Meet some of our SMART Belles!
Kelly Cook-Lewis ‘97
Current location: Crofton, Maryland
Major: Bachelor of Business Administration; Concentrations: Marketing Management
Why did you choose Saint Mary’s?
“Why I chose Saint Mary’s College … oh, let me count the reasons!
I visited many beautiful colleges; however, the minute we started driving down The Avenue, I felt an immediate pull. The student-led tour, for just our family, made us all feel welcome. Spending the day and night (slumber party!) with a business student and her friends put me at ease in the classroom, cafe and residence hall. I already knew I wanted an academically challenging and small college, but spending that one day on campus made me realize just how much I also valued the camaraderie on an all-women’s campus!
My Saint Mary’s experience is more than just those four amazing years on campus! It’s the confidence I harness with every move (10 in 15 years, such is the military life!) while I continue to pursue my marketing/writing career, cultivate new friendships, and put down roots. It’s the mentorship and support I’ve received from (and now GIVE to) fellow alumnae. It’s my faith and the love I share with my Godchildren. And it’s how my husband and I parent and empower our daughter.”
Why did you decide to become a SMART member?
“I’ve been volunteering for the Office of Admission since I was a student! The student-led tour I experienced with my family made a lasting impression and I trained to be one of those admission guides. Since graduating, I’ve enjoyed representing Saint Mary’s at college fairs, from Des Moines, Iowa to Washington DC. It’s also been my pleasure to welcome accepted students on campus at Presidential Scholar events, as well as local receptions.
With that in mind, it wasn’t even a “decision” to become involved in the SMART program. It’s simply the natural progression for me when it comes to supporting Saint Mary’s College: past, present and FUTURE!”
Alyssa Vinluan '13
Current location: Indianapolis, IN
Major: Spanish and Secondary Education
Why did you choose Saint Mary's?
"I chose Saint Mary's because I wanted a liberal arts college with small classes, caring professors, a challenging curriculum, and a supportive community. I wasn't originally looking for an all-women's college, but I knew the moment I walked on the Avenue that Saint Mary's would become home to me and that it would help me grow into the woman I wanted to be."
How did Saint Mary's impact your life and help make you who you are today?
"I have my dream job at Riley Children's Foundation because of the leadership opportunities Saint Mary's offered me when I was a student. I speak up in meetings and share my ideas because I was always encouraged to do so by my professors. I've traveled abroad solo thanks to the confidence I gained while studying abroad my sophomore year in Spain. I became Catholic my senior year because I was inspired by the faith community that I had been welcomed into over four years. I've developed some of my closest friendships with Saint Mary's women because Saint Mary's became a sisterhood from the first day my freshman year. I'm proud of the woman I am today, and Saint Mary's made that happen."
Why did you decide to volunteer as a SMART member?
"I love to share my Saint Mary's experiences with others, and I think SMART is a great way to do that."
Katherine Michelle Condon (née Casey) '12
Current location: Michigan
Major: Political Science and History
Why did you choose Saint Mary's College?
"I chose Saint Mary's College because I wanted a tight-knit college environment that I knew would challenge me academically and spiritually. At Saint Mary's, you are not just one person, but you are an integral member of a large community. It is nearly impossible to find that anywhere else!"
How did Saint Mary's impact your lives and help make you who you are today?
"My experiences at Saint Mary's have greatly impacted my life in many different ways. Saint Mary's has given me the knowledge that has helped me grow in my career through study abroad programs, a rigorous curriculum, and dedicated professors who truly care about you as a person. The opportunity to both study abroad in Ireland and participate in a semester-long program in Washington, DC helped me find my place in the world. Saint Mary's also gave me the sisters that I never had growing up! I never thought that I could have such close relationships with friends who support me though thick and thin, but Saint Mary's gave me just that. I don't think I can say enough about the positive impact that Saint Mary's has had on my life."
Why did you decide to volunteer as a SMART member?
"I think that it is extremely important for Saint Mary's alumnae to share their experiences with both students and fellow alumnae as much as possible. We can only help each other grow! I appreciate all of the resources and opportunities that Saint Mary's gave me as a student (and as an alumna!) and the least I can do is give back in any way possible."