Religious Studies Reception 2023
For the first time since 2019, Religious Studies majors, minors, faculty and staff gathered together at the Adobe Lodge for the RS Reception, our big event of the year. Everybody enjoyed having the opportunity to see each other and celebrate the achievements of RS graduating students and honor society inductees.
Jim Bennett, RS Chair and emcee, welcomed everyone, and introduced Gene Schlesinger, who began the program with an invocation. After that, the first of four “in memorium” tributes were offered. We wanted to honor four very influential RS faculty who have passed away in the past few years, including Fran Smith, SJ, and Paul Crowley, SJ who both passed away during the pandemic, in 2020. Then, Denise Carmody, and Teresia Hinga, who both passed away very recently in March of 2023 (see below for the remembrances of Denise and Teresia). The tribute to Fran Smith, S.J., was the first one and it was offered by Art Liebscher, S.J., former rector of the Jesuit Community.
After that, everyone had a delicious southwest buffet dinner.
Then before the recognition and awards part of the event, the next tribute came for Paul Crowley, S.J. RS faculty member, Diana Gibson spoke about Paul.
The first students to be recognized were inductees into the National Religious Studies Honor Society, Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK).
The new graduating senior inductees include:
Anna Johnson, Petra Glenn, Jessica Lee, Mary Pat Peterson, and Karen Sullivan.
The returning seniors:
Alejandro (Sasha) Eros, Lydia Sandy, Ann Miller Jacob and Emily Pachoud.
Non-graduating TAK inductees:
Laura Clark, Isabella Klesney, Daniel Martinez, Jose Wray, and Julia Quiroz.
Our 3rd tribute followed, this one presented by RS faculty member, Pearl Barros, remembering Denise Carmody.
After that, department student awards were presented, including:
Religious Studies Major Prize - Alejandro (Sasha) Eros
Tennant Wright, S.J. Minor Prize - Mary Pat Peterson
Ted Mackin Senior Thesis Award - Alejandro (Sasha) Eros
Joseph Grassi Social Justice Award - Emily Pachoud
Catherine Bell Award - Laura Clark and Daniel Martinez
Special Recognition Awards - Anna Johnson and Lydia Sandy
Our last tribute of the evening was presented by RS faculty member, Philip Boo Riley, honoring Teresia Hinga.
Finally, graduating seniors were invited to speak, and they talked about their experiences as students of the RS Department. Many thanks went out to faculty who inspired them, including stories about what made being an RS major or minor such a rewarding time at SCU.