Monday, July 18, 2011

Collegium 2011: The Mentors

I was blessed to work with such a talented and committed group of fellow mentors. Some I had worked with before, two were first-timers. All were great.

Sr. Eva Hooker is an institution at Collegium. She has been there since the beginning and it shows. She is the writer-in-residence at Saint Mary’s College. She has a tool box full of techniques and ideas to engage her group members. She is mellow, supportive, fun and so, so creative.

John Neary is a professor of English at St. Norbert College. He often gives his story or testimony at Collegium. He is published. He served on Collegium’s board. However I know John as a runner and as a person who is all about helping Collegium Fellows get the most out of their Collegium experience. He is a soft spoken man who is worth listening to. He is clearly one of the gems of Collegium.

Karen Eifer teaches in he Education Department at the University of Portland. She also tells her story during Collegium This is an important activity that makes the Collgium experience come to life. Karen is a team player. She is creative, full of life and her energy is contagious.

I had the privilege of working with Eva, john and Karen in the past. They were also mentors during my fellowship year.

My roommate was “Sandy’ or William Karstens. He is an Associate Professor of Physics at Saint Michel’s College in Vermont. He is also a Collegium Board member. Sandy contributed to the music part of our worship every single day. He was at e ach social hour. I found his counselor to be valuable. The stereotype might be that physicists are aloof and not emotionally expressive, that would not fit Sandy. I felt blessed to have Sandy as a roommate.
Matt Schmalz is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of Holy Cross. He gave his story this year and everyone talked about how powerful it was. I had never met Matt before. He was flexile, creative and he brought a wealth of inter-faith knowledge to Collegium. I hope to get to know him better in the coming years.

Monica Sylvia was one of two first time mentors. She is an Associate Professor at Le Moyne College. She teaches developmental psychology. Initially she was anxious but quickly found her footing. I am sure her clinical skills as a group facilitator kicked right in. She was always doing something. If she was not focusing on her mentor responsibilities she was helping Joyce or attending to a group member.
Finally there was Nancy Billias who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Joseph College in Connecticut. Nancy also studied religious studies and was a Fulbright Scholar. She is a licensed psychotherapist and brings a whole palette of skills and experiences to her groups.

Monica and Nancy might have been the new kids on the block but they were major contributors to a great Collegium. So that was the group I worked with. We had a working breakfast meeting every day. We brainstormed together. We supported one another. While our focus was on our own Small Groups we also found time to enjoy each others company. I t was a really good group of mentors.

No comments: