Skylight maquette for the 10 foot window.

Skylight maquette for the 10 foot window.
Canticle of the Sun with St. Francis in Contemplation

Monday, September 21, 2009

Purpose of the Sabbatical:
The purpose of the sabbatical is to provide the opportunity for continued professional growth and new or renewed intellectual achievement through study, research, scholarly writing, or professional travel. The goal of the sabbatical is to enhance the faculty member’s competence as a valued member of the College and thus enhance the College’s reputation in the academic community. A sabbatical leave represents a college investment in the faculty as well as the future of the College.

• Have served for a minimum of seven years at Felician College
• Hold the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor (this is my rank), or Professor
After completion of a sabbatical, the recipients are required to:
• Submit a written report regarding the sabbatical activities to the Division Dean and the Vice-President of Academic Affairs within 30 days of returning to the College (this will be late February, 2010). The report must include
o  Transcripts, ideas, and plans for implementation of work, or research and statement of how the experience will  improve  their contributions to the College
o Conduct a professional presentation, open to the Felician College community, on the results/findings/impact/outcomes of the sabbatical during the first semester after the sabbatical

This sabbatical began officially in the beginning of September and will end at the end of December. However, no doubt, the work will continue through 2010 and perhaps 2011 until the work is officially installed.

The sabbatical work is as follows:
Last fall 2008, I was asked to design and build a large 9’ 8” X 4’ 7.5” skylight for the 19th-Century Iviswold Castle structure that is in the process of being restored. The outside of the castle is already to date, restored historically with new pointing, cleaned stonework, a new roof installed. The inside is now beginning an adaptive restoration of which the skylight is a part and will be the last piece installed. The area for the skylight is in the main entrance lobby with a flamboyant and beautiful winding staircase. The skylight area is just below a main air shaft that runs three floors to the roof with a glass ceiling.

There is no record of what kind of glass was in there originally, so the design is a free choice. I have decided and it is accepted that the images in the glass will be Franciscan in nature to reflect the mission of Felician College. The center will be of St. Francis in Contemplation while the entire outside border will be the Canticle of the Sun. The inside area will reflect the four core value courses of the College.

The mission statement of Felician College is as follows:
Felician is an independent co-educational Catholic/Franciscan College founded and sponsored by the Feli-cian Sisters to educate a diverse population of students within the framework of a liberal arts tradition. Its mission is to provide a full complement of learning experiences, reinforced with strong academic and stu-dent development programs designed to bring students to their highest potential and prepare them to meet the challenges of the new century with informed minds and understanding hearts. The enduring purpose of Felician College is to promote a love for learning, a desire for God, self-knowledge, service to others, and respect for all creation.

To accomplish this mission, Felician College has identified six goals:
1. To affirm, uphold, and perpetuate the centrality of the Catholic, Franciscan, Felician tradition.
2. To offer academic and professional programs within the Liberal Arts tradition that promote learn-ing, integrity, competence, and service.
3. To ensure a quality learning experience for a diverse student population through strong student de-velopment and academic support systems.
4. To provide faculty, staff, and administrative development programs that promote professional and personal growth, the sensitivity to the diverse needs of all members of the College community, and the quality of student learning.
5. To develop and implement assessment strategies which measure learning, integrity, competence, and service and strengthen confidence in the College and its programs.
6. To implement advancement, enrollment, and fiscal management programs that ensure and enhance viability, visibility, quality, and growth.

All undergraduate students at Felician College take a twelve-credit Core sequence between the sophomore and senior years, consisting of four courses: CORE 200, Culture and Diversity; CORE 250, Applied Ethical Reasoning; CORE 300, Journeys to Selfhood, and; CORE 400, The Franciscan Vision: Self, Service and Society.

Felician’s Core sequence is based squarely upon our Catholic character, our Franciscan charisms, or gifts, and our commitment to the great tradition of liberal learning. Students learn about the importance of cultural diversity while developing an acute awareness of the importance of its accompanying virtue - hospitality. Likewise, our students cultivate an understanding of the ethical life within the context of mutuality, which the Franciscan ethicist Sister Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF defines as ―a straining toward the other which still preserves individual identity. Our Core course in literature exposes students to the essential human theme of developing individual identity while exploring paired readings from the classical and modern canons. Finally, our senior capstone course, Core 400, allows students to reflect upon the subtle shift from selfhood to personhood as they explore the practice of the Franciscan virtues through service. A solid Core and General Education curriculum can move students from impulsiveness to self-reflection, and lead them to better understand the relation between the choices that they make, and the lives they can imagine for themselves. Our curricula are not just about preparing for work life, but crafting a life.

CORE 200
Culture and Diversity
3 credits
An introduction to theories of culture and the concepts of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism. This course includes a multicultural perspective on current issues and ―-isms such as sexism, racism, and modernism. Communication and critical thinking skills are emphasized.
Prerequisites: ENG 101 and ENG 102 (neither can be taken concurrently with CORE 200)

CORE 250
Applied Ethical Reasoning
3 credits
This course seeks to provide the foundations for understanding and resolving ethical questions. The course includes an overview of the fundamental ethical theories, including those from the Catholic tradition. Applications of the insights and perspectives thus gained are explored via case studies representing issues from everyday life.
Prerequisite: CORE 200

CORE 300
Journeys to Selfhood: Classic to Modern Literature
3 credits
This course is designed to acquaint students with the continuing relevance of ancient texts and concepts from the classical Greek and Roman worlds, and the Judeo-Christian tradition, to to-day’s society. Students will also examine multiple genres, disciplines and themes to understand how ―great works‖ remain in dialogue with one another over time and how the legacy of western thought can be understood through the prism of contemporary literature.
Prerequisite: CORE 250

CORE 400
The Franciscan Vision: Self,
Service and Society
3 credits
The senior-year capstone experience course in the Core Curriculum. Relying on the American heritage of concern for the rights and dignity of the individual, coupled with the Franciscan belief in the transcendent value and communal under-standing of the person, this course fosters a sense of service informed by these traditions. This course also aims to deepen civic responsibility and an understanding of the Franciscan tradition while empowering students through direct involvement with a wide array of persons, including health care workers, business persons, politicians, educators, clergy, social workers, children, elderly persons, physically challenged individuals, homeless persons, community leaders and public officials. Students meet in a seminar setting to share their respective off-campus service experiences in light of assigned readings and keep journals reflecting upon their service work in dialogue with course content. Each student will serve a minimum of 20 hours in approved direct service over the course of the semester.
Prerequisite: CORE 300

Based on these Core courses and their descriptions, I am developing images that represent these four values and working them into the central part of the skylight.
I am also keeping a weekly journal on my thought process, image process, and ideas for this project. This journal is both hand-written with drawings as well as an online journal in
The end result by January will most likely be a collection of drawings and paintings in various black and white as well as color images and some works in glass to illustrate the look and feel of the skylight when the time is right to build it in full size for installation. The glass work will be both glass painting on colored glass as well as vitri-fusai (painting on fused glass).
Below is a rough sketch of the areas:

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