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Johnnies Take Pathways Around the Globe

May 18, 2018 | By Eve Tolpa

President Mark Roosevelt addresses students at a luncheon to honor recipients of fellowships and internships all over the world.

August Baganz (SF20) is reading Plato, Dante, and Hegel.

That’s not unusual for a St. John’s College student. The difference is Baganz will be doing it this summer—and in Italy.

Baganz is one of six of Johnnies who have received a Global Pathways fellowship to attend the Rome Institute of Liberal Arts. He is enrolled in “Beauty and the Sacred,” a six-week multidisciplinary program encompassing philosophy, art, and religion.

His classmate, Isabella Copeland (SF20), is enrolled in the same course and plans to “look at some pretty art, read some beautiful texts, and drink some strong coffee.”

Baganz, Copeland, and the rest of the Rome cohort were honored May 4 at a celebratory luncheon in Santa Fe’s Great Hall, along with dozens of other recipients of Pathways Fellowships and Ariel Internships. Those awards represent a big component of the college’s commitment to helping students chart their lives post-graduation.

The Pathways Fellowship program is in its fifth year; the Global Pathways Fellowship, for study abroad, is in its fourth year, says Marlene Simon, director of personal and professional development.

The two Pathways programs have collectively funded more than a $500,000 for students to attend summer classes at institutions in the United States and abroad.

St. John’s has a longstanding relationship with the Marchutz School of Fine Arts, in Aix-en-Provence, France, and this year three students received Global Pathways fellowships to attend its six-week program.

Among them is Sarah Elliot (SF19), who envisions herself “traveling about the forest, looking at beautiful paintings, (and) trying to paint some beautiful things myself.”

Hyukhee Kwon (SF20) is studying creative writing at Oxford University. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Global Pathways,” she says.

With his General Pathways award, Willem Kupets (SF20) said, “I will be taking a course on being an outdoor educator and wilderness leader through the organization NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), which will take place in the North Cascades Mountain Range in Washington.”

Fellow General Pathways recipient Arthur Seltzer (SF18) will spend his summer at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, studying bass guitar and music production.

Today, the professional development support offered by St. John’s is stronger than ever. Speaking to the luncheon attendees, Dean Matthew Davis (A82) recalled his own—quite different—experience as an undergraduate almost four decades ago.

The Pathways and Ariel programs weren’t available to students then.

“The opportunity that is now offered to you, I think is just a terrific addition to the college,” he said. “The possibility of being able to pursue particular things that you want to pursue—along with the kind of education we offer at the college—I think it’s a really terrific combination.”

President Mark Roosevelt elaborated on those changes, further illuminating the role of the Pathways and Ariel programs in helping students “find another place where you feel at home” after St. John's.

“All of us got help in life along the way from mentors or advisors or folks who helped us be brave enough sometimes to reject places where’s there’s status or there’s privilege for places where we actually belong,” he said.

“Finding that is a huge part of our life’s journey, and if these internships and study fellowships help you in that regard, that’s awesome.”