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Learning and growing together while apart


Distance learning graphic.

As we continue distance learning, Cardinal Gibbons forges ahead not only with academic lessons but also with co-curricular meetings and special events that engage, inspire, and motivate students. At the same time, while the challenges of being apart and missing friends and colleagues remain, they are lessened by the fact that Gibbons memories are still being made and will long be remembered.

Six  student athletes sign letters of intent during a virtual signing to play in college.

On Wednesday, for instance, Director of Athletics Todd Schuler and Director of Athletic Legacy and Leadership Dean Monroe hosted a “Virtual Signing Day” to celebrate six student-athletes continuing their careers on the collegiate level. The April 22 event showcased on Twitter and YouTube was memorable not only for the honorees but also for the rest of the Gibbons community.

Below is a list of the student-athletes, the colleges they will attend, and the sports they will play.

Ben Beason, soccer, Hampden-Sydney College; Virginia, Kylee Cromwell, soccer, Flagler College in Florida; Columb Knight, golf, Presbyterian College, South Carolina; Emma Kruger, tennis, Berry College, Georgia; Declan Shaw, soccer, Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia; and Brady Whilden, basketball, Roanoke College, Virginia.

Watch the signing ceremony here

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, our creative club moderators transitioned from a weeklong in-person celebration to a virtual one. Each day through Friday, April 24, the Green Team tweeted about the digital content created by Gibbons co-curriculars - from Robotics and Biology Club to Student Council and Health Club. The goal of the week? To raise awareness about environmental problems and solutions.   #CGEarthDay20

Meanwhile, our educators continue to explore innovative ways to help their students learn and grow while we are apart. English educator Nicole Herche, for instance, created a digital escape room to review the first nine chapters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland with her juniors. Using Google Forms, video clips, puzzles, and a discussion board, Herche challenged her students in a fun and entertaining way to learn about Carroll’s fantasy tale as well as divide a large amount of material into small digestible pieces.

The digital discussion board also ensures that students can help one another answer each question, move on to the next one, and ultimately escape.

Herche is planning another escape room. This one is for her freshmen to learn about Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.”

Educators are also adapting in-class lessons to this “new normal” learning environment. That’s just what Theology educator Pat Gallagher has done with her Holy Week website newspaper project, which has long been part of her freshman class curriculum.  

Pat Gallagher teaching a theology class.

The project launched the first week of distance learning and has involved scripture reading from each of the four Gospels, beginning with Palm Sunday, and culminating with the Crucifixion and Burial of Christ. Each of Gallagher’s freshman students is responsible for writing a news article about one of the events of Jesus’s last week on earth.

“The project itself pulls in many disciplines: technology, library resources, theology, and art,” said Gallagher. “It also allows students to share their creativity and collaborate with one another and with me via Zoom, an added bonus during this time of isolation, as well as experience firsthand why the job of a journalist is so important.”

Gallagher added that the project also provided such lighthearted moments as she and her students laughing together about past events and introducing pets to one another via Zoom.

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