Students First

Students First

“It’s nice to be at a school where students are excited to learn and are proud of the school they go to,” says communication studies major Kristin O’Reilly Steel '11. “And it is nice to be at a school that emphasizes the importance of the students instead of the reputation of the institution itself.” The Green bay, Wis., native transferred to Saint Mary’s because she wanted to be in a Catholic learning environment. “The idea of an all girls school excited me as I believed it would allow close friendships to develop. It is nice to have small classes and close contact with teachers, yet, still enjoy all of the benefits of the University of Notre Dame.”

Kristin has had the opportunity to develop close friendships in her introduction to communications class last semester. She says her professor, Susan Baxter, aided the class in forming close relationships with one another through their speech assignments. “Each of these presentations brought us closer to one another, and were an enjoyable experience. Professor Baxter always brought comedic relief to stressful days.”

Kristin has also developed relationships with others through her activities on both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame’s campuses, participating in the Notre Dame Dance Company and the Saint Mary’s spring musical, Candide. This year she will be in Dance Ensemble Workshop at Saint Mary’s, and she will be a Resident Assistant (RA) in Le Mans Hall.

Kristin says that all of her professors have been wonderful and more than willing to meet outside of class. “The professors here are focused not only on the academic success of students, but their happiness as well. I never felt that I was bothering my teachers when I came in for extra help, and whenever I see them they all greet me by name.” This goes hand-in-hand with how Kristin interprets the Saint Mary’s slogan: She’s Saint Mary’s. “When students get here I think they really understand what that quote means,” explains Kristin. “Because it is not the buildings or the reputation or the classes that make Saint Mary’s what it is—it is the students.”