Norwich University civilian dorm resident advisers share hopes for new semester

Spirits were as high as the late afternoon sun Friday in the recreation area by Norwich University’s civilian dorms.

Anna Marinelli, Gwen Pettengill, two resident advisers and Danielle Beaumier, a senior resident adviser, were seated around a picnic table, enjoying the rays, sounds (a thudding basketball from a nearby one-on-one hoops game) and the company.

“I’m more happy that it’s open and a lot more activities are going to happen,” said Marinelli, a junior biology major and chemistry minor from Massachusetts’ South Shore. “Last year was depressing because we weren’t allowed to have people on campus and activities open.”

“I’m so happy to be back and to be on campus and not stuck in my room.”Gwen Pettengill, senior nursing major and civilian dorm resident adviser

Meanwhile, Pettengill, a civilian senior and nursing student from Newport, Vermont, said she was glad for a “somewhat normal” campus return with mask-free outdoor interaction, the way campus was in her freshman and sophomore years.

“It’s a great relief,” Pettengill said. “I’m so happy to be back and to be on campus and not stuck in my room.”

Pettengill wants an impact year — strong grades, strong clinicals, strong impressions on nursing patients. She’s still finding her nursing specialty, she said, but liked the pace of the emergency department at her hometown hospital, which she’d experienced during a summer job. Fast work meant many tasks and patients, many difference-making chances.

Pettengill also wants impact and lasting memories for the students she’s leading. She said she’ll do homework at a common dorm table and invite others to join. Pettengill said she made friends this way, as lessons gave way to games — Monopoly until it got too intense, then easygoing-get-your-mind-off-school cards or checkers.

Beaumier, a senior and nursing major from Rowe, Massachusetts, is aiming high academically like Pettengill, and considering what’s next when school ends. She said she might spend it watching lives begin as a labor and delivery nurse.

She said campus felt brighter.

“Everyone has smiles on when they come out,” Beaumier said. “You can see that they’re happy again. It’s not like a dull, gray moment anymore.”

arrival ras minNorwich University resident advisers from left, Anna Marinelli, Arriella Rucker, Timothy Hodges and Stephanie Ethier welcome students moving into Dalrymple Hall on Tuesday. (Photo by Matthew Crowley/Norwich University.)

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