CASC Lumen Magazine_Winter 2021

Campus Profiles

One of his plans includes ensuring that there’s more diversity at the university. “Having economic diversity at St. Thomas is important, racial diversity is important, it is also important to have geographic diversity,” says Rojas. Rojas, a practicing Catholic, grew up in a small town in Costa Rica and attended University of Costa Rica as a first-generation college student before getting accepted to graduate school in the U.S. Animated by faith and his own journey through the U.S. higher education system, he prides himself on getting to know others and understanding their needs and concerns. “I am passionate about serving people, especially those frommarginalized groups,” he says. “I have received many blessings in

my life and because of that, I have a responsibility to work for the betterment of society. My values are nonnegotiable. I believe that the values of our Catholic universities should also be nonnegotiable. But how do we bring those values to life, how do we implement what we believe, and what are the specific tools or mechanisms that we use?We need to be ready to adapt to change, according to the times and the circumstances.” Rojas believes “To be authentic as an institution is to embrace our Catholic intellectual tradition, to embrace Catholic social teaching, to have a strong liberal arts foundation, especially at the undergraduate level, but also at the graduate level. …

I don’t see how we can call ourselves a Catholic university without having liberal arts right at the core center, at the heart of everything that we do. I will be the first one to tell you that I recognize that I am a better engineer because of that year of liberal arts education, but, most importantly, I’m also a better person because of that.” The original version of this article, “New Provost Has a Game Plan,” fromAug. 2, 2021, was written by St. Thomas Newsroom’s Sheree Curry and can be found at news. .



about becoming a Jesuit was the opportunity to study any discipline in depth in addition to philosophy and theology, while also engaging in different kinds of ministry, from retreat work, to missionary activity, from teaching to service with the poor. “University ministry is very similar in that regard,” says Collins. “A university has people engaged in learning and service in the world from every possible direction.” He went on to say that “At a comprehensive university like St. Thomas, with every kind of academic discipline present, and faculty, staff and students from all kinds of backgrounds,

Father Christopher Collins ‘93, SJ , who was raised in Phoenix and graduated high school in Dallas, has a deep-rooted Minnesota connection that first attracted him to St. Thomas when he transferred to the university as a sophomore in 1990. He joins the Catholic Studies Advisory Board as the St. Thomas vice president for mission, a position most recently held by Father Larry Snyder, who retired in June 2021. University ministry is a natural fit for the Jesuit. Part of what was so attractive to Collins

St. Thomas Lumen Fall/Winter 2021 Page 9

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