Francesca Kalie ’22 was the four-time president of her class and has proven her commitment to living out the IHM mission and vision and her passion to leave a lasting impact on Immaculata. Majoring in biology with secondary education, Kalie served as a new student orientation leader, a commuter assistant, an admissions ambassador, as well as the secretary of the Immaculata Dance Company and a stage manager for Cue and Curtain Players. Kalie recently accepted the position of assistant director for student life at Immaculata.
Q: What is something that you find significantly special about the IU community?
A: The family atmosphere that we have at IU; I have chills just thinking about it! Everyone knows everyone, and everyone seems so happy. If I’m having a bad day, I know someone will turn my day around. You could be sitting in the cafeteria and there’s a chance you may know everyone who walks in. It is such a special feeling, and I have connected with a lot of alumni at events like Carol Night and the Centennial Gala. It just goes to show what Immaculata is all about when you can connect with people you don’t even know.
Q: Is there anyone at Immaculata who has inspired you or that you look up to? Why?
A: Associate Dean of Students Lynn Rothenhoefer and Director of Student Life Zena Tracey. I met them both during the first day of new student orientation, and I have developed a close friendship and bond with both of them. They have helped me to become the best person I can be, pushing me beyond what I thought I was capable of. They helped me become more independent, and I feel capable of making more decisions. I am forever grateful for everything they have done for me.
Q: What is one thing you are particularly proud of that you’ve accomplished as a student leader?
A: I remember when I was told I would receive the Saint Catherine Medal, I cried because I was so overwhelmed with the thought that I was the recipient when there were so many other worthy candidates in my class. It was amazing; it’s a feeling of joy I can’t describe.
Q: What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
A: Everywhere! However, if I had to pick, I’d say the rotunda; it is so beautiful. I lived in Villa and walked out to that view every day; there is nothing like it. From the floor, to the marble, to the stained glass up top, it is breathtaking!
Q: How do you think you and your team in SGA have impacted IU?
A: For the past few years during COVID-19, senior traditions have looked very different, so we were happy that we could plan the events safely and make a memorable experience for the seniors before they depart.
Q: How has Immaculata shaped you?
A: My favorite thing about IU’s mission statement is the focus on shaping the whole student. I feel like I’ve matured as an individual and have gotten better at working with a team and delegating tasks. I have also grown academically, not just as a biology and education major, but in a variety of fields. I’ve become a well-rounded and knowledgeable person, grown as a good Catholic, the best version of myself. I feel ready to go out in the world and succeed after college.
Q: What is something that you want to tell your fellow seniors as they set off into the world?
A: I am proud of everyone and the amazing things they accomplished during their four years here. Even though we have been through some hard times, especially with COVID, we were able to come back and come out on top. I am excited to see what everyone is going to do and the places they will go and the lives they will impact
Francesca Kalie ’22 – The Next Chapter
After Francesca Kalie ’22 graduated from Immaculata in May, it only took 16 days for her to return to her alma mater – as the new assistant director of student life.
From the moment Kalie stepped on campus as a bright-eyed freshman, she was a dedicated cheerleader and promoter of Immaculata. She became involved, serving as class president among many other roles. As a student, she gained experience helping to organize new student orientation (NSO) and various student life events. Now, as an employee, she’s taking what she has learned, expanding upon what works and looking for ways to increase student engagement and participation.
In many ways, Kalie is doing some of the same duties that she did as a student – but now she is the one making final decisions, attending meetings and supervising the students.
“It feels different,” she admits, regarding working with current students. “They were my peers, and now I am kind of their boss.” With the help of her coworkers, the transition from student to professional has been seamless.
As a very recent alum, Kalie has a unique perspective on what current students are looking for in student activities. For the upcoming academic year, she is hoping to offer fewer but grander, more enticing events. In the past, off-campus trips have been popular, so Kalie is hoping to organize two trips per semester. For Family Weekend, she is expanding the participating vendors to include airbrush tattoos and more inflatable attractions.
In addition to coordinating New Student Orientation and exciting events for students, Kalie’s job also includes working with clubs and organizations, student leadership initiatives and the Student Government Association.
Looking toward the future, Kalie is interested in pursuing a master’s degree and continuing a career in higher education. However, she isn’t too worried about what comes next.
“I’m just figuring it out in the moment,” she states. Meanwhile, welcome home, Francesca!