Annual RS Spring Reception
The Religious Studies Department gathered in Adobe Lodge for the Annual Spring Reception on Thursday, May 24th. It was an enjoyable opportunity to reflect on the academic year that was about to close and celebrate the achievements of our graduating majors and minors.
Fred Parrella, serving as MC, welcomed all the participants, and Ana María Pineda, RSM provided a moving interreligious invocation. After enjoying a delicious Italian-themed dinner, we welcomed the new members of Theta Alpha Kappa, presented awards, and honored our graduating majors and minors.
There were three highlights to the evening: a presentation on the Living Religions Collaborative, LRC, Sarita Tamayo-Moraga’s talk and our student speakers. Regarding the former, Elizabeth Drescher treated us to a short presentation on the LRC’s new website, which uses Geomapping technology to richly map local religious diversity. The content for the web site has been largely developed by our students, and it provides a useful tool for teaching and research. She honored in particular two of our students who have worked hard on the development of the website, graduating minor Connor Holttum and our major Nick Nagy.
Sarita Tamayo-Moraga, with great self-deprecating humor, discussed her own journey as a teacher, focusing on both her Catholic upbringing and her Zen training. She discussed how she draws on the resources of both traditions as she works to respectfully listen to others, and to teach her students to do the same.
The other highlight was the reflections of the graduating majors and minors, who spoke of their experiences in the department. They thanked faculty who they found particularly inspiring and spoke of their intellectual and spiritual growth as they made the transition from new students to seniors on the verge of graduation. As always, their reflections were very moving for everyone attending the reception.