By Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Housing, Emmanuel College
When I was a kid, I wanted to be Lucy from Charles Schulz’ “Peanuts.”
I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I knew I wanted to be a doctor of some sort, but I didn’t like blood. Hospitals and doctor’s offices also gave me the heebie-jeebies. I liked the idea of having my own comfortable office with a couch and talking to people all day. I wanted to help people through their troubles.

By Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Housing, Emmanuel College

When I was a kid, I wanted to be Lucy from Charles Schulz’ “Peanuts.”

I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I knew I wanted to be a doctor of some sort, but I didn’t like blood. Hospitals and doctor’s offices also gave me the heebie-jeebies. I liked the idea of having my own comfortable office with a couch and talking to people all day. I wanted to help people through their troubles.

How to Build Your Support Network as a First-Year Student

By Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Housing, Emmanuel College

In my job at Emmanuel College, I work primarily with first-year students. These students are new to the College and are building their support network. In a month or so, many of our leadership positions and organizations will solicit applications for the upcoming calendar year or academic year. These applications ask for references and/or letters of recommendation.

First-year students that I interact with ask if I can serve as a reference or write a letter of recommendation on their behalf. Often times, we haven’t had enough interaction for me to write a strong letter of recommendation or provide a good reference. They ask me, because they know me. They see me around campus, we say hi, or we’ve had one good conversation. If I haven’t worked directly with the student in some capacity or have several interactions with a student, I will usually ask if there is someone who would be able to provide a stronger reference than me, perhaps a work supervisor or a faculty member that is more familiar with them.

What I tell first-year students early on is to start getting to know staff and faculty members now. If you find a lecture from a faculty member intriguing, visit them during office hours and get to know them. No office hours or they don’t work with your schedule? Ask if they’d be able to meet with you over coffee/tea. If there’s a staff member you’ve had a couple good interactions with that you want to get to know better or learn more about, set up some time to chat with them or swing by their office. By building those relationships early, the staff and/or faculty member will become familiar with your involvement and academic achievements. They can learn about you and create a meaningful relationship with you that will allow them to provide a relevant and meaningful recommendation for you when the time comes.

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By Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Housing, Emmanuel College
Hi all,
I’m Gretchenrae Callanta, but I go by GRae (pronounced G-Ray). I’m a city girl originally from Seattle, Washington and currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Seattle University. I have my Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Higher Education from the University of Vermont. I hope to get my doctorate degree in the future.
I work in Residence Life and Housing at Emmanuel College and have the opportunity to live my passion everyday by working with college students. In my free time, I love cooking, baking, reading, going to concerts, and giving fierce high-fives!

By Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Housing, Emmanuel College

Hi all,

I’m Gretchenrae Callanta, but I go by GRae (pronounced G-Ray). I’m a city girl originally from Seattle, Washington and currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Seattle University. I have my Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Higher Education from the University of Vermont. I hope to get my doctorate degree in the future.

I work in Residence Life and Housing at Emmanuel College and have the opportunity to live my passion everyday by working with college students. In my free time, I love cooking, baking, reading, going to concerts, and giving fierce high-fives!

Making the most of my internship

By Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Housing, Emmanuel College

I didn’t do a summer internship until the summer between my junior and senior year of college. So, my first recommendation would be to do one earlier, if you can.

I was a summer intern at the University of Vermont working with the Dean of Students office and the Office of Residence Life and Housing. I was curious about what it would be like to work in a college setting. I chose this internship, because I knew it would give me a better understanding of what it meant to work on a college campus. My main project was putting together the “Tunnel of Oppression”— an experiential diversity program that explores power, privilege, and oppression.

I made the most of my internship by creating mini-side projects. I read books that were recommended to me and was able to help create a peer mentoring model for Resident Assistants. Whenever there was downtime, I was doing informational interviews with people who were doing the work I wanted to do one day.

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