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Featured student: Elveera Lacina

Name: Elveera Lacina
School: Stonehill College
Major: Chemistry/Environmental Studies
Minor: NA
Balance. That’s what Elveera Lacina ’16 was looking for as she considered which college to attend. She wanted a campus that wasn’t so big she’d get lost and wouldn’t know professors; or so small she’d feel stifled. One with a rigorous academic program that paired her plans to major in Chemistry with the opportunity to explore through classes like Religion or Philosophy. And one that countered the freedom to explore with the security of knowing she was accepted for the person she is. Elveera felt drawn to that balance at Stonehill.

After arriving as a Chemistry major, Elveera quickly found that the self-discovery opportunities built into the Stonehill experience come complete with surprises. Following a general education course in religious studies with Professor Gregory Shaw, Elveera began to contemplate an alternative path. “At first I was a little wary, like, ‘maybe he’s just a great professor, and I really don’t love religious studies,’” Elveera says. But after three advanced-level religion classes, she realized her love for the material was authentic, and officially changed her major. “Professor Shaw helped me to see my own passion for religious studies, and he’s helped me so much along the way.” Now fully immersed in her new major – along with a second in Environmental Studies that she added after an inspiring Learning Community trip to Florida’s Everglades – Elveera says that Stonehill helps students find their purpose by showing them what’s possible. In her Honors Religious Studies class, students could pick from a list of essay topics or propose their own. Elveera says it’s one example of how students are pushed to play an active role in their education and to express themselves and their interests. “You get a toolkit here, to build your own skills – and it gives you a sense of purpose.”