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Craig Smith '04

Craig graduated from the University of San Diego with Bachelors degrees in Spanish and Theology & Religious Studies. He is now living in NYC pursuing a PhD in Religous Education at Fordham University.

1: What have you been up to since graduation?
After graduation in 2004, I went directly to Boston College for graduate school. In 2006, I returned to Southern California and was a high school Religion teacher at my alma mater, Santa Margarita Catholic High School.  After teaching and working in Campus Ministry for five years, I decided to head back to the east coast for graduate school again: this time for my Ph.D. in Religious Education at Fordham University in the Bronx.  I am currently in the middle of my studies, with hopes on defending my dissertation in the spring of 2014. Recently, I traveled to the Vatican to witness the election of our new pontiff, Pope Francis. The picture used for this Featured Torero profile was taken in St. Peter's Square as I represented USD! Please read my reflection on the election of Pope Francis entitled "Watching, Waiting, Praying ... a Journey to the Papal Conclave," hosted by the Center for Christian Spirituality at USD: http://www.sandiego.edu/ccs/reflections/.

2: What is your fondest memory of USD?
There are so many memories, it is almost impossible to think of one. SEARCH, Orientation, AS, Candlelight Masses, retreats, Delta Tau Delta: all of these shaped and reshaped my life and its direction. It seems like it was just one life-giving, joyful and formative experience after another. Yet, I most fondly remember how I felt just being there, being on campus, at that time and in that place.

3. What is your favorite place on campus, why?
By far, hands down, my favorite place on campus in Founders Chapel. Each time I return to campus I am transported back to my many experiences of prayerful joy in that space. I feel united and connected not only to my many hours spent there in prayer, but to the prayer and faith (and even weddings) of the countless who came before me and those yet to come.
 
4. Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
My favorite classes were all of those associated with my Italian minor. Even almost ten years later, each time I return to Italy, I am so grateful for the excellent Italian professors at USD. The knowledge they imparted to me is a key that has opened so many doors: to my heritage, to a “dolce vita” culture and to the spoken language of the Catholic Church.

5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
I believe gratitude is not a feeling but an action. I am so eternally grateful for my time at USD; I so desire to give back. I helped co-chair the five year reunion for the class of ’04. Is our ten year only a year away? Oh dear.  Also, I visit campus as often as possible and attend events hosted by the New York Alumni Chapter whenever I can.

6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
Focus on your studies and participate in the rich life of the university. But also take the time to take a step back and reflect with gratitude on the gift that is a USD education and then show your gratitude through action.

Are you interested in connecting with Craig? Email him at craigsmith81.cs@gmail.com or connect with him on Linked In at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/craig-smith/37/816/738

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