Get to know a new, friendly face

By The Beacon | September 1, 2012 9:00pm

Beth Barsotti shares her role as the new Assistant Director for Faith Formation

Beth Barsotti, the new Campus Ministry assistant director for faith formation, at work in her office which is located in The Pilot House. (Jackie Jeffers | The Beacon)

By Lydia Laythe, Staff Writer

Beth Barsotti, the University's newest addition to the Campus Ministry staff, is eager to begin her first year working with the students of the University of Portland. Her excitement for the new students, exciting opportunities and the upcoming year is visible.

Q: Can you explain to me what your position as Campus Ministry Assistant Director for Faith Formation entails?

A: Mainly, our job in Campus Ministry is to work with the students, to help provide opportunities for them to grow in their faith. Wherever students are, we have a place to start taking people to the next level.

Q:What is your role specifically? What responsibilites do you have?

A:My responsibilities [deal primarily with the] Encounter Retreat. I'm also in collaboration with some theology faculty working with the Faith and Leadership House, which is Intentional Christian Community, where they commit to communal prayer, personal prayer, communal service and individual service. Also, the business school has started this internship - the faith-based leadership initiative. So I'm working with the students that are doing an internship next summer in a non-profit setting. I have a lot of specific responsibilities, but overall I'm just here for the students.

Q: What was your job before you became a part of the UP community?

A: Most recently I was working in a parish, a small catholic church, as a pastoral associate director of religious education. It's the same sort of idea [as assistant director for Faith Formation], but applied to a broader audience: everyone in the parish. And I would find what was in place for them to grow in their faith. This [Assistant Director for Faith Formation position] is very similar.

Q: Why did you choose to become a part of UP? Was there something that drew you to UP?

A: There are a lot of reasons. I'm a Portlander, so the thought of being at University of Portland is really exciting. Also, I really wanted to work with young adults. I thought it would be a fun time in my life to be around the energy that is on a college campus, where intellectual pursuits are combined with faith. It's a very exciting place to be.

Q: How are you feeling as the school year begins?

A: I started at the end of May last year. As students are finally coming, a lot of my responsibilities are finally coming into fruition. It's thrilling! It's fun to smile at everybody and have activity. But there's always a nervousness in making sure that I am able to provide what people are needing.

Q: As a new college student, I've been getting a ton of advice about college from people. What was the best advice about college you ever gave or received?

A: Don't be afraid to be yourself, and ask questions. I think it's really important to ask questions that come up. This is the most important time because this is the first time you have the opportunity to make your own choices. So ask questions, because that makes the choices your own, rather than just going through the practice. Lastly, find good mentors. Find the people you're drawn to because of who they are, how they live and their values.