“Try everything you can. I was homesick and unhappy at the beginning, but the more I got involved, the more UNH became my home.”

Coming from New Jersey and not knowing many people at UNH, Christine thought it made good sense to participate in the PrOVES program. PrOVES brings first year students to UNH a few days early to work together doing local service projects. Christine had no idea that this experience would launch a UNH career filled with giving to others through service both locally and beyond. Christine had a hunch she would meet the kind of people she would want to be friends with at PrOVES; she could not have been more right.

One of Christine’s counselors at PrOVES suggested going on an Alternative Break Challenge (ABC) trip during spring break. Christine found herself in Cordele, Georgia building a home with Habitat for Humanity during spring break her freshman year with eight UNH students she had never met before. The experience in Georgia was unique because they were working along side of the mother and daughter who this home was
being built for. As Christine puts it, “it was extra special because we had the opportunity to be with the people we were helping, and to see how much it meant to them.” When they weren’t working on the house, they were immersed in southern culture. They ate good food, mingled with community members and went line dancing.

It’s no surprise Christine pursued becoming part of the leadership of PrOVES and ABC trips. She became a PrOVES counselor and also lead an ABC trip her sophomore year. This time she went to Dahlonega, Georgia and worked on trail maintenance for the Appalachian Trail. For the first time ever Christine spent a week with no running water and lived in a cabin in the woods. The goal was to “leave no trace,” this meant fixing the trails to make it look as natural as possible. Her group was matched up with a group of retirees who had hiked the Appalachian trail from start to finish.

Christine is now on the Executive staff for ABC trips and is happy to report that they have 14 trips planned for this March. The best part is the students only need to pay $175.00, a small price to pay for a life changing experience. The groups are being formed, and soon Christine will meet the UNH students who will be joining her as she returns to Georgia to build more houses.

On top of her work with PrOVES and ABC trips Christine has kept up playing the sports she enjoyed in High School. She plays intramurals, joined the Riptide girls Lacrosse club, and referees soccer games for campus recreation. Christine
captained a successful Relay for Life team last spring. Her energy was infectious; It’s been told that she was jogging around the track at 3 a.m. dressed as a super hero. Combine all this and more with the fact that Christine is a highly dedicated student, belonging to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the UNH chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Christine is a Junior Occupational Therapy major. Her first professor in the OT program was Betty Crepeau. She is thankful that Betty took such an interest in her and has pushed her through the program offering great support and guidance. Because of her work in the OT program, Christine
is interested in working with people who are recovering from traumatic brain injuries as they adjust to their new life. Christine will intern at a rehabilitation facility in Portsmouth next year.

During high school, Christine explains she discovered that “it makes sense to make the best of the opportunities that are given to you in life.” No doubt she has applied this thinking to her time at UNH. Even better, in seizing opportunities to learn and expand, she has taken the lead in providing these experiences for other students as well.

2013-2014 Honorees
2013 - 2014 CYOS Honorees: seated Zak Ahmad-Kahloon, Emily Dickman, Nyomi Guzman, Annie Crossman, standing Lauren McCandless, Kathryn Sattora, Timothy Marquis, Sid Nigam, Evan Beals, Peter Wilkinson
“Students are the focus of everything we do.”

Dept of Residential Life
13A Hitchcock Hall, 5 Quad Way-UNH
Durham, NH 03824
last updated 04/28/2014
Need More Information?
Ruth Abelmann, Associate Director
Department of Residential Life
University of New Hampshire
Phone (603) 862-2268