The Johnnie Chair Team

Anh Hai Do ‘19

My name is Anh and I am currently a senior at St. John’s College (Santa Fe). I was born and raised in Vietnam my whole life, and only came to America for college 4 years ago. I’ve been working in the Admissions Office ever since my freshman year, because the people in Admissions feel like my second family away from home. Going to St. John’s has been the most transformative and special experience of my life so far. I feel incredibly grateful to have been given the chance to take charge of my own education, and to define my own self-growth. I think that is probably my favorite thing about St. John’s, namely that I myself am responsible for how much I get out of the program and the community, but also that there are a lot of  supportive and helpful resources around me. In my free time, I like to dance and cook with my friends. Fun fact: I finally got my dream haircut this summer, which to me is an important breakthrough in my not-so-great history with haircuts 🙂

Rediet Worku ‘20

Hi! I’m Rediet Worku and a sophomore at SJC. I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to study in both campuses- I spent my freshman year in Santa Fe and have now transferred to Annapolis. This is my first year working at Admissions and I couldn’t be more excited! There’s something fulfilling in working with future Johnnies. St. John’s has taught me how to think and has enabled me to challenge myself. When I’m not reading or trying to understand Ptolemy, I am either writing or painting.

Aidel Townsley, ‘22
Hello Prospies! My name is Aidel Townsley and I am a current freshman, class of ’22, from Los Angeles, CA and Israel. I am a freshman delegate on Delegate Council, SJC’s student government, a participant of Kunai (our woman’s intramural program) and the best team on campus, the Druid Hawks! My passions include music, writing, and neuropsychology. My favorite book on the program (so far) is Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey. Can’t wait to see you on campus!

Rory Johnson ‘22

I am Rory and I am a freshman at St. John’s College (Annapolis). I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and have spent my whole life there. I first visited sjc in the fall of my senior year, and I fell in love with the college. Walking around campus and visiting tutorials, I saw how engaged and ambitious the students are about learning and experiencing the program, which subsequently made me want to be a part of such a special community of individuals. I began working in the admissions office a mere few weeks ago and am looking forward to the weeks to come! I want to spread my appreciation for this school to prospective students in hopes they will love it as well. Within the community, I row on the crew team, which practices at the crack of dawn, waltz, and throw pottery. My friends and I enjoy exploring downtown Annapolis and having snack filled movie nights. I am incredibly grateful for sjc and cannot wait for what’s to come!

Sophia Paffenroth ‘19

Hello!  I’m Sophia, a senior at St. John’s College.  I grew up in New York, just outside of the city.  For the past few years, I’ve worked in the Admissions Office for the College.  It’s a great job because this college has given me so much, and it feels good to give back.  I’ve practiced ballet for most of my life, and in the past few years I’ve spent a lot of time drawing & painting–I studied art in France one summer through a program affiliated with St. John’s College.  Some of my favorite works on the Program are:  Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace​, Milton’s ​Paradise Lost​, and Newton’s ​Principia​.

Jay Tram ‘20

 Hey! I’m Jay Tram and a senior. As much as I’m enjoying my time at St. John’s, I can’t wait to graduate soon and discover beautiful paths and St. John’s has prepared me for. There are things that make me happy and be myself the most are routines and spontaneity. As an active member of St. John’s sport program, I like to come out to every game we have (3 games/week) and get up early for Crew. I also love to go to Swing Dance classes held every Tuesday night in McDowell Hall where we can laugh together while learning how to dance. At the same time, manage to hop on the school shuttle to go to town every once in a while to have some “me time.” If not, I usually walk around downtown Annapolis after class or after dinner— just to feel young and free. I hope to see you soon on campus and we shall talk on a bench facing the Creek back campus!

Yunju Park, ‘20

Hello, I am Yunju Park. It is my first year working in the Admissions Office. I worked at the Building & Grounds in my freshmen year which helped me understand the physical element of the SJC community. Then I worked as a Resident Assistant in my sophomore year, learning the social and emotional aspects of SJC. Now I am working in the Admissions Office learning the future of our community. I am very happy with this complete set of on-campus job experience. I want to study Landscape Architecture after I graduate. Dream of becoming a designer makes me more active and positive in front of social and environmental issues. I am an international student from Korea and helping experience at SJC more fun and welcoming for everybody from every background is something I continually work on with my sincere love. Lastly, I sing in this band called “Laundry.” Check us out on facebook! 

Alexis Finch ‘23

My name is Alexis and I am currently a freshman at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. I was born and grew up in Denton, Texas. I first learned about the college while coming to Summer Academy and it was like love at first sight. Reading Symposium and Sonny’s Blues was a huge game-changer for me and how I looked at what learning is supposed to be. I’m very excited about working in the admissions office this year and in the future so I can talk to all the prospies about what an all the cool books they can read here. Another fun fact about me is that I have a cat, Huckleberry, who I like to take on walks during the afternoon. 

Cameron Hines ‘21

I’m Cameron Hines and I’m a sophomore. I am so excited to be working in Admissions this year! I came to visit St. John’s Santa Fe right after my spring semester at another college. The tutorial and the seminar I sat in on were electrifying, especially compared to the lecture classes I’d grown accustomed to. Everyone made me feel welcome on my visit and was happy to talk to me. I want the prospective students I show around to experience the same feeling of belonging that I did on my visit. It’s rare for college undergrads to be asked to read and form our own thoughts about primary source texts, and I’m grateful that the Program gives us the real thing instead of someone else’s Sparknotes. I love the Atalaya hiking trails that start right on campus, the yoga classes offered through the Student Activities Center, and exploring downtown Santa Fe.

Cintia Osorio ‘21

Hi, I’m Cintia!  I was raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, and spent my freshman year at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. For my sophomore year I have had the opportunity to transfer between campuses and experience the Santa Fe, New Mexico culture. In my free time, I like to take walks and explore my surroundings. I also love interacting with different people– curious to learn about each person’s story. I was attracted to St. John’s because of the intellectual freedom it offers through writing, and the discussion-based classes that have allowed me to learn through other’s ideas and teach through my own.

Doug Spurlock ‘20

My name is Douglas Spurlock, and I’m a Johnnie in the class of 2020. This is my second year working for Admissions.  For fun I like to play Super Smash Bros Melee, and bake for my friends. I’m originally from Boiling Springs Pennsylvania, but I came to St. John’s from Phoenix Arizona, where I have been living for the past 12 years. I went to Glendale Preparatory Academy for High School, a charter school in the Great Hearts system that’s slightly modeled after St. John’s, TAC, Hillsdale, and UChicago. It prepared me for college well and is my second academic home. The people I met there shaped me into the person I am today. In fact, one of the main reasons I’m attending St. John’s College is because of an amazing teacher I had in high school. She was my mentor and just happened to be a Johnnie too! Small world, right? Anyway, after coming here with doubts about whether or not St. John’s would be repetitive of my high school education, I learned that I couldn’t have been more wrong. The level of depth with which Johnnies explore ideas and texts is unparalleled. You cannot just skirt by here—we are a community of learners and everyone here is part of that community. We (both tutors and students) explore with an open mind, discuss our opinions with an open heart, and sometimes come out of class more confused and with more questions than at the beginning of class. This is something truly special that you will not find anywhere else; to quote a speech that my friend wrote about the college, “we do not come here to read books and talk about philosophy– we come here to learn how to die!” Initially I came here to study Liberal Arts and aim for mastery of it, but I stayed because I want to learn how to live well, how to die, how to be a good citizen, person, and partner. “The Program” is more than an education to me—it’s a lifestyle. 

Chinazor Ike-Njoku ‘23

Hi! I’m Chinazor and I’m a freshman at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. After completing high school at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa, I took a gap year and returned to my home country, Nigeria, to continue the process of growth and transformation that had been sparked by my high school education. Inspired by how much I had grown from the past, I searched for a college that would enable me continue on this transformative journey. Thankfully, my search led me to St. John’s, a supportive community of diverse minds and curious sophophiles.  I work in Admissions and I really love it here. From writing notes to prospective students in cute little postcards to office perks like free pizza and an office name tag, working with Admissions has been an exceptionally thrilling experience. Between reading Plato and trying to figure Euclid out, I find time to vlog about real-life issues and I dance as well! I love being a Johnnie because every day here presents itself with an opportunity to grow through learning. I have no doubt that you will love it too.

Emma Stewart ’20

I’m a senior from Honolulu, HI. I work at the Admissions Office and a restaurant downtown. When I’m not reading, I can be found rehearsing for KWP (the theater club at St. John’s), writing poetry, napping with my cat, or hanging out with my friends on the quad. If I had to choose a favorite Program book, it would be Don Quixote—hands down.

Szymon Galazka ’20

I was born in Poland and lived in different countries before coming to Annapolis in the summer of 2019. Because of my love for St. John’s that has only grown – it is my third year here – I had realized before coming on campus that I would really love to work at the Admissions Office to try to attract more students to this extraordinary institution. On a general level, I do find myself to be very fortunate to share the advantages of education in

the United States; at the same time, engaging in conversations with my friends at other American and European colleges has been a wonderful opportunity to find and learn how lucky I am to be part of the St. John’s community.

What is it then that makes St. John’s such a fantastic educational environment? While our College website is a great source of information, if you are looking for more specific information or simply want to learn about students’ own experiences, feel free to email me or other Student Assistants working at the Admissions Office. Whether it is the curriculum, college community, social life, career decisions after graduation or students’ personal interests, I am always delighted to talk to prospective students about anything that pertains to St. John’s.

Kostiantyn Rymar, ’23

Hi, my name is Kostia and I am an international student from Ukraine. I heard about the St. John’s College when the admission officer made the long way to my high school in Armenia. The representative briefly spoke about the curriculum founded upon the study of the  “Great Book”.  Ironically,  my High school tutor was Johnnie; following our 2-hour discussion, I was inspired to find out how much I can take from the academic program that is so remarkably different.

I like rainy weather, prefer dogs over cats, my favorite book is “Flowers for Algernon” by Danial Kiz, and I have no idea how to drink coffee with ice.

Here at St. John’s  I was introduced to such a beautiful thing: Swing. I’ve never thought that I can dance, but weekly dance lessons led by students proved to be the opposite.