St. John’s Vincentian Mission Institute (VMI) Welcomes
Second Cohort at DePaul University Opening
October 28, 2011
The second cohort
of St. John’s University’s Vincentian Mission Institute (VMI)
recently joined colleagues from Niagara University and DePaul
University for a mission-based leadership retreat, highlighting the
start of a two-year professional development program between the
three Catholic and Vincentian universities in the United States.
Hosted by DePaul and comprised of administrators and faculty
members from each of the institutions, the VMI Opening
Retreat featured sessions geared towards developing successive
generations of lay leaders at each university.
St. John’s were selected for the VMI program based on their
demonstrated commitment to the Catholic and Vincentian mission,
broad-based leadership experience and expertise at the University,
and desire to continue to develop professionally in the area of
mission. The ten participants selected for the program include: Dr.
Andrew Ferdinandi (Human Services and Counseling), Dr. Jackie
Grogan (Office of the Provost); Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson (Student
Affairs), Kathy Meehan (Athletics), Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded
(Student Life, Staten Island), Lucy Pesce (Office of the Mission),
Deanne Southwell (VISA - Vincentian Institute for Social Action),
Dr. Matthew Sutton (Theology and Religious Studies), Jim Walters
(Campus Ministry), and Maura Woods (Information Technology). Rev.
James J. Maher, C.M., Executive Vice President for Mission and
Student Services, who will oversee the St. John’s cohort and serve
as a guest lecturer during the program, commented on the importance
of developing collaborative lay leadership across the three
institutions. “The Vincentian Mission Institute is a wonderful
example of how the three United States based Vincentian-sponsored
universities can collaborate and share our most precious resource,
our dedicated and committed personnel. I am very excited
about the St. John’s University cohort – they embody the very best
of our Catholic and Vincentian mission."
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Founded in 2007, the VMI is a collaborative,
two-year program, initiated and facilitated by DePaul University,
that brings together selected individuals from St. John’s, DePaul,
and Niagara to educate and engage lay faculty and administrators in
the history and future of Vincentian and Catholic higher education,
social teaching, and ministry.
VMI accomplishes this goal through
collaborative online coursework, academic analyses of Catholic and
Vincentian identities at each home institution, and monthly video
conferencing between the three universities. As a change to the
format of the first cohort, the addition of the interactive video
conferencing will allow the three groups of faculty and
administrators to regularly engage in thought-provoking discussion
and reflection on various aspects of the Catholic and Vincentian
identities highlighted in the coursework, striving to answer the
question: What does it mean to be a Catholic, Vincentian
university in the 21st century?
Following the VMI Opening Retreat in Chicago
(October 21 – 23, 2011), St. John’s will host the next cohort
conference in October 2012, when participants from all three
institutions will meet to discuss relevant case studies for lay
leadership in Vincentian and Catholic higher education. The
program will conclude at Niagara University in April 2013 when VMI
participants present their final capstone projects. As part
of the two-year experience, VMI members will also participate in a
Vincentian Heritage trip to France (June 2012), visiting several
notable Catholic and Vincentian landmarks.