It’s all About Nourishing Relationships
Kate Sprandio ’10 likes to say that, for her, Chestnut Hill College is proof that one does not need to travel far from home to get a life-changing education. She grew up less than three miles from the campus, and wasn’t sure how she felt about attending college so close to home, but recognizes now that her four years at CHC helped her become a stronger and more confident person.
“CHC is a gem, with a sense of community that’s only possible at a smaller school,” Sprandio says. “CHC became a second home to me; my professors were not only teachers, they were mentors and friends.”
Not only did Sprandio find friends among the faculty, she made many friends among her classmates. She continues to work with those friends and encourages them to stay close to one another and the College through her work on Reunion Weekend and as a member of the Scholarship Gala Committee for the past three years. And recently, she also was appointed to the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
“It is so important to remain involved with the College and to keep giving back with your time as well as financially,” she says. “It can be hard to balance everything, but it’s important to maintain that connection with your CHC family and when you’re older, that’s who is there for you, so continuing to support is important.”
In addition to the friends she made at CHC, Sprandio found her career. She chose to major in biology when enrolling at the College because of her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. But about halfway through her freshman year, she realized she wanted to go in another direction.
“I participated in various activities during my freshman year, and I remember upperclassmen telling us to find our inner Griffins,” she remembers. She had been creating music videos with friends on campus and discovered that she loved writing and editing them using her camera and computer. “This little hobby opened my eyes. I loved to write and make up stories and I realized my real talent was in English and communications.” Finding her inner Griffin would mean changing her major — changing her lifelong plan.
In addition to discussing it with her parents, Sprandio clearly remembers talking with her advisors about making the switch and deciding if it was a change she really wanted to make. “I can remember talking with Dr. Bob Meyer and he said, ‘Biology to English is a big switch. Are you sure?’ He took the time to ensure I was confident in my decision.” And Barbara Lonnquist, Ph.D., professor of English, welcomed her to the department and became a mentor throughout her remaining three years.
After earning a master’s degree in creative writing from Arcadia University, Sprandio has done some freelance writing, including stories for the Chestnut Hill magazine. Currently, she is working in marketing her father’s business and using the same skills and concepts she learned at CHC.
“CHC empowers the individual,” says Sprandio. “I learned how to take care of myself, how to work with people and how to extend myself in service. No matter your profession, these skills are critical. Continuing my relationship with the College has enriched my life. It began nine years ago, and I look forward to nourishing it far into the future.”
— Brenda Lange
This story originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Connections.