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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Jesuit schools call their students to be global citizens

    Jesuit schools call their students to be global citizens

    Ever since St. Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit mission has been to help others and seek God in all things. Now Jesuit schools like Gonzaga conduct this mission to their students and the whole community. Although the Ignatian values are taught to these young men, many topics are harder to fit into the main curriculum. The new global citizenship program hopes to enrich multiple aspects of Gonzaga’s learning.

    According to Gonzaga’s website, “Global citizens are those who continuously seek to deepen their awareness of their place and responsibility in an increasingly interconnected world, both locally and globally; those who stand in solidarity with others in the pursuit of a sustainable earth and a more humane world as true companions in the mission of reconciliation and justice.”

    Locally, Gonzaga provides various opportunities for students to interact with the community around them. Although this is an excellent way to spread the mission, the curriculum sometimes struggles to teach students how they may create awareness and responsibility on a global scale.

    Mr. Ariel Laguilles, modern languages teacher and global education coordinator, plans to strengthen the school’s global education by providing programs such as the global exchange, travel immersion and the new Ignatian Global Scholars certificate program. He plans to start slow with these programs and build an ever-expanding idea that can be thought of in various ways.

    “It’s an Ignatian scholars certification program that we offer to freshmen. Students will apply to it second semester of freshman year. So right now there’s an application period, and then sophomore year, they’ll start the components. So the certificate program is a course of study so students will have to complete seven of nine components from five categories,” Mr. Laguilles said.

    Gonzaga will have global exchange students on campus next year. This will be an extraordinary opportunity for students to not only see students from around the world at school but to actually travel for education in a different culture. This program will be slow and steady with six students from Gonzaga traveling and two students from each participating school coming to the Gonzaga community.

    “So I’m hoping that the Global Scholars Program will grow, and we’ll have a lot of participation amongst everybody in the Gonzaga community. Maybe some projects or experiences for alumni or parents, but you’ve got to start small because it’s a lot of work to develop these programs. Even though I want to do a lot with it, you really have to start small and just kind of see where it goes and evaluate. […] There’s a lot of things that I’m sure will come up once we run it for a year; then we can make improvements,” Mr. Laguilles said.

    Mr. Laguilles is single-handedly building this whole global education sector of Gonzaga’s academics. It is clear that he is open-minded to ideas but wants to make sure it’s done properly for the best experience on all sides.

    The Global Scholars Program will change Gonzaga for the better. Global Education not only diversifies a student but also shows how to stand in solidarity with people, even the ones on the other side of the world. The community should be looking forward to immense opportunities in future years.

    “I certainly would have been interested in this program as a freshman. It is important for current freshmen to open their minds to opportunities like this one,” said senior James McVaney.

    About 20 freshmen applied to be part of the initial group of students in the Ignatian Global Scholars Program; Mr. Laguilles has room for half of them. 

    “I’ve been happy to see that a lot of these applications are very strong and applicants have put a lot of thought into what they’ll get out of the program. It’ll be a difficult decision to make a decision for this cohort because of the quality of applications. I am looking forward to looking forward to working with the first cohort of scholars this fall,” Mr. Laguilles said.
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