August 2014 – Sarah Stopyra is fulfilling a lifelong dream by teaching and bringing her passion for the funeral service field to Mount Ida College students. Serving as an adjunct faculty member in the 2013-2014 academic year, she quickly transitioned into a full-time instructor role for the 2014-2015 academic year. As a licensed funeral director and embalmer in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, she has been working in all facets of the funeral service profession for 12 years.

2014-10-02-FUNERALSER_539.nef

Stopyra lends her expertise to an array of courses, including pathology, restorative art, funeral service merchandising, and social foundations, which introduces incoming students to the sociology and history of the funeral service industry. Students in her courses receive a grounding in history while also looking towards the future of the profession. “The funeral service industry is evolving,” notes Stopyra. “It continues to be an occupation that is steeped in tradition, but with a slightly different perspective.  The new perspective is positive and celebratory, allowing us to honor our loved ones in a way that’s more fitting to the current generation.  As funeral service professionals, our job is to serve those who have lost loved ones, and the importance of honoring and remembering  their lives has not changed.”

One of the things Stopyra enjoys most about Mount Ida’s Funeral Service Program is the way students from varying backgrounds support each other and help each other learn. “On the first day of class I like to tell the students, ‘Look around you, these are your colleagues.  We are all here to learn and grow together.’”  Funeral service brings together both students who already have a background in the field and those who do not. At Mount Ida, these two groups are able to come together and reinforce each other’s learning. For more information about Mount Ida’s Funeral Service and Funeral Home Management Programs, please visit our undergraduate majors page.

In 2014, students in Mount Ida’s Survey of Graphic Design course traveled to London, a trendsetting city in the world of design, to study firsthand the design landmarks, museums and historic sites they studied in class before experiencing the real thing. The fourteen design students stayed in the heart of London, steps away from the British Museum, spending their days touring the city’s treasured historic landmarks while taking in the abundance of cutting-edge design unique to London today.

london-01

Students toured London’s world class museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum of Art and Design, the ICA, and the Tate Modern where they viewedMatisse’s Cut-Outs exhibit. They climbed to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and visited the nearby Saint Bride Library to explore their collection of three centuries of books and exhibits devoted to typography, graphic design and printing techniques. The students got a taste of English culture when they attended a traditional afternoon tea at the British Museum in Bloomsbury.

london-03

For fun, they took a double decker bus tour, rode the London Eye ferris wheel, and enjoyed a West End Production of “Wicked.” On a walking tour, they explored ParliamentBuckingham Palace, and the shops of Oxford Street. On their final day in London, they visited You Can Now (YCN), an innovative design firm in London’s new design district, and dined on Brick Lane, the epicenter of London’s vibrant Indian and Pakistani food scene.

“My favorite part of the trip was visiting London’s design district and touring YCN. The staff at YCN showed us the ins and outs of what they do and their products. As a graphic design student, it was both inspiring and informative,” said junior Alex Battaglia.

london-04

As part of the class, each student created a design journal detailing their experience abroad. Senior Halle Rasco’s journal can be viewed here. Summarizing her time in London Rasco notes “I loved how gorgeous all the design was. It really served as inspiration for me going into my senior year. I think the most valuable part of the trip was how close we all became in the process of preparing and actually going there together. We call ourselves the graphic design family now because we are all such good friends and this trip really is an integral part of our relationship!”

london-06

Many students in the course received travel scholarships from Santander Bank, N.A., through its Santander Universities division. Mount Ida’s Study abroad options for 2015 include spring faculty-led travel programs, internships abroad, semester abroad at a host university, and summer experiential learning. For more information about international travel programs at Mount Ida, please visit our Center for Global Connection’s webpage.

August 28, 2014 – Mount Ida College welcomed the class of 2018 to campus. With more than 500 students, the class of 2018 is the largest and most competitive class in Mount Ida history.  Our newest Mustangs represent a diverse group of high-achieving students, and their move-in day and subsequent day of service were highlighted in the Newton Tab.

IDA_move-in_642x428

Upperclassmen volunteers known as “Mighty Movers” assisted incoming freshmen as they moved into their residence halls. Parents, siblings and friends also aided the new Mustangs with their moves. Speaking to Jenna Fisher of the Newton Tab, Vice President of Student Affairs Laura De Veau noted that in the 22 years she’s been watching freshmen being dropped off at college she’s observed certain predictable family interactions: “The father having to carry the micro fridge up four flights of stairs; that you can predict,” De Veau said. “You can predict the father won’t leave until every piece of electronics is working in the room. And mom won’t leave until everything is unpacked.”

The students themselves also offered reflections on their move-in day, “It felt hectic, at first. I was a little anxious, a little overwhelmed,” said Brittany King of Sutton, Massachusetts. “I finally got my room settled in and that took a lot of the stress right out.”

Once the students settled into their residence halls, they attended Academic Convocation which signals the official start of the academic school year, and relaxed and mingled with their new classmates at an outdoor barbecue. The following morning the new students immersed themselves in the Newton/Boston community during Mount Ida’s first-ever Community Plunge Day of Service. Over 300 incoming freshmen were split into 18 groups and sent to volunteer sites around Newton and Boston, from the West Suburban YMCA to the Centre Street Food pantry in Newton Centre.

“The idea is to engage in the Newton community,” said De Veau. “We want to be good neighbors.” Community Plunge is part of Mount Ida’s ongoing commitment to civic engagement and service learning. To learn more about Mount Ida, please visit mountida.edu. Read the full Newton Tab article here.