ROCK in the News

Learn More About ROCK's Community Impact

Read, listen, and view the articles, podcasts, and videos that feature ROCK instructors and students working to bring kindness and compassion to the community. Read testimonials from teachers, principals, and counselors in our partner schools, join the $10 Kindness Club, see how ROCK students have made baskets, sent cards to seniors in long-term care facilities, and worked with local kids and organizations.

Photos from our events:

FGCU Day // Compassion-Training Workshop // YAK Festival

Title Description
$10 Kindness Club Facebook Group - Join the $10 Kindness Club a Facebook group encouraging random acts of kindness; the group challenges members to spend $10 on a random act of kindness and share their positive experiences with other members in the group.

"Approaching the new year with kindness, compassion & empathy." [roundtable podcast discussion featuring Dr. Maria Roca, Dr. Meg Norcia, and Prof. Jamie Wilson]

WGCU: PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida podcast with Mike Kiniry. 2 January 2024.

"Aging and Community-Based Performance." by Dan Bacalzo

[regarding the performance class he's teaching with Prof. Jamie Wilson, partnering FGCU students and Shell Point Retirement Community residents to share experiences during Hurricane Ian]

Lucas Center Blog. 3 April 2023.

"Leaning into compassion and kindness over the holiday season." [roundtable podcast discussion featuring Dr. Maria Roca, Dr. Andea Fortin and Prof. Jamie Wilson]

WGCU: PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida podcast with Mike Kiniry. 23 November 2022.

"Kindness makes the world go round." [World Kindness Day at FGCU]

Alyssa Oquendo for Eagle Media. 14 November 2022.

“Silvia Casabianca Shows Us that Love and Empathy Can Save Our World.”

Christianne Meneses Jacobs' Latino Book Chat.  29 August 2022.

“The Call to Live Creation Care; The Need for Modern Day Parables.” SWFL Reset Conversations, An Eco-Spirituality RESET Conversation.

ROCK Director Dr. Maria Roca at the SWFL Reset Conversations, an Eco-Spirituality RESET Conversation. 6 August 2022.

"FGCU Launches Roots of Compassion and Kindness Center (ROCK)."

Lojewski, Amy.  ABC 7 News. 5 April 2022.

"New center teaches compassion in and out of the college classroom."

Armstrong, Shari. FOX 4 News. 5 April 2022.

"Inner strength course designed to build empathy and resilience." [ROCK staff collaborated and offered support for the Walk a Mile in their Shoes event]

Hennig, Katy. FGCU 360. 25 March 2022.

"Case for Kindness: You are your choices." [re: Francesca Donlan's visit to Rhode Island to discuss the "kindness effect"]

Alofsin, Gail Lowney. ie Magazine. International Festivals and Events Association. Spring 2022 (Volume 33, issue 1), page 52. Also featured in Newport Neighbors magazine.

"Should kindness be taught in schools?" [Podcast featuring Francesca Donlan]

The Cambridge Insider Podcast. 17 January 2022.

"Kindness Rocks: Compassion project at FGCU continues to grow."

Hubbell, Annie. FGCU 3601 October 2021.
"ROCK: Andrea Lynn, CIIS MFA graduate, writes about teaching undergraduate students to interrogate relationships, coexistence, and the interconnectedness of our world." MFA @ CIIS Blog of the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Writing program at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. 27 September 2021.
“Enjoy Communication and Kindness with Francesca Donlan.” The Business of Life Master Class. [Podcast] Francesca Donlan with Barbara Zant and Debbie Lunberg. 9 September 2021.

 “FGCU students, first graders learn together about 


Persing, Sydney and Jackie Winchester. WINK News. 11 March, 2021.
“Practicing Kindness: Being schooled in compassion leads to grace.”  Grey, Kathy. E Bella Magazine. 2021 February. 
“Kindness Matters: Experts argue for more kindness in the workplace, but is it necessary? GulfShore Business. 18 August 2020. 

“We Care: Greater Naples YMCA provides fresh fruits and vegetables to 


Matez, Jordyn. Naples Daily News. 12 June 2020.
Kindness Club mentioned near the end of the article.

The Kindness Effect: FGCU class working to make kindness go viral.

Sheppard, Adryanna. WINK News. 28 April 2020.
Video picked up by Kerry Sanders (national NBC) and posted on FGCU, North American Journalist Travel Association website, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and shared widely with friends and family; see also FGCU’s Digital Learning Blog (April 24, 2020). 
“Cards bring smiles to long-term care facility residents.”  Petras, Taylor. WINK News. 21 April 2020.
“It’s cool to be kind.”  Booth, Karen. FGCU 3602020 April 13. 
“Out of terrorism and tragedy comes kindness personified in ‘Come from away’” [part of curriculum in Donlan’s course].  Stetson, Nancy. 18 March 2020.
“Curriculum in Kindness begins at FGCU.”  Martinelli, Sean. NBC2 News. 2020 February 13. 

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