Thursday, February 23, 2012

Regalos & Peru Benefit Dinner

Me and Shannon Tonelli, a Fulbright Scholar who spent 9 months teaching in Peru...and a Regis Alum and current Grad Student!

Members of Campus Ministry speak about their upcoming trip to Peru

The Student Success Center Table!...indulging in treats and great wine:)

Many students and faculty came out for the event...there were raffles and many prizes!

       This week at Regis, students and faculty will gather for a benefit dinner for the Campus Ministry’s trip to Peru this March.  Tonight, Thursday February 23rd, is the benefit dinner in the College Hall Foyer.  I will be attending the dinner with friends and colleagues from the Undergraduate Advising department as well as the Student Success Center.  Working with these individuals throughout the week has allowed me to appreciate them both as professionals and as humorous, kind, and thoughtful co-workers.  Attending the dinner together is something that I am very much looking forward to. 
                  While in the Graduate Admission office this morning I had the pleasure of meeting with Shannon Tonelli, a 2010  graduate of Regis who traveled to Peru for 9 month as a Fulbright Scholar to teach English at a major University.  Now she is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Regis College.  Shannon was bright, happy, and clearly loved by the Regis community.  She brought with her a photo album depicting her trip which she shared with us and with other faculty and students.  She laughed, hugged, and reminisced with everyone who was eager to hear about her adventures.  Among the photos was an image of a sandwich stacked high with shrimp and spices atop a big fluffy bun.  My eyes immediately grew as I imagined the Peruvian feast I was going to enjoy tonight:  rices with different flavors and spices, juicy chicken, and exotic desserts.  I was then informed that tonight’s dinner was not going to include Peruvian food, but rather, an Italian spread.  Regardless, Italian food is something very near and dear to my heart thanks to the likes of Bertolli, Giada DeLaurentis , and Kraft “blue box”.   In spite of my feeling a bit foolish, I was secretly psyched for pasta-y treats!
                  While the meal is not one of Peruvian influences, the tone of is still the same.  We gather tonight to donate in any way we can to those traveling abroad to help others in need.  The Peru trip is something that Regis has been participating in for quite some time and has been a memorable experience for many.  Shannon recalled her teaching experiences with a smile saying that, “the students are just great, it was an incredible time”.  She was also able to parallel the teaching environment of Peru to that of the United States.  “While the culture is definitely different, the needs are very similar; an education, and in general, opportunity”, she said.  Her cultural outreach has also led her to seek higher education here at Regis.  “I went here for undergraduate and enjoyed it so returned for my graduate degree in education”.  This, I feel, is not uncommon at Regis College.  Students often seem to return either to visit or to seek another degree.  You are almost always guaranteed to see a former student inquiring about certificate programs or meeting former colleagues for lunch or coffee.  It is this warm sense of belonging that draws students to become strong alumni as well.  Most students will refer to the close-knit community of the college and the quality of education as their reason for coming back; they know that they were well supported by their faculty and administration in undergraduate and are then confident in their ability to excel in a graduate degree as well.  In working on my research proposal for Nursing Research, I was able to meet with faculty from the Doctorate in Nursing program.  This has inspired me not only to think forward towards my Doctorate degree, but to feel comfortable and confident pursuing it here at Regis in the future. 
                  The sense of community at Regis is seen on many occasions including the most recent ministry event, Ash Wednesday.  Students, faculty, and friends could be seen on their way to lunch with dark ash stains on their foreheads discussing the service and how nice it was for everyone to come together.  It seemed that everyone, regardless of their religious affiliation, had attended the service to be a part of the greater Regis community.  While the college has a very traditional atmosphere, it also has a strong social warmth that is amplified at community events.  I have no doubt that tonight will bring the same joyful laughter and support that is so characteristic of Regis. 
                  As I finish up my day in Graduate Admissions, I can hear the rustle of tablecloths and silverware as the foyer is prepared for tonight’s event.  A student is playing a bubbly tune on the piano that can be heard all the way down the hall.  Many people stop and listen, smiling as this student is playing for neither money nor applause, just to create beautiful music for the hall.  In the coming and going of students, there are shouts of “hellos” and “see you laters”, and the tones are always genuine and affectionate.  And tonight I dine on great food with great friends.  It’s a great day to be a student at RegisJ

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