Thank You Letters

Michelle Merola

Program of Emphasis: Religious Studies

Hometown: Massapequa, NY

High School: Holy Trinity High School

Why I chose to attend Juniata: Juniata literally met all of my criteria for a college: small, liberal arts, beautiful scenery, small town, super involved community, and great people. As soon as I stepped on campus for my visit, I knew this was where I was meant to be.

Clubs and Organizations: Catholic Council - Secretary and President Christian Ministries Board member Student Food Initiative member The Juniatian - photographer Special Olympics PA Committee - Volleyball Venue Coordinator Bonner Leader Program AmeriCorps Scholars in Service to PA

Travels Abroad: Quito, Ecuador--Spring 2013 My favorite experience was the five days I spent on the Galapagos Islands. It was breathtaking, educational, and a lot of fun. I'll never experience anything like it again.

Research Participation: I am currently writing a Senior Thesis on Andean Catholicism and the worship of saints and the Virgin. I am researching Andean religion, conversion methods used by the Spaniards, and the different Catholic saint cults that have emerged since the 17th Century.

Most Interesting Class: My most interesting class this semester has probably been God Evil and the Holocaust. It is a terribly depressing class, but it is truly eye-opening and has caused me to think a lot about the world around me today.

Favorite Faculty Member: The entire Religious Studies department has made a great impact on me. We are a tight, cohesive little unit. Each of us is very different, but its nice to have so much variance in such a small department. They've been a great support system for me the past few years, and really fun to get to know.

Honors Received: I have twice received the Blue Pig Philanthropy Scholarship, which recognized me for my involvement on campus. I have also been invited to two Leadership Honor Societies: Sigma Alpha Pi and Omicron Delta Kappa.

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