So Close To Saying Goodbye!

With only two days left here at Legal Services Corporation I am filled with an array of emotions. Mostly, excitement for my future since I have two job offers awaiting me in Albany, NY and secondly, motivation to continue to do more in the public service realm. I have just introduced to my family (that’s how all the employees here make you feel), here at LSC a presentation that shared details about my Internship experience. For your enjoyment I have decided to share this with all of you. Although, I have been quite behind on my blogs; I will catch you all up and will continue to blog about my experience leaving LSC and returning to Albany, NY. I hope you all will still continue to read on and I appreciate your generous support. [Below is my power point video and speech]

 

I cannot begin to thank everyone for all their kindness, help and generous support you all have shown me during my time here at Legal Services Corporation. Some of you may not know but I am Jacquelyn Richards, and I have had the privilege, this summer, to intern in the Executive Office. I have so many stories that I could share with you all, about the wide range of experiences that have spanned my twenty-three years. But there is only one story that is worth sharing today, and I believe it speaks to the impact of Legal Services and the role that people like you play, to promote equal access to justice in our Nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons.

I have seen firsthand how poverty affects families. I come from a single parent household with four siblings, two who have special needs. Despite this, I committed myself to excel in school and to be the first in my family to graduate and go onto college. But, in order to achieve this goal, it did not come without its challenges. Living in an impoverished, urban area I got my first taste to the justice system when I was attacked by a gang in high school. Like many families across the United States, my family and I found it difficult to access justice. Not only criminally, but civilly when suing the school for negligence and against their zero tolerance policy, which resulted in my expulsion from the school. Throughout all this darkness, I arrived at a new, private, school the following year and there was light! I met a representative there from The College of Saint Rose in which I recently graduated, the first of my family, with my Bachelors in History & Political Science. Saint Rose led me here, to Jim, and LSC. Against all odds, I rose happily and inspired; I then began my quest to secure justice for marginalized communities.

Little did you all know, you not only provide civil legal services to low-income Americans, you actually took one in as one of your own and provided her with more resources that she can and will continue to share with an abundance of personal connections, families, and communities. Interning for LSC was a chance to step outside the world in which I grew up, where I was comfortable, and successful. LSC has also given me the confidence in myself, I lacked for so long. I will use this newfound courage to (1) tell you all how grateful I am for this opportunity and (2) to continue OUR fight for equal justice.

I am returning to Albany, NY with two job offers; one with the NYS Senate, and an intellectual property law firm. I will also be working on completing my law school applications. I intend to pursue a dual-degree program to obtain my JD and Masters in Public Administration with a side focus in Mandarin Chinese. My long term goals are to become a city planner and work with cities much like my home city, and do the very thing that all of you are doing— supporting communities by providing equal access to justice in our Nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons. Your generosity and commitment is exactly the kind of work, people like me need to expand the opportunities available, and to enhance the lives of the next generation.

Thank you.

After the Interns Presentation’s [From left to right: Justin, Sydnee, Jim Sandman (President), me, Joe, and Nupur

Orientation 2014

Last summer was one of the best times of my life all due to the fact that I was an orientation leader. Being an orientation leader is an amazing experience that allowed me to show new Saint Rose students what sets our college apart from all the rest.

Myself, OL Carly, and OL Allyssa

Myself, OL Carly, and OL Allyssa having fun in the photo booth

After orientation last year I decided to “re-enlist” for orientation 2014 and promptly applied once applications were made available in January. Thankfully, I was one of 14 students chosen for this year’s orientation and eagerly stepped up to the plate. Nothing is more exciting than being handed a list of names on day one, none of whom you know, and getting close to a group of students over the next 30 hours. Yes, sometimes making the group open up to you is challenging but that is also part of the fun. After those 30 hours you see them become part of the Saint Rose community and see them begin to picture themselves on campus in fall.

Aside from working with the students my month in the orientation house was filled with adventures to swimming pools, trampoline parks, and even to my home state of MA one night to shop at the outlets.

The past two years have given me a chance to rediscover why I fell in love with Saint Rose through my student’s eyes because only three years ago I was in their same position. Now that I am a senior watching them get excited about the upcoming year brings back the memories of my own move in day and about making my first college friends. At a time when my time on campus is coming to end I can not help but get caught up in the class of 2018′s dreams for the next chapter of their lives.

 

 

 

Good to know: Getting beyond the mystery of mystics

When devout individuals connect so closely with God that they achieve a mystical union, scholars look at how that experience compares to those of mystics across eras and faiths.

“Mysticism is pretty universal. Getting in touch with God is universal,” said Dan Haglund, a Saint Rose religious studies major who has devoted his summer to the topic using a College-funded research grant. “We can look at how what a Catholic mystic says compares to what a Jewish mystic says. This broadens the dialogue between traditions.”

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We are more alike than we realize: The peace pole outside the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary reflects the lesson religious studies major Dan Haglund is learning as he compares and contrasts the experiences of two mystics of two different faiths who lived 400 years apart. Haglund is among the Saint Rose undergraduates who has devoted his summer to original research using College-funded grants.

Last fall, Haglund took part in an independent study of Catholic mystics. With the summer grant, he went further, comparing the experience of an Islamic mystic from the eighth century to that of a Catholic mystic who lived 400 years later. Not only does Haglund’s examination cross religions, geography and centuries – it is also distinctive because the subjects were revered women, Rabi’ah al-’Adawiyah and Julian of Norwich.

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Now, Professor Jeffrey Marlett can learn more about the topic of mysticism from a student, Dan Haglund, thanks to Haglund’s focused summer research. They hope to publish Haglund’s detailed paper.

“Classes in Christian and Islamic mysticism are common at universities,” noted Jeffrey Marlett, the associate professor of religious studies who is Haglund’s advisor. “But he has a chance to compare mystical styles of two women of two religions. That takes a lot of time and it hasn’t been done very much. It’s complex, it’s elusive, and involves two traditions.”

Haglund did an extensive study of the lives, religions and writing of Rabi’, an Islamic mystic from Basra, and Julian, a Catholic mystic who lived in England, to see whether they followed a similar process. In his 24-page paper, which he hopes to publish, he identified many common variables despite the vast differences in their belief systems. His paper also highlights the prominent role the women played in their male-dominated religions.

Haglund is one of seven Saint Rose undergraduates awarded summer grants. He said the experience only made him want to continue the work and pursue his studies in graduate school.

“The summer research allowed me to do what I wanted without restrictions because I didn’t have any other classes,” he said. “For six weeks I could think about it all the time.”

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