New rectors start tenure in dorms
Alexandra Muck | Friday, August 17, 2018
Drawn to the University by its community life and spirituality, five new rectors will join Notre Dame this year: Brogan Ryan of Keough Hall, Liz Palmer of Ryan Hall, Angie Hollar of Breen-Phillips Hall, Emily Orsini of Pasquerilla West Hall and Jo Cecilio of Cavanaugh Hall.
Ryan, who will profess final vows with the Congregation of the Holy Cross and become a deacon later in August, said he was drawn to becoming a rector because of his experiences in the residence hall as an undergraduate.
“When I was at Notre Dame, the residence halls were a pretty central part of my experience,” he said.
As an AR in Keough last year, Ryan said he enjoyed getting to know the Keough community.
“For me, community in the residence halls is really about the people that live in them and not the buildings or even the traditions” he said. “ … It’s really about the guys.”
Palmer, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2013, has most recently served as the hall director of Holy Cross and Opus Halls at the College. Palmer said she was drawn to the mission and spirituality of the University.
“It has guided my own faith and spiritual life,” she said. “I’ve specifically gotten to encounter the Sisters of the Holy Cross often and to understand my own and life and understand what mission I want to serve. I want to understand more fully the whole story, so coming here, I’m excited to get to know more about the priests and the vision they live.”
Palmer is also excited Ryan Hall lives up to ADA standards and that “students who don’t have disabilities can become aware of [students’ disabilities] by living in [Ryan].”
A graduate of Saint Mary’s with a background in teaching, Hollar said she was interested in talking to students about how they make decisions and what goes on in their lives.
“I noticed when I was teaching that I was much more interested in being with the students on their paths to personal development than really what my curriculum allowed for,” she said.
Hollar, a native of Mishawaka, said she was also interested in returning to the South Bend area after spending time away.
Orsini comes to Notre Dame after getting her graduate degree from the University of Toledo. While at Toledo, Orsini worked with the Office of Student Advocacy and Support and the Office of New Student Orientation. Given her previous experience working with students, Orsini said she is excited to explore the communities Notre Dame has to offer.
“I’m looking most forward to working with the students, just getting to know them and the culture of [Pasquerilla West] … and just becoming part of the [Pasquerilla West] community and the University of Notre Dame community,” she said.
Cecilio is joining Cavanaugh after serving as the retreat director and Holy Cross educator at Notre Dame High School in California. She said in an email that the sleep schedule is the part of being rector that she is most nervous for, but she is excited to work with the residents of Cavanaugh.
“I decided to make the move from [Los Angeles] because I really feel God is calling me to share life with the women of Cavanaugh,” she said. “ … I cannot wait to share life with these women.”