This week, I was asked about who I thought was the most important person to get to know at Fontbonne. Well, I thought it was kind of an odd question, because who you need to know depends on who you are and what you’re doing with your life. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to talk about who you should (or shouldn’t?) get to know. However, I do want to talk about people you should meet, if you haven’t yet. Let me suggest three names that I don’t think enough people know:
1. Sarah Boul. I think my class is the last class to know her as “Sarah Schu,” as her last name changed from Schumacher to Boul my freshman year when she married David Boul (who surprised her with a proposal in Ireland, during that free trip I mention now and then). Sarah is the head of Campus Ministry, and I think she’s qualified for this position simply because she is so absolutely kind and patient. Sarah is one of those wonderful people who excel at the art of listening. She asks questions that make you feel as though she cares about you. She shows genuine interest in who you are as a person. Sarah may very well be the embodiment of the Fontbonne spirit through truly being interested in you. You can find Sarah in her office on the first floor of Medaille Hall, right by the main entrance.
2. Mark Douglas. In my mind, Mark Douglas is like the Dr. House of Art. Kind of (/extremely) intimidating but so good at what he does, and actually very friendly and good-natured once you get to understanding his character. I’m listing Mark here because I think he brings a sense of realism to the table. I owe a lot to Mark not only for what he taught me about designing, but also for what he taught me about design itself; I learned the importance of practicality, of thinking about how others experience the world, and of planning things out to ensure you know what you’re trying to do before you start doing it. Mark was tough on me, and I appreciate that. Meet him. Learn from him.
3. Dr. Deborah Phelps. Dr. Phelps is Dr. Suzanne Stoelting’s partner-in-crime in the Sociology department. Her teaching style is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced; getting used to her class requires you to basically let your guard down, stop trying to put on a show, and acknowledge your shared human experience. Sounds weird, right? It’s so important. Dr. Phelps has basically the entire alphabet attached to her name: B.A., M.A., M.Phil, Ph.D, C.S.P., M.P.E. … she’s a big fan of life-long learning, and has done a ton of awesome things to collect so many stories that she’ll willingly share with you. I think Dr. Phelps is one of the most important people you can meet on this campus, simply because she is so interested in helping people realize their full potentials. Dr. Phelps, more so than any other person I have met at this campus, is genuinely concerned with helping people be in touch with their humanity, realizing the importance and beauty of their human experience. If there is anyone you were going to meet on this campus, let it be Dr. Phelps – no matter what you are doing with your life or where you want to go, Dr. Phelps will be able to connect with you and help you in some personal way.
I could keep adding to this list, of course: Dr. Suzanne Stoelting, Corinne Taff, Sister Mary Carol Anth, Dr. Dennis Golden, Monica Golden, Miss Jackson from Environmental Services, Dr. Randy Rosenburg… it’s a good roster of people that makes up the cast of Fontbonne University!