practice, and questions that may help students begin to brainstorm what they may include in their reflection paper. Late Spring*
Interfaith: Speed Faithing Campus Ministry Elise Gower, 410-617-5375 As a Catholic-Jesuit university, Loyola University Maryland is committed to fostering a spirit of inclusivity among the diversity of religious traditions, spiritual practices, and beliefs represented on our campus. The importance of interfaith dialogue requires that members of our campus community actively engage with one another, seeking to learn more about their sisters and brothers. This activity provides students with the opportunity to actively engage with their classmates and learn about the depth and diversity of faith traditions, spiritual practices, and beliefs.  Fall or Spring*
Introduction to the Academy Messina Mary Ellen Wade,  
First-Year students will be able better understand their transition from high school to college by addressing the qualitative differences between the two academic environments. They will explore the motivations of both teacher and student in the college classroom. The module introduces students to the methodologies and goals of academia while underlining academic integrity as a personal responsibility with significant personal, institutional, and historical repercussions. Students will create a sense of community in the seminar based on shared experience.


Introduction to the Gallery
Julio Fine Arts Gallery
Megan Rook-Koepsel, 410-617-2799
Students will be introduced to the gallery as a resource and be instructed on how to look at art. The gallery provides a place to step away from a busy day and have a moment of reflection, as well as, an environment that displays thought provoking, diverse themes and points of view. Exhibits may stimulate interdisciplinary connections and creativity. It is recommended contacting the Gallery in advance to have a gallery representative lead your class in this module.
 Fall or Spring
Looking Ahead to Sophomore Year Student Engagement Ashley Schantz,
First year students will better understand sophomore year milestones while exploring campus resources that support students in their second year. Students will participate in a vision activity to create and prioritize goals to include in their vision for the upcoming academic year.

 Spring (Great for April!)*

Mentoring and Informational Interviewing Alumni Engagement Charlie Hiebler, 410-617-2942 The foundation of any student’s university experience has and always will be academics. But in a rapidly changing and interconnected world, it is the students who complement their studies with meaningful co-curricular experiences and the development of relationships with others who will thrive the most in their post-graduate lives.  This module will introduce students to the concept of mentoring and how to contact Loyola alumni to gain advice and open doors for future networking and career connections.      Spring
Philanthropic Awareness Advancement Advancement, 410-617-5289 Philanthropic awareness is appropriate for first-year students because over 80% of the first-year class has received some sort of financial aid, some of which comes from gifts both large and small. Students will be joining clubs and taking advantage of many different types of opportunities and many of these opportunities are supported by gifts directly to a department or area.  Spring
Recreation and Wellness Experiences Recreation and Wellness Alan Baker, 410-617-2270

The Department of Recreation and Wellness is available to offer enrichment sessions at the FAC or on an Outdoor Adventure Experience. Options available are: self-guides tours, group exercise classes, team building, climbing wall, fitness 101 presentations, or day hikes. 

Fall or Spring

Re-Designing Your Life The Career Center  Jackie Altebrando, 410-617-2232 Based on the book Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, this module discusses the definition of design thinking, names common career myths to bring comfort to students, and then has students participate in a design thinking exercise.    Fall or Spring*
Restorative Circle Community Building Modules Student Engagement & The Office of Student Conduct Ashley Shantz,  410-617-7132 &   Dan Kelly, 410-617-5081 This module makes use of a restorative framework that amplifies the positive effects of community building activities. Through participation in this module, students will: reflect on a past meaningful experience to articulate significant characteristics of self to others, receive another’s story and insight with an openness, draw connections from another’s story to their own life, personal values, and beliefs, and experience an egalitarian and healing process of connection. An additional module is included folder that can be used around Thanksgiving or at the end of the fall semester.  Fall
Service Opportunities
Are you interested in getting your class or group involved in the community? CCSJ offers one-time or on-going opportunities. In order to maximize the educational and transformative value of community engagement, CCSJ bases the student experience on Ignatian Pedagogy. Students will be accompanied through five different stages – Context, Experience, Reflection, Action & Evaluation. Each step will foster their development as active and engaged Ignatian Citizens. This module link provides information on the types of service experiences offered through CCSJ and how to sign up to participate. ***Please note: it is recommended initiating the request to plan a service event at least one month before your intended service date.***
Fall or Spring
StrengthsQuest Messina Michael Puma, 410-617-2190

This module can be used after students take the Clifton StrengthsFinder. This assessment will list your top five talent themes, along with action items for development and suggestions about how you can use your talents to achieve academic, career, and personal success. Please contact Michael Puma directly for student codes for the StrengthsFinder assessment.

 Fall or Spring*
Stress Management Counseling Center Jason Parcover,
First-Year students will be able to learn ways to recognize when their experiencing stress and identify and implement healthy ways to manage stress effectively. In addition, students will be able to recognize the importance of integrating relaxation activities into your lifestyle.


Study Abroad International Programs Tremaynne Parham,

The first year is not too soon to begin planning! Students will learn more about the study abroad process including timeline, program requirements, and things to consider when thinking about applying for a study abroad program.


Sustainability Module
Sustainability Office
Taylor Casalena, 410-617-2421
Join in an international conversation about climate change by educating students on ways to live more sustainably. Address procedures and resources on Loyola’s campus, encourage smarter consumer behavior, and learn who might be affected by these small-scale, individual changes.  Fall or Spring*
Time Management: 168 The Study

Molly Fredette,

First-Year students will be able to develop and apply time management skills that to allow them to balance their academic studies with the other aspects of being involved in the Loyola community as they adjust and transition into their first year.


Understanding Diversity ALANA 410-617-2310 Students will be able to identify the differences between their visible and invisible identities. They will be able to articulate the dimensions of their personal identity and explore their identities via intercultural exchange.

Late Fall or Spring

Values Discernment Activities Office of Student Support and Wellness Promotion

Mary Ellen Wade, 410-617-2225

First-Year students will be able to identify values that are the most important to them. Students will reflect on how those values are lived out in their daily lives and in their decisions.


Vocational Discernment Student Engagement

Ashley Schantz,

Vocational discernment is an inseparable part of higher education, particularly within our Jesuit traditions. Over the next four years, students will be called to identify a major(s), possibly select an area of specialization, and begin developing the skills, characteristics, and knowledge necessary in a career. Beyond career preparation, students will take major steps toward living their calling and becoming their truest selves. This module is intended to (1) help lay that foundation and (2) do so in a way that invites students to use their own language and lived experiences to draw connections to Ignatian spirituality.  Spring*
Wellness Module Office of Student Support and Wellness Promotion Mary Beth Mudric, 410-617-2928 This module includes an activity for students to examine their personal dimensions of wellness and campus resources that support student wellness.  Fall or Spring
Writing Effective Resumes The Career Center Jackie Altebrando, 410-617-2232  First-Year students will learn the essential components to include in a resume and have an opportunity to participate in an activity to critique a sample resume.

Late Fall or Early Spring*


Two students talking with eachother next to a laptop
Advising and Support

7 ways Loyola helps ease the transition to college

A student shares seven ways her first-year experience was enhanced by the people and programs at Loyola.

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