Full Circle Moments: Cole Roy ’19 and His Alumni Service Corps Journey

Posted December 22, 2023 / Last updated January 8, 2024

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The Alumni Service Corps (ASC) offers Jesuit alumni the chance to dedicate a year to their alma mater after completing their undergraduate degree. For the 2023-24 academic year, Jesuit’s ASC program welcomes its most substantial cohort to date with five recent graduates.

This year’s participants include Cole Roy ’19, who cultivated a strong academic foundation as a Blue Jay and felt the nudge to teach as early as his senior year at Jesuit. Excelling in calculus under his mentor, Larry Dagate, active as a National Honor Society tutor, and thriving as a camp counselor, Roy set his sights on joining the ASC program shortly after his graduation from Jesuit.

Five months into his teaching career, Roy has come to appreciate the full-circle moments of being a Jesuit educator. As a student, Roy viewed the Thanksgiving Drive as an event that seemed to materialize effortlessly. Now that he is working with the community service department, he recognizes how extensive the preparation is and values his role in organizing the event. His commitment to service as a student has also been renewed in ASC by joining students in serving breakfast to the homeless before school a half dozen times this semester through Grace at the Greenlight.

At Jesuit, Roy’s faith was a consistent part of his life as a student. “College distractions led to inconsistency of practice for me as a Catholic,” said Roy, “but ASC has truly reignited my faith.”

He says that proximity to a chapel for daily prayer, service opportunities, and Mass have all strengthened his spiritual life. Roy also cherishes the weekly dinners with Jesuits, which have transformed his perception of priests from “mythical” to a more relatable human connection.

The design of ASC enables participants to immerse themselves in campus life, support athletic events, and prepare for teaching. Living in Jesuit-owned properties near the campus has fostered deep community among participants, who support each other with the workload, share insights, pray together, and host faculty events for fellowship.

“I especially enjoy how the proximity to campus allows me to be part of daily student life,” Roy noted, mentioning his connection to students through coaching the pre-freshman football team.

Roy finds the experience teaching math enjoyable and challenging. The joys come from engaging with students, even with the challenges that all first-year teachers face. The difficulties often lead to laughter. He now realizes the obviousness of students’ distractions, recalling his attempts to disguise inattention during his student years. Roy appreciates most of all the opportunity to witness students’ moments of understanding and peer teaching.

Reflecting on his first semester, Roy said, “The professional environment at Jesuit has been invaluable. I am grateful for the guidance of Jeremy Reuther ’01 and other mentorship provided through the program.”

Mentors assist with curriculum development, lesson planning, and general daily advice. While still discerning the immediate next steps in his career, Roy’s experience in ASC makes him confident in returning to education eventually.

The program has been significant for all participants. Michael Buisson ’19 teaches Theology, works with Campus Ministry, and coaches with the Cross-Country team. Marty Jaskiewicz teaches biology, works in Campus Ministry, and coaches with the golf team. William Newell ’19 teaches English, works with Campus Ministry and coaches with the rugby team. Stephen Rice ’19 teaches fine arts, works in the Advancement Office, and assists with Student Council.

ASC participants teach two classes, provide tutoring, and support co-curricular activities such as retreats, reflection days, service events, dances, class-level events, and other school programs. They reside in community housing provided by Jesuit across from the campus and receive a modest stipend for living expenses. This volunteer initiative is rooted in service, community, simplicity, and spirituality.