In the spring semester of their senior year, students take a course where they design a digital portfolio containing reflections and artifacts that demonstrate how their experiences at Fontbonne fulfill the five pillars of TELOS:
- Service and Social Justice
To prepare students for completing this task, they learn about and practice reflective writing strategies, principles, and techniques. Students compose weekly written reflection drafts and they are constructively critiqued by peers and the instructor. Students revise their reflections and incorporate them into their portfolio. Students also select relevant artifacts associated with the major themes of the written reflections and incorporate these as well. Students then decide on a design approach and arrange their reflections and artifacts in a manner that is both creative and easy to navigate. The portfolios archived here demonstrate the culmination of our students engaging in a meaningful process of self-discovery.
Josephine M. Arens
My name is Josephine Arens, and I have been a TELOS scholar, RA, Griffin 101 leader, SGA Exec member, and more during my time at Fontbonne. I am a student, friend, mentor, and mentee. And these reflections, these are my reasons. They are the reminder to myself that there is something greater to be guided by than the avoidance of pain, discomfort, or failure. If we don’t risk loss or pain, we risk never making true connections or authentically giving or receiving love. Without hard work, intentional learning (whether that is from a textbook, conversation, or experience), and critical thinking, we can easily turn a blind eye to harsh realities—but we also blind ourselves to stories of hope, resilience, and possibility. Sacrifice and risk are a prerequisite to pride, understanding, and personal growth. No, we may not be able to create a perfect world, but that does not negate the positive impacts we can achieve.
I am Josephine Bahr, a senior in Applied Mathematics. This is how I usually introduce myself. Very surface level and basic. As you read my portfolio, you will become acquainted with some of the other layers within me. Some are fun and inspiring successes. Some are inner thoughts that usually don’t ever make it to the surface. Some may even contradict each other, but the contradictions in humans are what make humans so interesting.
The TELOS Portfolio offered me a powerful opportunity to reflect on what I have learned and how it can inform the future. During my self-reflection, one of the many themes that arose throughout my portfolio was “purpose.” I was placed on this earth to connect and carry out a mission. A mission that I work out little by little; by taking the first steps in front of me and out of my comfort zone. I have been able to embrace what is both in front of and available to me, even if I have not completely understood it. This portfolio has allowed me to understand that my occupational and vocational callings can work in collaboration with each other. I have transformed my worldview by exploring unknown subject areas, leading various student groups, diving deeper into my occupational interest, and serving the dear neighbor without distinction. This portfolio only shows pieces of what I have been able to achieve while being at Fontbonne. Fontbonne has ignited a spark within me that will light the way on all my future endeavors.
This group of reflections represents some of the most important aspects of my college career. It includes my transformation as a student and a person. It showcases the incredible impact that soccer has and how it has defined my most prominent qualities. It includes courses that challenged me to think beyond what I knew about the world and myself. One class allowed me to learn about Borders and Borderlands, and another prompted me to define the most important values in my life. I defined leadership and how I transitioned into a leader in various aspects of soccer, classes, and work. This reflection also showcases how I define my future career and what it means to me to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Overall, this portfolio is me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Reliving these moments has only made them sweeter and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when writing them.
My name is Nathan Celestine. I was initially a pre-law student at Fontbonne, then history, then history & secondary education, and finally back to history. From that alone, it is obvious that my process of discovering who I was, who I want to be, and what I want to do has been one of uncertainty. In fact, that feels like an understatement; I was stumbling about in that obscurity to slowly begin to see and understand more, ironing out the details and setting out on what finally feels like a definite direction. I was initially unsure of where I wanted to go for college (and what I wanted to do besides) because I had seen it as the pathway to graduate school, and being interested in law, there is essentially endless variety of studies that you might work towards and still progress to the legal field. I decided upon Fontbonne mostly because of its proximity and size: I didn’t know at the time of my application that the peers and instructors that I would meet would be some of the most truly incredible people I know, and that during my time here I will have had some of the best memories and experiences, both educational and personal, of my life. The previous four years have been not only significantly determinant for myself as a student, but in forming relationships with diverse and unique people with even more fascinating perspectives.
Through the TELOS Honors program, I discovered more about myself than I thought I ever would, during my time at Fontbonne. I have been transformed. I have explored a variety of routes and paths. I became a student leader. I had wonderful clinical experiences that will help me in my future career. I served others and spoke my truth on social justice issues. This program has helped me to get to know myself for who I truly am. I was able to sit down, reflect and express how my life has changed, whether in good or bad ways, during my time in college. Without this program, I am not sure if I would be able to see how far I have really come over these past four years. I went from being the nervous and shy freshman to the outgoing and leading senior that I am today. It is truly incredible to take a moment and step back and look at your life from a bird’s eye view. It is amazing what one can learn about themselves after reflecting on their life’s journey. As I am about to graduate and move on to the next chapter in my life, I hope this collection of reflections and artifacts can show you where I was and where I am now. Growth and change are not always easy, but it is remarkable what can happen if you live your life taking advantage of all of the beautiful opportunities that come your way. I wish to not only tell you my story through this portfolio, but I hope to also encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, like I did. If you never do, you will never know what your life truly has in store for you.