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Meet Current CUL Graduate Students

Catholic University Leadership : Student Testimonials

Peter Hlabse, '13

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What are your graduate assistantships?

Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Michael James, PhD, Higher Education Fellow in the Roche Center for Catholic Education and Professor in the Lynch School of Education, School of Theology and Ministry.

Author of Boston College's Student Affairs Professional Development Blog for Administrators Working Within the Jesuit-Catholic Tradition, 'Partners in Mission'.

Center Assistant at the Murray Graduate Student Center

Where did you do your undergraduate degree?

The University of Notre Dame

What do you wish you had known before arriving for grad school at BC?

I wish I knew more about the concrete ways in which Boston College and the Lynch School of Education could facilitate my personal, social, professional, academic, and spiritual development as a graduate student. Such capacities allow someone to more confidently place themselves within a communal setting of mutual learning and support that is ultimately more able to effectively nurture those forms of development and formation.

What is your favorite BC event or activity?

My favorite BC events/activities are moments, spontaneous or planned, that bring to life a lived and shared spirit of community and purpose. First, I have to say Sunday Mass at St. Ignatius Parish is my favorite BC event/activity. The opportunity to worship with classmates and professors alike is a unique gift afforded by Boston College's Jesuit-Catholic heritage. Second, I suggest any unplanned conversation or spontaneous night out in Boston has to be considered a favorite event/activity.  These unplanned moments of community draw out a deeper sense of gratitude for the opportunity to share in common experiences with others.

What course has been your favorite and how did you connect it to your GA experiences?

My favorite kind of course has been characterized by its acknowledgment of the greater historical, cultural, religious, and social narratives of which higher education has been a part. This perspective allows for a greater understanding of the interplay between movements of history, culture, religion, and society with the institution and idea of higher education.  To this end, my favorite course has been 'Religion and Higher Education' (a class which explored how religious convictions served as the founding motivation for higher education in America and how the contemporary landscape of the West understands the challenging relationship of religion, higher education/scholarship, and culture). My GA allows me to explore the practical implications of such challenging realities as they are manifest in higher education, particularly as in Catholic Higher Education.

Hannah Trost, '13

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What is your graduate assistantship?

Student Programs Office (SPO); Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

Where did you do your undergraduate degree?  

Loyola University Chicago

What do you wish you had known before arriving for grad school at BC? 

I entered the Higher Education program with the intention to get a dual degree in both Student Affairs and Catholic University Leadership. Unfortunately, I discovered that this was not a feasible option for me, and I had to make a decision between the two concentrations. Thanks to the support of supervisors, advisors, and faculty, I was able to get involved in many different capacities around campus, and I gained experience in both disciplines, thus allowing me to make an informed decision about my own personal and professional goals.     

What course has been your favorite and how did you connect it to your GA experiences?

My favorite course so far has been ED854 - Catholic Higher Education (cross listed with TM854). The course discussed the role of Catholic Higher Education in society and allowed us to creatively examine the contemporary issues facing today's Catholic institutions. I think the course gave me a unique perspective for discussing and handling many challenges in my assistantship, and for addressing my personal role and responsibility to the students I advise as a worker at a Catholic Jesuit institution.

Dennis 'Denny' Carr, '13

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What is your graduate assistantship?

Student Programs Office (SPO); Late Night Programming

Where did you do your undergraduate degree?  

Boston College

What do you wish you had known before arriving for grad school at BC? 

I wish I had known about the graduate student only mezzanine in Bapst Library and also how important graduate student socials/events are. Unlike the undergraduate years, you are usually only seeing your classmates for one class meeting a week, so graduate student events are essential to meeting others in your program.   

What is your favorite BC event or activity?   

Student Activities Day! I enjoyed this day as an undergraduate and last year as a first-year graduate student because it particularly illustrates the breadth and depth of the BC community. It is a great day to see all the clubs, programs, and experiences BC offers, and meet students with whom you might not normally interact or know that you shared interests.

What course has been your favorite and how did you connect it to your GA experiences?

Catholic Higher Education, taught by Professor Michael James. At the end of the course this past April, we read "Education's Highest Aim: Teaching and Learning Through a Spirituality of Communion." One of the book's main theses is, "From the perspective of a spirituality of communion, the highest goal of education is unity--within the individual, within the community, within academic disciplines, within human nature itself" (p. 101). This has really provided an impetus for my own reflection this summer as I began to think of the set of next year's students whom I'll advise and meet, and a hermeneutic that I plan to use in the interactions associated with my assistantship.