Kristi Pellegrini hits the right notes both inside and outside of the classroom.
For Kristi Pellegrini, a senior chemistry major, attending Saint Mary’s has opened up a variety of opportunities, both academic and extracurricular. “I’m not who I was the first day I came on campus, and I owe that to the experiences I’ve had at Saint Mary’s,” says Pellegrini. Among those experiences is her involvement in campus life through the Student Academic Council, the Society of Women Engineers group, and playing the French horn in the Notre Dame Marching Band.
As a science major, Pellegrini is forging an education in a typically male-dominated field. Her passion for chemistry has been nurtured at Saint Mary’s, where she was inspired to found a chapter of the Society of Women Engineers her junior year. Her mentor in the chemistry, professor Toni Barstis, has encouraged Pellegrini to explore her love of science. “One of the opportunities that I get at Saint Mary’s is the close relationship that I can have with the faculty and staff members,” says Pellegrini. “I came into contact with Dr. Barstis freshman year because she’s my academic advisor. We get along so well together and I’ve been inspired by her throughout everything, even in just personal relationships with other people, to become the best person that I can be.”
Pellegrini feeds her creative spirit with music. She started playing the French horn as a junior in high school, a mere two years before auditioning for the Notre Dame Marching Band. But her dedication to the instrument paid off. Pellegrini earned a spot in the Band and has been marching since her first year at Saint Mary’s. “Being in the Notre Dame band is quite an experience,” she says. “There’s nothing like coming out of the tunnel pre-game when we’re trotting out into the field. You’re in this tunnel with four-hundred people, packed in like sardines, and then all of a sudden you burst out onto the field. You look up and all around you there are eighty-thousand people cheering for you. It’s amazing.”