Gannon Honored for Educational Program

Posted: June 15, 2012

Gannon has been honored by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) for a sexual education program the University offered to students in February.

Gannon recently received an Exemplary Program Award, in the category of “Forming the Christian Conscience,” from the CCMA, a national organization. The award was in recognition of Gannon’s “Sexual Education Week,” a collaborative program between Campus Ministry, the Office of Student Living, Counseling Center, Health Center and Violence Prevention Coordinator. It was designed to encourage students to have open and honest conversations about sexuality, and in a forum that reflected the Church’s teachings.

“Sexual Education Week was intended to help students see sexuality as a God-given gift, rooted in human relationships and involving much more than physical acts,” said Susan Haarman, associate director of Campus Ministry at Gannon. “We hoped to reach students who likely hadn’t had many faith-based discussions about sexuality. By allowing students to share their thoughts and feelings about sexuality on campus and in popular culture, they were better able to ask relevant and appropriate questions.”

Haarman notes that for college students, sex can be an uncomfortable topic. “Many are too embarrassed to have real conversations about sexuality with their friends, let alone their family members or ministers. Through the program, we wanted to break down barriers by bringing the conversation to students where they live – in our residence halls – to make it as accessible as possible.

“I thought the program helped facilitate a very positive dialogue among students, which was one of our goals,” Haarman added. “We hoped that they would be able to have their questions answered, rather than stumble into a decision that they might regret later on.”

This is the second consecutive year Gannon was chosen for an award by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, which strives to promote the mission of the Church among college students by empowering campus ministers through formation, networking and other resources.

In 2011, the CCMA honored Gannon with an Exemplary Program Award in the category of “Facilitating Personal Development.” The award was in recognition of the University’s “sucks” series, designed to help students better navigate and overcome common challenges. Previous program topics – and examples of things that “suck” – have included relationship breakups and going home after being away and independent at college.

Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan university offering nearly 100 academic programs, including doctoral programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership. Gannon enrolls more than 4,000 academically talented and diverse students. Learn more at http://www.gannon.edu/.