Rob Peñaherrera '13
Spanish | Toms River, N.J.
Plans after Susquehanna
After graduation, I will be working as a summer conferences supervisor at Rider University. I'll supervise a staff of 17 and organize all events and conferences scheduled at Rider. Then, I will be attending Rutgers University - New Brunswick, where I will be pursuing a masters degree in college student affairs. At Rutgers and related to my graduate program, I will be working as a hall director supervising a residence of 200 first-year students.
I was really involved in extracurricular activities in high school, but at Susquehanna I’ve gotten even more involved. I was fortunate to get a four-year, 10-hours-a-week paid assistantship in the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), which organizes many of the 25,000 hours of service Susquehanna students contribute each year. I’m also a Resident Assistant (RA). I’m the only male member of the SU Dance Corps, I sing with the University Chorale and I row with the co-ed crew club.
A lot of Susquehanna students are really committed to service, and we have so many opportunities to do that. I recently volunteered at Haven Ministry, a homeless shelter, and it was a real eye-opener. I had no idea there were such poverty problems in central Pennsylvania. But it was also great to meet former residents who were able to develop life skills, get a job and move out.
Rowing is awesome. It’s like we’re one big family. You have to put a lot of work into it. But I love being on the water, going out onto the Susquehanna River every day. It relieves stress and clears my mind, and it just makes my day.
I’ve really come into myself and feel more comfortable, mature and confident. I’ve learned things like pushing myself more physically than I ever thought I could with crew, branching out beyond tap dancing and assuming more leadership positions than ever before, like becoming an RA and having the CCE assistantship. I even cut my long hair. I feel it personified the final step into my new identity, like the final stage of a metamorphosis, when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
Over the summer I was able to work on campus. I was an admissions summer student employee, service-learning student coordinator for the Center of Civic Engagement, a SU Summer Preview Day leader and an SU SPLASH peer mentor. I am definitely a people person but the combination of these four summer jobs has really taught me what I need to know when it comes to personal interactions and I am learning a lot about how things work “behind the scenes” when it comes to student life. Thanks to my experiences at Susquehanna, I am planning to go to graduate school for student affairs, focusing on orientation and first-year programs. I hope one day to be a director of first-year programs on a college campus.
What Is Susquepedia?
Suhs-kwuh-pee-dee-uh (n): A collection of experiences, topics, and personalities that makes Susquehanna University unique.