Alumni Profile

Religious Studies Alumni

Rita Farrell '09

Teacher and Graduate Education Student

Hometown: Snowmass, CO
Current city: Memphis, TN
Degree: Elementary Education major,  Religious Studies minor

My dad, Joe Farrell '74, went to St. Mike's, as did two uncles and a cousin before me so that's how I ended up so far from home for college. My other cousin just graduated this year so you could say it's our family school.

I'm at Christian Brothers University in Memphis attending graduate school in education through a program called LANCE. You live in community with other people and work on a master's while teaching.

I also was active in the Founders Society as a student ambassador and tour guide, took part in student government and was in the Irish step-dancing club. I found some of my greatest mentors through those activities. I continue to stay in touch with Heidi St. Peter in MOVE and Todd Wright in Wilderness for advice.

I apply my education major directly to my work as a teacher of course and I'm also constantly using ideas from my religious studies and American studies for literature and history courses that I teach. I taught English in Thailand, and I have also done work with confirmation classes at my local parish. I'll be teaching in a Catholic school this coming year, so the religious studies comes into play there.

I grew in my faith at Saint Michael's. I got to decide whether I would go to Mass, and on what role religion plays in my life. I got to think deeper through retreats. Saint Michael's allows you to figure out who you are and what you want out of religion, be that Catholicism or something else. Being open to sharing that faith is important.

My grad school roommate said,  "I hope you can learn to love this place as much as you love St. Mike's," but I told her, "that's big shoes to fill."

Learn What Matters