Gayle Elizabeth Arend '14
Major: Music Education
Hometown: Wolcottville, Ind.
Leadership: Event Coordinator, Choir President, NAfME Vice President, Former Student Music Ministry Director
Are you receiving financial aid?
I received the Honors Scholarship, Alumni Scholarship (my mother attended SJC) and a Choir Performance Scholarship that I auditioned for. SJC awarded me scholarships automatically based on my grades and my standing and sat down with me personally to discuss what aid I would get based on how hard I worked in high school.
Why did you choose SJC?
While picking out a school to attend, SJC stood out right away as a welcoming college that would see me not only as a student but also on a personal level. I love that I am close to many of my professors and that they know me and can help me individually. It's also awesome that you can get to know so many students, especially those who share your interests.
How do you feel about the Core Program?
I enjoy all of the classic literature that we read in Core. I love the classics and getting others ideas and opinions on them. Though many times students do not always agree, it is a great opportunity to hear others' opinions and to build strong foundations and arguments for what you believe and why. It challenges you to defend your thoughts and knowledge—and to understand others even if you do not agree.
The Core Program offered at SJC is great for spreading out all the required classes you would have to take at another university in your freshman and sophomore years into all four years. You can start working towards your major right away.
Help with deciding on a major
However, I did not declare a major until my sophomore year and since I had already been taking required classes, I wasn't too behind and could make up what I needed easily. SJC is a great place to get encouragement if you don't know what you would like to study and there are wonderful professors who see your potential and help you as best they can. My academics are busy, being a Music Education major, but all the Music professors have helped me so much. The Department of Music at SJC offers so many opportunities and ensembles to participate in and it's still growing! I love being able to sing for Mass in Concert Choir on special feast days. It's wonderful to be so involved.
The Choir also tours and sings at different parishes such as Saint John Cantius in Chicago. Next November, the Choir has the privilege of traveling to Rome and singing at St. Peter's Basilica. I'm so excited to have this opportunity!
Clubs and Activities
Being a part of the community at SJC allows you to be in any club you want, and if there is nothing to spark your interest, you can create your own! I am or have been a part of the following clubs and organizations:
- Concert Band
- Pep Band
- Marching Band
- Puma Pounders Percussion Ensemble
- Jazz Band
- Concert Choir (President)
- Jazz Choir
- Chamber Singers
- The National Association for Music Educators (Vice President) Columbian Players
- Alpha Lambda Delta
- Cup o' Joe Coffee House
- Right to Life Club (Going to the Right-to-Life March in Washington D.C.)
- I hope this spring break to go on the Habitat for Humanity trip.
Campus Ministry has been a huge part of my career here at SJC. For the last year I have been the Student Music Ministry Director and have been a part of the Campus Ministry group. I really enjoy being able to meet with people who have the same beliefs I have and put together the best Mass we can provide for SJC.
I have also been a retreat and leader on the Kairos retreats that are provided here at SJC. It was one of the best retreats I've been on, and I love the relationships you build there. I hope to be more involved in the Right-to-Life club this year and to make the trip to Washington, D.C., a more inclusive trip, and get more SJC students to attend.
In many of the organizations I'm in, we do some sort of community service. It is a great feeling going out in the community and trying to build a good relationship with people in Rensselaer.