I graduated from Saint Peter’s in 2009 with a BA in Art History and Asian Studies. Saint Peter’s furnished me with a cohort of like-minded scholars and instilled in me an attitude of ‘men and women for others’. As an Art History major, my undergraduate experience found me encountering art from new angles, studying Art History on Manhattan’s Museum Mile and meeting the Clay Warriors of Xi’an, China. Saint Peter’s gave me the opportunity to study not only Art History, but also Asian Studies up close during a spring 2008 semester abroad program at Kansai Gaidai University near Osaka, Japan.
Saint Peter’s also offered me a chance to explore many extracurricular activities, from my time on Student Senate, singing with the Aiden C. McMullen chorale, and serving as President of the Kappa Pi art fraternity. Every new challenge I have faced with the confidence forged from my time at Saint Peter’s. My post-grad experiences range from teaching English abroad with the JET programme in Japan to working at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. I currently work at Friends of Materials for the Arts, supporting Materials for the Arts, part of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. My colleagues and I strive everyday to provide thousands of NYC public schools, arts non-profits, and city and state agencies with materials to support them in their artistic endeavors. I am proud not only to support the arts and local groups here in NYC but also to have developed my love of the arts during my time with the wonderful faculty of the Fine Arts Department at Saint Peter’s. www.mfta.org [/wpcol_4fifth_end]
Ever since forever I wanted to join the Peace Corps so after graduation from college that is just what I did. Peace Corps assigned me Thailand as the country I would serve in for 2 years! I couldn’t have been more thrilled because I knew that the culture was so different from that of the USA. St. Peter’s provided me multiple opportunities to experience various ways of life throughout my college career. I studied aboard in Florence, Italy focusing on Art History and Italian. Then as part of the Globalization through Tourism and Baseball course with Dr. Trillo, a group of us traveled to the Domician Republic. The SPC Campus Ministry sponsored a 2 week trip to Honduras where I was able to teach students and explore the country. Also my minor in International and Intercultral studies included courses during which I examined traditions and diverse groups of people. With that as a background I knew I was better equipped with the tools to go to Thailand, which would be a country completely dissimilar to any place I had been before.
I kept in touch with many professors after graduation and they all showed me support during my 2 years abroad asking questions about life in Thailand. Even out of college they were teaching me and encouraging me to observe the world around me to discover what I could learn. I lived in a small farming village called Laplae, Uttaradit. The farmers in my community invited me to help out with every stage of rice from planting to harvesting. Being out in the field gave me a whole new appreciation for rice because it is truly back breaking work to harvest a single grain. When workers handed me bundles of rice stalks I would light up knowing they trusted me to plant such an important crop along side them. I miss the sights, sounds and smells of the rice patties. Watching the way people worked across a field was like observing a dance. They knew when there was a person behind them and where they needed to be planting without even looking up. The bubbling and squish squashing sounds that came from my feet while stepping through the nearly knee deep mud caused me to laugh and laugh followed by all the farmers laughing even though they didn’t know why I found something, as simple as a sound they hear every planting season, so hilarious. The mixing fragrances of fresh mud and damp air as it rolls down the mountains and fills the nostrils after a rain are all part of the memories, which will forever be in my heart.
Before I left Thailand to return to the USA my school and community had farewell parties for me. When a major event happens in a loved one’s life such as a life changing move, Thais have a ceremony where they tie “quan” or strings around the person’s wrist. The quan are people’s blessings and wishes for the person for the future. This ceremony was done for me at both parties. There were many tears shed by all, which for Thais is huge because expression beyond happiness isn’t shown very often. For the Thais to share such a touching ceremony with me showed me how much a part of their community I had become. One of the many reasons this was possible was due to the values, skills and knowledge St. Peter’s College helped strengthen during my years there.
I am a graduate of Saint Peter’s University Class of 2011 with a B.A. in Graphic Arts. I am currently working for The Hudson Reporter in Hoboken, NJ, as a graphic artist designing newspapers, advertisements and magazines. It is a fast paced, deadline-oriented environment. The variety of Graphic courses offered at Saint Peter’s University along with the support and expertise of my Graphic Arts Professors (Beatrice Mady and Susan Chin) taught me everything I needed to thrive in the world of publishing. I am happy to have experienced life in the Saint Peter’s University community. More importantly, I’m happy I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with my creative classmates, and to learn firsthand from my talented professors – ensuring that I will succeed in the field of print design and layout.