Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Director of University Mission Dr. Ziad Fahed has won the “Mission Integration Award” granted by the Association of Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU) for the “Human Library Project.”
The Human Library is a project that NDU launched in 2016. Instead of checking out a book, students are given permission to “borrow” individuals with inspiring stories to tell gathered from unique life experiences. Each participating student benefits from a 25-30-minute face-to-face discussion with the “borrowed” individual. Unlike a book, the “storyteller” is able to inspire, answer questions, and tailor the narrative to the student’s understanding. This newly-introduced model aims to foster dialogue and understanding between people and to create a platform where the experiences of others from all walks of life are easily shared and better understood. This type of creative dialogue can break the barriers that separate people and forge new connections, new horizons, new inspirations… toward a real “personal metamorphosis” and a “personal resurrection.”
The Human Library Project was selected from among numerous initiatives submitted from around the world given its direct impact on student learning and integration of the Catholic identity and mission.
For his part, Dr. Fahed said, “From my experience with students, they usually prefer to meet people who were able to make positive impacts on their lives and on the society in which they live. Students are eager to listen to those who walk the talk and serve as models of success on a nationwide basis.”
The ASACCU considers itself as the "voice for student affairs professionals in Catholic higher education," and the intent of this annual award is to highlight and recognize best practices in various student affairs areas. The ASACCU is building a strong network for Catholic universities in the U.S. and with Catholic Universities that adopt the American model of education.
Through the mutual sharing of ideas and their practical applications, the ASACCU hopes to foster dialogue to deepen understanding of the interplay between Catholic identity and the ever-changing complexity of contemporary circumstances and student experiences.
The successful Human Library Project will continue at NDU and maintain its standing as an innovative project that never ceases to attract hundreds of students every single time.