Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I grew up on a farm near Hershey, PA with my three siblings, and all of us have a deep love of nature, exploring, travel and good food. My family owns an Italian grocery store in Hershey called Pronio’s Market which my great-grandfather opened in 1919. My dad still runs it today. I graduated from Bona’s in 2009 with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communication, and have worked in the press office of the PA Attorney General, in production and marketing for small publishing companies, and as a content writer. For the last 12 years I’ve worked in parishes in PA and MD in campus, youth, and young adult ministry.

What is your exact job title at the Mountain and what are your day-to-day roles?
I am the new ministry coordinator for the Mountain, and so far it’s been a lot of work and a ton of fun! We’re still figuring out how this position will develop over the year, but for right now one of my biggest roles is student engagement and relationship building. I’m doing my best to meet as many students as possible to build relationships on campus, and working with the friars and Mountain team to lead events at the Mountain for students as well as for our local community.

What drew you back to Bona’s after years away?
It’s so funny – I wasn’t really looking for a new job; but multiple fellow alumni sent me the ministry coordinator job posting for the Mountain and said, “this sounds like you.” At first I kind of brushed it off but after three different people suggested it to me, I figured I may as well apply and see what happened. Being back on campus and at the Mountain for my final interview was so powerful – it really reminded me of what I love about Bona’s and the Mountain, and I had a deep sense of peace about the possibility of returning. The incredible sense of community and the Franciscan tapestry that weaves through everyone on campus and at the Mountain are some of the wonderful gifts I experienced as a student, and I recognized them immediately when I came back.

What is your favorite part about connecting with students?
Bona’s students and faculty are such a unique group of people – I think this might be an opinion held by a lot of alumni – but as I get to know the people currently on campus, it’s apparent that that uniqueness is ever present. It’s been so wonderful to connect with students in this past month, and I’ve loved hearing about their families, what brought them to Bona’s, what they’re enjoying (and dreading) about their chosen majors…just really getting to know people and learning from them about what they need.

What are you most excited for in your role for the rest of the academic year?
I really struggled internally my first year or so on campus and being at Mt. Irenaeus as a student was one of the reasons I chose to stay at Bona’s, so now being so present both on campus and at the Mountain in a new way is a huge gift. I’m really looking forward to working with the Mountain and UMin teams to serve students, and to welcoming as many people as possible to the Mountain – especially anyone who has not yet had the chance to experience everything the Mountain has to offer!

Anything else you would like to share 🙂
I’m a huge fan of good books, music, movies, and conversations; I always have snacks and candy in my office; I love to hike and explore new places! Come visit me in UMin!