Edmundite Campus Ministry has hired St. Michael’s College alumna Erin Collins as assistant director of Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE). Jason Moore was reassigned to assistant director of Campus Ministry. Both began their new positions Jan. 2.
A "serendipitous" return
Collins hard at work in her new office at St. Michael's.
(Photo by Lucia Suarez)
Collins was an active member of MOVE her first year at St. Michael’s. She was involved in a mentoring program for people living in Winooski, while independently volunteering at the hospital every Saturday, she said.
After working locally, Collins was able to expand her horizons internationally. Her sophomore year she was selected to go to India on one of the first MOVE international service trips. For three weeks Collins worked with the impoverished in Calcutta, India in what she described as an intense experience.
“I really believe that if there’s one person suffering in the world, then we’re all suffering,” Collins said.
Collins went back to do service in India the summer before her senior year. Upon her return, she was inspired to be a student leader for the MOVE service trip.
“If there’s a need right in front of you, whether you hear about it and travel half way across the world, or whether you go out in your backyard and do it, it’s the same thing,” Collins said.
Since leaving St. Michael’s, Collins has worked at Maitri Healthcare for Women focusing on her interest in compassionate health care. She also participated in a volunteer program for promoting a sustainable lifestyle called Willing Workers on Organic Farms in southern New Zealand for six months.
Collins heard about the MOVE assistant director position through an e-mail from the college. She called her return serendipitous.
“At the same time that this job was opening, I was really searching for meaningful work, work in service and giving back,” Collins said.
|Collins began her position at St. Michael's on Jan. 2.
(Photo by Lucia Suarez)
As assistant director of MOVE, Collins is in charge of planning the extended service trips as well as managing the budget. Though learning a new job can be hard at times, assistant director of Campus Ministry, Jason Moore, and MOVE Director, Heidi St. Peter have been very helpful and supportive, Collins said.
MOVEment in Campus Ministry
Former campus minister Joanne Nelson’s departure and the Rev. Marcel Rainville’s reassignment in ministry opened up two spots on the Campus Ministry staff.
Moore’s position combined the responsibilities of both Nelson’s and Rainville’s former positions, he said.
“My role for this semester is to be a help in whatever way I can to the Campus Ministry staff,” Moore said. “I’m trying to be a resource and an aid to everyone in Campus Ministry because we’re all juggling at this point.”
In addition to his new responsibilities, Moore will be the staff leader for the MOVE service trip to the Dominican Republic during spring break, he said.
Since MOVE is a branch of Campus Ministry, Moore is still involved. He has not gone far from the office, as his new location is a few short steps outside the MOVE office.
With sufficient help from others, Moore sifted through more than 50 applications for the position of assistant director of MOVE, St. Peter said.
The Campus Ministry staff carefully considered each applicant using specific criteria. The right person for the job would have a passion for service, an understanding and respect for the Catholic faith, experience with college students and a mature perspective on service and fun, she said.
|Collins was able to expanded her horizon internationally.
(Photo courtesy of Erin Collins)
“It’s a small office. It’s a busy office. It requires someone who can handle chaos pleasantly and somewhat enjoy it,” St.Peter said.
After reviewing resumes and meeting with applicants, Campus Ministry found Collins to be the best candidate for the job.
“She’s incredibly intelligent, very thoughtful,” Moore said. “She is a person who really practices what she preaches.”
Getting into the flow
At this point, midyear, most of the programming for MOVE is relatively set. Collins is becoming acquainted with her role as a staff member and meeting students and developing relationships, she said.
“It’s adding to the goodness we already have to be able to keep Jay and the good stuff he’s able to bring, and then to bring in someone like Erin is just going to benefit how the whole staff functions together,” St. Peter said.
The summer is a good time to plan potential changes to the MOVE office, Collins said.
She plans to bring her previous experiences with service to the table, while also assessing what students care about and the initiatives they want to pursue, she said.
“I want to come into this with humility and learn a lot and see what’s going on this semester,” she said. “I really want to be open and learn as much as I can from the students.”