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franciscanway - Franciscan University of Steubenville

franciscanway - Franciscan University of Steubenville

PROF PROFILE Scott

PROF PROFILE Scott Sollom Assistant Professor of Catechetics 34 Franciscan Way • Autumn 2008 00 08 PProfessor of Catechetics By B Emily E il Stimpson SStimpson i They say you can’t get enough of a good thing. Which may explain why Scott Sollom moved to Steubenville not once, not twice, but three times. Move number one, he blames on his parents. “After attending a Defending the Faith Conference, they hatched a plot to get one of their kids to Franciscan. Since I was the only one left at home, that lot fell to me,” Sollom explains. It wasn’t a bad lot. In 1994, he left with a degree in humanities and Catholic culture, a deepened love for Catholicism, and a future wife, Mary Sarah Martin ’94. After college, Sollom worked as a youth minister in Wisconsin. He loved the kids, but there was one slight problem. “My best asset was my foosball skills.” Hence, move number two. In 1996, Sollom returned to Franciscan to earn his master’s in theology and learn the art of catechesis. Move number three came in 2004, after Sollom received an offer to join Franciscan’s Theology Department. Stints as a director of Religious Education in Texas and Minnesota convinced him he was called to teach, not administrate, and teach he now does…a lot. As a catechetics professor, Sollom teaches Franciscan students how to “teach for conversion.” As director of the University’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Program (“where it’s do or die when real conversion is on the line”), he teaches the faith to aspiring Catholics. And as part of the Association for Catechumenal Ministry he teaches catechists how to teach RCIA. That work recently took Sollom to Australia, where, at the request of Cardinal George Pell, he helped prepare RCIA teams for the spike in inquiries they anticipated World Youth Day would generate. The best part of the experience? “Cardinal Pell,” Sollom says. “He’s a real stalwart…plus he loves beer.” When he’s not teaching, Sollom retreats into the woods with his mountain bike. More often, however, he’s home, roughhousing with his four children or indulging with his wife in their guilty pleasure— watching HGTV and the Food Network. And for now, no more moves are in the offi ng. “The community here is wonderful,” Sollom explains. “And teaching alongside professors I admired as a student is a tremendous honor.” Incapable of being serious for more than 30 seconds at a stretch, he adds, “I keep waiting for someone to bust me and say, ‘What are you doing here again?’” � Andy Bonjour

“It’s a On May 2, 1988, I started work at Franciscan University. I quit on May 4. I had been hired as custodial supervisor for Marian and Trinity Halls, but I had no student workers, no one to show me where to fi nd the cleaning supplies and equipment, and the dorms were in end-of-the-semester chaos. When I called to quit, John Green, who used to be the executive vice president, said, “Oh, Ann, please, come back!” I’m thankful I did. Working in the dorms—now I’m custodial coordinator for St. Thomas More Hall and Marian Hall—I’ve met students from all over and they’re just great. They’ve had birthday parties for me and made big appreciation banners. Those occasions are very touching, but on a day-to-day basis, I feel like I’m their mother. “Ann,” they say if they’re going to the formal dance, “how do I look in this dress?” Or, “Ann, how can I get this stain out of my blouse?” One student came to me for help because the washer wasn’t moving like it should. It turned out she had enough clothes for three loads in one machine. That’s kids! A girl from California was going to the March for Life in D.C., and I asked, “Do you have gloves? A toboggan? A scarf?” She didn’t, so I went to my car and got everything she needed, and told her, “Now you have to wear this.” When she came back, she said, “Oh, Ann, I would have frozen.” I think it’s lovely that the students always use the dorm chapels, sing such beautiful Christian songs, and go to church so much. And they also cook hot food in the Tommy More kitchen for the homeless—and I mean a lot of food! Cold weather, hot weather, they take the food to these people in Pittsburgh and show them that someone cares about them. Not that the students can’t get into mischief. I’ll never forget the time some girls had a cake fi ght in the fi rst fl oor TV lounge in Tommy More. I asked, “Who did this?” Nobody said a word. I said, “My workers will not clean this up.” One girl said, “Ann, we don’t want you to do it either.” The students cleaned up the mess themselves, then came and apologized. In my job, I’ve found that if I have a good attitude and communicate well, situations like that work out for the best whether it’s with the students, the residence directors, or my student workers. WHY I LOVE FRANCISCAN to Work.” Fogarty By Ann Smith Emily I have 13 student workers on my crew each semester—more over the summers for the conferences. We keep all the bathrooms and common areas in the dorms clean, and the girls are responsible for their own rooms. I’ve noticed that the students who do custodial keep their dorm rooms nice all the time. But everybody cleans when mom and dad are coming. It’s so cute. Usually if they start as freshmen, they’ll work for me all four years. I have great workers. With only 15 minutes left on the time clock, some will go and fi nd something to do. It’s a real feeling of accomplishment to hear parents commenting on how nice everything looks and smells. I always say, “I’ll be sure to tell my students.” It’s also enjoyable when students introduce me to their parents at graduation, and they say, “Thank you for helping my daughter.” It could be something so small, but I think, “Wow, they remembered.” The students aren’t the only reason the University is a good place to work. Everyone here is so genuine and nice, and I’ve always been treated fairly. In the Physical Plant Department, everyone cares about everyone else. There are now three of us ladies in Physical Plant, and I like to tease that we’ll be running the place soon. But the guys show us respect, and that’s different from other jobs I’ve had. The chaplains in the dorms, Franciscan friars and sisters, make my day because they’re always in a good mood. All the friars are wonderful. I hear the kids in the dorms talking about Father Terry Henry, and they really love him. I grew up in Weirton, West Virginia, and have lived in Steubenville ever since I got married, so I’m proud when people in other places know about the University. My husband met a man at a NASCAR race in Charlotte who knew all about it. In Myrtle Beach this summer I told a woman at the pool that I worked at Franciscan University. She said, “How wonderful! I’ve heard so much about it.” I said, “Believe it. It’s all true.” That’s why when a student said to me, “Ann, don’t retire until we graduate,” I told her, “I’ll retire if I’m ever miserable and complaining. But I have no plans to retire yet—or quit.” � Ann Smith serves as custodial coordinator at Franciscan University. Photo above: Ann Smith (right) with a few members of her custodial crew. Franciscan Way • Autumn 2008 35

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