MU receives 2018 Trailblazer award for Mission integration

Donny Bryant III, Staff writer

On Dec. 17, Mercyhurst University received an award celebrating the Mercy Mission of the school.

The Trailblazer Award is given to universities for the effective integration of their mission into undergraduate population.

This award recognizes universities that are innovating and developing best practices in education.

This annual award is given by Campus Labs, which is a company that uses assessments, analytics and integrated data to determine a university’s success in terms of an effective mission and education.

“This award, presented by the educational company CampusLabs, is awarded to only a few campuses each year, and we are honored to be among them,” Dyan Jones, Ph.D., associate provost for Institutional Effectiveness, said.

Jones was extremely pleased about receiving this award because it represents a university focused on its mission and dedication to living it beyond Mercyhurst’s gates.

“Mercyhurst won this award because of our work in assessing mission. As we all know, the Mercy Mission is essential to all that we do here at the Hurst,” Jones said.

The Mercy Mission is integral in all that the students and staff do at Mercyhurst and seeks to foster the values of Catherine McAuley.

The mission statement of Mercyhurst University is as follows:

“Consistent with its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage, Mercyhurst University educates women and men in a culture where faith and reason flourish together, where the beauty and power of the liberal arts combine with an appreciation for the dignity of work and a commitment to serving others. Confident in the strength of its student-faculty bonds, the university community is inspired by the image of students whose choices, in life and work, will enable them to realize the human and spiritual values embedded in everyday realities and to exercise leadership in service toward a just world.”

In order to receive this award, the values laid out in the statement had to have been seen throughout several facets of campus life.

“Dr. Heidi Hosey and I worked together to design a system to fully integrate mission into the REACH curriculum, and most importantly to measure how our students were acting out the mission,” Jones said.

The Mercy Mission is integrated into the undergraduate population through the curriculum in Introduction to Mercyhurst University (iMU), Beyond the Gates and Senior Capstone Ethics that each provide students with an opportunity to engage the Mercy Mission overtime to share their experiences through a series of reflections.

“We need to be able to demonstrate the ways that students interact and engage with the mission throughout their academic and REACH programs,” Jones said.

Jones was thrilled with how the students participated in the study and encourages more students at Mercyhurst University to join in to accomplish the big purpose for Mercy Mission.

“It is this method of integration and assessment of mission in the curriculum that truly makes Mercyhurst unique and was the impetus for the Trailblazer Award,” Jones said.

Hosey, Ph.D., dean of Global Programs, also had a hand in the university receiving this award.

Both Jones and Hosey helped to examine students’ growth in adapting the Mercy Mission in their daily lives, utilizing the principles in each of their practices.

Hosey and Jones were pleased to hear that Mercyhurst was recognized for this award because of the focus it puts on the Mercy Mission and to the entire outlook of the university.

“Both Dr. Hosey and I were delighted to win the award,” Jones said. “Not because of the award itself, but rather because of the focus it puts on the Mercy Mission which is dear to the University as a whole and to both of us personally.”