Catholic Social Thought Scholars Present Capstone Projects

News Story: May 1, 2011
From left are Kelly Leather, Kevin Medeiros, CSTS Steering Committee Member
Dr. Brian Stiltner, Staci C. Zacharski,
Cori Palmero and Amanda Francini.

The Catholic Social Thought Scholars (CSTS) program at Sacred Heart University concluded its program year recently with the presentation of capstone projects. The student research efforts summarized each participant’s study and service in the program. CSTS was established in the year 2000. It works to promote the study of the Catholic social tradition and trains students to be leaders who will apply the ethical wisdom of that tradition to their society and world.

As the Catholic bishops of the United States put it in their letter, Economic Justice for All, “Holiness is not limited to the sanctuary or to moments of private prayer; it is a call to direct our whole heart and life toward God and according to God's plan for this world. For the laity holiness is achieved in the midst of the world, in family, in community, in friendships, in work, in leisure, in citizenship.” Students in the Catholic Social Thought Scholars program aim to integrate spirituality in the “real world” of family, work and civic life.

Dr. Brian Stiltner congratulates
Kevin Medeiros on his project.

Sarah Tatlock, of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, is a double major in Social Work and Political Science with a minor in Global Studies; she will attend the School of Social Work in the fall at Columbia University. Her capstone project was entitled “A Recipe for Mediocrity: Defining the State of Children’s Behavioral Health.”  Kevin Medeiros, of Bristol, Rhode Island, presented “A Study of Connecticut’s Homeless.” He was a Political Science major with a Management minor and was president of the University’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. He will participate in the Coro Fellowship Program in Public Affairs in St. Louis.

Kelly Leather and Amanda Francini present their capstone project - a mentoring program for Habitat for Humanity families.

Kelly Leather, of Matawan, New Jersey, and Amanda Francini, of Berlin, Connecticut, discussed their mentoring program for Habitat for Humanity families. The Student Body president, Kelly double-majored in Political Science and Theology and Religious Studies. Amanda majored in Psychology and will pursue graduate studies at Sacred Heart in Occupational Therapy.

Cori Palmero, of Saugus, Massachusetts, majored in Psychology and was in the honors program. She will stay on next year and expects to be applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs. Her presentation was “A Tribute to the Troops.”  Staci C. Zacharski, of Oakland, New Jersey, was an English major with an honors minor. She is pursuing her master’s in Journalism. Her capstone was entitled, “Prayer and Social Justice: How Prayer Can Inspire a More Righteous Society.”

The evening concluded with a prayer that the Catholic Social Thought Scholars, past and present, “will confidently and constructively work for justice, charity and reconciliation in a broken world—through their careers, in their churches and communities, and among their friends and families.”