Freshmen Get To Sample College Life
It is the question many students ask when they enter college: what major to choose?
Nineteen year-old Katie Rinaldi narrowed the choices down to pre-med and drama. However, it was her experience as a first year student at the University of St. Thomas that helped her make a selection. She chose drama, after working behind the scenes in the UST musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“Working on the show helped me to decide this was something I’d rather do than taking the pre-med route,” said Rinaldi. “I want to work in the theatre arts one day, maybe teaching high school drama or even directing plays.”
The first year of college can be both exciting and overwhelming for freshmen students. UST created a First Year Experiences program called Odyssey, based on Homer’s Odyssey. The program’s goal is to introduce students to academic life as well as the UST community. Dr. Mary Kelleher is a First Year Experiences advisor, who also advises Rinaldi.
“I see my group of advisees at least once a week while they transition into life on campus,” said Kelleher, assistant professor and reference librarian. “Katie eased into the UST community seamlessly. She got involved with the drama program’s productions right away. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted and went after it.”
“My first semester has been great. I’ve been able to meet different people in different departments. I like campus life in general. So far I’ve gone on a freshman retreat; I have gotten involved in clubs like the ECOS club and the drama club. It has helped a lot,” said Rinaldi.
Her decision to attend UST was partially decided by the fact that her older sister, Elizabeth or “Lizzy” was an environmental studies student at the University. Another factor in deciding to attend UST, Rinaldi was a long time member of the Girl Scouts. She was awarded the Girl Scout’s Gold Award, the organization’s highest honor, for her work to promote literacy.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping others and I like that the school is so dedicated to community involvement. I hope to continue that here at UST by working at the library or maybe getting involved with the school paper,” said Rinaldi.
For more information about the UST Odyssey Program, contact academic advising at 713-942-3494.