One thing that Fairfield University does best is seek out the potential in students. Over the course of my time at Fairfield, I’ve been lucky enough to have advisors and mentors…who challenged me and saw potential in me as a leader. Their guidance and care for my growth led me to step out of my comfort zone…
Alex Long ’14
Hometown: Bayonne, N.J.
FUSA President 2013-14
Orientation Support Team Member of the Year
My friend from high school—now my roommate— invited me to check out Fairfield University just a few weeks before the deadline. I immediately fell in love with the campus and, trying to stay away from any of the colleges my five siblings had experienced, was sold on Fairfield.
My experience here has been eye-opening and challenging. My involvement in Campus Ministry, where I attended an international service trip to Nicaragua and have been a part of the Lector community for four years, has challenged my faith and pushed me beyond my boundaries of comfort.
Fairfield University has not only presented challenges in extracurricular programs. Last year, I took a couple of classes taught by Dr. [Michael] Pagano [associate professor of communication]. In Health Communication, we studied the socialization of patients, nurses, and doctors, but went beyond the realms of the classroom in shadowing the School of Nursing students who were performing various tasks in their clinicals. End of Life Communication was another class taught by Dr. Pagano that taught us about the value of time and living. We were pushed out of our comfort zones when required to do 20 hours of service at Connecticut Hospice. This was a hands-on experience that challenged us as individuals in facing the realities of life.
Aside from these, I have been thrilled to participate in the send-off of two senior classes, known as Senior Week; welcome the Class of 2015 as an OST (Orientation Support Team; bar-tend at the Levee; host the Student Leadership Awards and a radio show on WVOF; work at ITS and intramurals; as well as hold multiple roles in FUSA.
A Role in Student Government
One thing that Fairfield University does best is seek out the potential in students. Over the course of my time at Fairfield, I’ve been lucky enough to have advisors and mentors like Father [Michael] Doody and Carolyn Rusiackas [associate director and campus minister for Liturgical Ministries] who challenged me and saw potential in me as a leader. Their guidance and care for my growth led me to step out of my comfort zone and become much more involved throughout campus. Not only these mentors, but other students saw the potential in me and inspired me, like my predecessor, Rob Vogel ‘13. Rob opened doors for me and gave me opportunities that I had to work hard to achieve. His endless effort to empower myself and others ultimately gave me the sense that this was the right position for me. I’m truly grateful for these mentors.
It’s hard to say any moment could top winning the election for FUSA president. It wasn’t something that I had set out to accomplish since freshman year; however, in my growth as a leader it became evident that this was the path for me.
I’m most proud of my persistent attitude towards being involved. I’ve worn many hats over the course of my four years at Fairfield University and it has made my experience one to remember, not because of my achievements but because of my experiences and the people I was able to share them with.
What’s next after graduation
Currently, I am looking into graduate school, either at Fairfield or another place. As FUSA president, I’m enjoying the challenges of running the largest organization on campus. I look forward to leading a service trip to Jamaica later in the year, and hopefully by then I’ll arrive at a point where I have a better sense of what I truly want to do for the rest of my life.
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