Exit Interview: Danielle Critelli

Monday, May 13, 2013

Name: Danielle Critelli

Major: Food Marketing; Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability (LEO)

Minor: Faith Justice Studies

Hometown: Holmdel, N.J.

Next stop (after graduation)?

My next chapter after graduation is ACESJU (the Alliance for Catholic Education SJU) as an administrative fellow at Gloucester Catholic High School in New Jersey. I will manage their service program, assist with admissions, and help lead retreats. At the same time, I will also pursue a Master of Science degree in Church Management from Villanova University and live in a community with other ACE fellows in Manayunk.

Favorite spot on campus?

Barbelin Hall is my favorite building on campus. I love viewing it from all different perspectives and thinking about its original uses; even the confusing interior intrigues me. My favorite spot on campus is a courtyard bench adjacent to the statue of the Blessed Mother. I enjoy sitting there, being surrounded by the beautiful stone walls, unique details of the roof, and the trees and bushes along the pathway. It is quiet, serene and truly beautiful.

Favorite Saint Joseph's memory?

My favorite SJU memory is a collection of the service and immersion trips in which I have participated. I can't remember why I signed up for the Appalachian Experience (APEX) my freshman year, but I do remember being terrified of the loud personalities at our first meeting. Nonetheless, I never felt more accepted by a group of new people than I did during that trip. This experience led me to return to APEX my sophomore year, and also apply for a summer immersion trip to Guatemala, where we were welcomed and shown such strong love from a local community. This trip led me to develop a passion for learning about issues related to international food insecurity and fair trade. Junior year, I welcomed the APEX trip to adjust back to campus and the thoughtful and selfless community here at SJU after a terrific semester abroad in Florence. This March, I co-led a trip to Roanoke, Va; it was beautiful seeing the change and the love develop in those members of my group who were on the trip for their first time.

What you’ll miss the most?

I am going to miss members of the SJU community with whom I share similar values. From my freshman year suite of 16 girls, to the intentional community in Faith-Justice where I worked as a placement liaison, to my LEO capstone class of eight, members of the SJU community embrace and support individuality and hold each other to high expectation within relationships. These are the values that will stay with me as I continue to grow personally and professionally.

How did your four years at SJU change you? (How are you different from who you were four years ago?)

I came to Saint Joseph's lacking confidence and expecting to conform, but after finding my niche by participating in service and going on immersion trips and retreats, I have been able to become completely comfortable in myself and appreciate the strong values I have developed. These are values that I share with close friends but also the entire SJU community: values such as selflessness, seeing goodness in each person, and appreciating simpler things in life. I have found life-long friends who share these values with me and challenge me to be the best person I can be. This support system gave me the confidence to love the person I am, to develop my own opinions and fight for what I believe in. 

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