Freshly recovered from finals and jet lag, the Fall Romers shared a few thoughts on the influence their semester abroad has had over their appreciation of their education, just days after their Dec. 10 return.
"Rome has helped me to see the Core in a different light because studying and living are so intimately united on the Rome campus that they can't be wedged apart," said John Stein, a sophomore theology and philosophy major. "Every place that I had the opportunity to travel to taught me something, and it was usually something that was reinforced or further expounded upon in class lectures!"
"This semester showed me that the Core is alive," said Kathryn Mihaliak, a sophomore business major. "Delphi exists, Ithaca exists, Aristotle, Julius Caesar and Charlemagne were real people. The Rome semester is the difference between knowing someone through a brief biography in a book introduction, and actually meeting that person and going out with them to a long and leisurely Italian dinner."
"Our chaplain often referred to how we were blessed with an 'embarrassment of riches,' speaking of the great number of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that were opened to us by living in Rome," said Mihaliak. "One of the most transformative parts of this semester was learning to seize these opportunities whether they came through conversation with a professor, a chance to meet the pope, or simply an invitation to gelato with a friend."
The class was christened the "Common Class" by Peter Hatlie, vice president, dean and director of the Rome Program, for their common sense of courtesy, common values and the fact that "faithful to an old Latin proverb they took a good thing and made it common, thus making it better," according to Hatlie. The Rome Program director, who also teaches history on the campus, names each class at the convocation ceremony concluding their semester together.
In addition, four students received awards for academics, volunteering and embracing the semester's extracurricular activities. Anne Ryland and Connor Rhodes shared the Academic Award. Katarina Schuett received the Spirit Award for being a source of charity, goodwill and encouragement to all those around her. Maria Schena was honored with the Rome Award for embracing the cultural and linguistic opportunities offered by Rome.