Professor Kerry Cronin, associate director of Lonegran Institute and philosophy department fellow, known for her dating talk, is set to give a talk on Monday that is just as, if not more, relevant to the lives of Boston College students. On Monday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m., Cronin will be in the Murray Function Room of the Yawkey Athletics Center to deliver her speech, titled “Building your core in the Core: Perspectives I and moral reasoning.”
The Boston College Lonergan Center—where Cronin is the Associate Director—is sponsoring the event.
The Lonergan Institute at BC aims to transform the culture both within and beyond the University through collaborative efforts.
This transformation is precisely what Cronin will be elaborating on in her talk. The talk will focus mostly on her dissertation, which was about the effect of a course like Perspectives on the development of students as individuals.
“Students at [BC] are incredibly ambitious, smart, wonderful, socially just, interested in other people, until about Thursday afternoon. And then the nighttime culture sort of gets going, and suddenly it’s a whole different scene.”
—Kerry Cronin, associate director of Lonegran Institute and philosophy department fellow
Cronin will talk about her research in the Perspectives Program, Brian Braman, head of the Perspectives Program at BC, said. Her findings indicate that the program forces students to do a lot of problem solving, allowing them to grow morally.
As a Perspectives professor, Cronin has been known to ask students in class to rate their weekends on a 1 to 10 virtuous scale, to force them to apply what they discuss in class to how they live outside of it.
“Students at [BC] are incredibly ambitious, smart, wonderful, socially just, interested in other people, until about Thursday afternoon,” Cronin said in a lecture titled “Hanging Out and Hooking Up.” “And then the nighttime culture sort of gets going, and suddenly it’s a whole different scene.”
Cronin is not alone in thinking that the bridge between the weekend and the classroom needs to be closed.
“The question of ‘Am I living the way I ought to live?’ should be on everyone’s lips over the weekend,” Braman said.
Most students sign up for Perspectives I during orientation. The course is a year-long course aimed at satisfying the theology and philosophy core requirements, with double the credits of a normal class.
“It seeks to forms students who are intelligent, responsible, reasonable, and attentive,” the Perspectives mission statement says. “The overall vision of this four-year program is that men and women are oriented in freedom towards transcendence.”
It is also more work than other classes, Braman said, but it pays off in the end.
“I see the four-year program as setting the conditions for intellectual, moral, and religious re-orientation,” he said. “And again, by religious, I mean not specifically denominations, but the kind of experience of falling in love with something greater than yourself in a way in which your whole life gets re-ordered around that experience.”
Braman’s task since joining the BC community has been to build up the philosophy department. He created an honors track within the department and tried to recruit students who were serious about belonging to an intellectual community.
Working closely with Cronin as professors of the Living and Learning Community in the Perspectives Program, Braman commented on how she devotes all of her free time to her students, even outside of the classroom.
“She doesn’t set aside enough time for herself,” he said.
This comment was cemented by the fact that Cronin at a Halftime Retreat over the weekend and unable to give an interview about the talk she would be giving Monday as soon as she got back.
Students need to set office hours with her almost two weeks in advance because her students—even the ones she no longer officially teaches—look for her advice on living a more virtuous life outside of the classroom.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor