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People of Eastern: Meet student chaplain and Refuge leader, Karissa Maccentelli

Karissa Maccentelli is a senior at Eastern majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Forensic Chemistry. She is a part of a 4-in-1 program with Temple University to obtain her PSM in Forensic Chemistry. She is known around campus for her involvement in various clubs and organizations.

Originally from Bel Air, Maryland, Maccentelli chose Eastern for its beautiful campus and atmosphere. She knew she wanted to live on a small campus, and appreciated the Christian aspect that Eastern had to offer. Eastern being relatively close to her home was definitely a plus.

Maccentelli is heavily involved in the arts at Eastern, and was even the stage manager in what would have been Eastern’s spring production of Little Women before it was cancelled. She takes on many roles and responsibilities in the theater department, from acting, stage managing, and tech crew.

Maccentelli had an opportunity to perform in a student written/directed show in the Performing Arts Living Room a few years back and loved the experience. Although she enjoys taking on many theatrical roles, Maccentelli says her favorite part is the backstage aspects and making sure everything is in order. “I like getting to know the actors a little deeper and being the resource for them to come to for help” Maccentelli said.

Outside of the theater department, Maccentelli is also a member of the art club, and enjoys all forms of expression through her artistic endeavors. Around campus, most of Maccentelli’s favorite moments have been courtesy of the SAB, or Student Activities Board. Maccentelli, a former ice hockey player, especially enjoyed skating night so she could “skate circles around everyone.”

Some of Maccentelli’s favorite days each year are move-in days, especially as a former student chaplain. She enjoys getting to know new people and helping with move-in.

Maccentelli is the vice president of Refuge, Eastern’s LGBTQ+ and ally club. “I like being an advocate for people who don’t have a voice,” Maccentelli said. She began her journey as an ally in her high school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club and knew it was something she wanted to continue to be a part of through her college career.

Maccentelli is not afraid to have the difficult conversations that are sometimes needed when discussing equality for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

Maccentelli appreciates the way that Refuge incorporates Eastern’s motto of “Faith, Reason, and Justice” into everything they do, and uses the message to help give justice to those who may need it.

“I like seeing justice be served, and I like being an activist and talking about issues in the community,” Maccentelli said. “[Equality for the LGBTQ+ community] is a hard issue that nobody wants to talk about.”

Maccentelli is accompanied on campus by her Emotional Support Animal, a cat named Sasha.

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