Student Profile: Elena Noel
"One of my main reasons for choosing CSB/SJU was its liberal arts education. I wanted to attend a college where I could explore and expand my dancing, music and art, and still not have to give up my passion for science. I needed to be somewhere I could do all of it. CSB/SJU was the perfect choice."
Trinidad and Tobago
Major: Biology/Pre-medicine, Minor: Hispanic Studies
What are some of the campus activities in which you are involved?
There are a lot to list and there are some that have not even been started yet and I probably even forgot some. I'm sure I'll be taking advantage of more volunteer/involvement opportunities this semester but here are some that are on the list so far:
- Co-chair of the Archipelago Association (a Caribbean club on campus)
- Co-chair of Cultural Fusion
- Student Activities Representative on Joint Club Board (JCB)
- Festival of Cultures for the past 3 years from Fall 2007 (very active - co-hosted the fashion show, part of planning board, performed, modeled cultural wear, part of both Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana's booths)
- International Student Orientation Leader
- International Student Mentor
- Retreat on Race and Ethnicity (RORE) -participant in the Summer 2008 program
- RORE Student Group Leader (SGL) in the Fall 2009 program
Wow, that's quite a list! What do you gain from being involved?
As far as skills gained from them I think that they have helped me a lot with effective communication. I am able to relate my ideas and opinions in a way that is very clear and can be understood by different types of people. I believe I've improved my communication. I think also I've developed as a leader. A lot of the things I've been involved in require me to take a leadership role. I think because of that I've been able to understand my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and make improvements. I think I'm also developing my skills in interacting with different types of people as these involvement opportunities require me to interact with very diverse people. I'm learning the benefits and advantages of teamwork.
How do you feel CSB/SJU achieves global awareness?
I think that at CSB/SJU global awareness is achieved in many ways. The large population of international students (being one myself) is a good example. I think it leads to a more diverse campus and it allows students to be able to work with people who are from a different cultural background than their own. This helps students to be able to communicate across cultures and attempt to understand and especially appreciate different cultures and people. Another great example is the Study abroad opportunities available on campus for students. There are many programs that cater to students with different interests. I think that when students take advantage of study abroad and are exposed to another culture first hand they are definitely becoming more aware and appreciative of the diversity of the world.
Why did you choose CSB/SJU?
One of my main reasons for choosing CSB/SJU was its liberal arts education. I was so impressed by the liberal arts program the school had to offer. While I love science and would like to have a career in medicine in the future, I was not prepared to have that be my sole focus. I was always interested in other things like music, dance, and art (specifically drawing). I wanted to attend a college where I could explore and expand those talents and still not have to give up my passion for science. The thought of having to give up dancing, music or art was just devastating. I needed to be somewhere I could do all of it. CSB/SJU was the perfect choice. Here I can have a biochemistry lab one period followed by an art class the next.