|• Winter 2003||Magazine Archive & Search • Muhlenberg Home|
When a high school junior has 10 prestigious colleges knocking down her door, an institution needs to stand out from the rest in order to gain that student’s enthusiasm. This was the predicament Christina Liciaga, now a sophomore at Muhlenberg, faced just a few years ago when she had to choose between several outstanding schools that could not wait for her to enroll.
After stopping by Muhlenberg on extremely short notice during a multi-college excursion, Christina and her family were greeted by a tour guide, Ainsley, who demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm and passion about the College, and also proved to be a resourceful and helpful sales representative for Muhlenberg.
For example, at the end of the tour, Ainsley volunteered to schedule an interview for Christina and moments later had the dean of admissions, Christopher Hooker-Haring, ready for what proved to be a spontaneous but stimulating interview. In fact, before the formal interview even began, Christina and the dean conversed for nearly an hour as if they were old friends.
This short time at Muhlenberg made the College stand out for Christina, and although she says that her ultimate college selection was not made until moments before the deadline, she recalls leaving campus that day with a good taste in her mouth.
When Christina arrived on campus in the fall of 2001, she was immediately elated with the concept of college life. Late night talks in her residence hall and group study sessions allowed her to meet new people and explore important issues she was already interested in, such as religion, politics, self-expression through entertainment, and so much more. Christina remembers enjoying this opportunity to vocalize her own opinions, while taking in new and fresh perspectives that others had to offer.
Right from day one, Christina dedicated herself to both giving a lot to and taking a lot from the College community that she had decided to call home for four years.
For starters, she was elected president of her freshman class, and directed her efforts toward bringing together the class of 2005. This year, Christina chairs the Campus Community Affairs Committee, a group established as an extension of Student Council to create better communication and bridge the gaps between students, Student Council, school administrators and the local community.
Christina was selected to head the committee this year by the group’s founders, who believed she was the right woman for the job. Since taking on this role, Christina has organized many events, including a rake-a-thon, a Halloween party for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club and networking opportunities for campus organizations including a presidential dinner this past September.
Christina sees building these partnerships among students and between Muhlenberg students and the community around campus as an extremely important part of what she does. She really believes she and her classmates can serve as a positive influence in and around the Lehigh Valley and therefore contributes a great deal of time to making these connections.
In just over a year, Christina has also excelled in numerous other arenas on campus. She is vice president of the Soul Sound Steppers, a new step group that performs on and around campus, a writing center tutor, a CAP tutor, a rugby player, a Dana scholar, an active member of multicultural life and a student worker in the Student Life Office.
She also is heavily involved with the Public Engagement Project and helped pioneer the first activism conference held at Muhlenberg last spring.
And this is only the beginning of the list of Christina’s accomplishments. “If I were to sit still, this experience would not be what it has been for me,” she says.
For her remaining time at Muhlenberg, Christina plans to continue her involvement with many of the clubs and organizations that are currently a part of her Muhlenberg life. She is already brainstorming ideas for a charity ball that she would like to organize next fall. Plus, she says, studying abroad in England during her junior year also is a possibility.
As for now, Christina is concentrating on living for the moment. A dual relationship exists wherein the campus is made a better place because of Christina, and she is constantly growing and learning in every way imaginable.
And, of course, one of the key roles Christina currently plays and thoroughly enjoys is being a tour guide. Here she hopes that she can make the type of positive and lasting impression on prospective Muhlenberg students that her tour guide made on her and in that way continue to give back to her number one college.
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