In the Light: Joe Spina

Raised not too far from campus, seniorJoseph Spina, from Deerfield, N.Y., has always had Colgate on his mind.

“Growing up less than an hour from campus, Colgate was always kind of in the back of my mind. The beauty of campus, amazing facilities and access to research were all huge factors, but what won me over was the infectious love that every community member has for this place,” Spina said.

A double concentrator in molecular biology and Spanish, Spina still finds ample time to involve himself in activities outside of the classroom. He is a member of Spanish Club, Lambda and Running Club, was previously an intern and tour guide in the Office of Admission and is now a Senior Fellow in the Office. Earlier in his time at Colgate, Spina was a Residential Assistant in the first-year area and he joined Pet Pals through the Max Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and

Education (COVE).

Digging himself even deeper into the opportunities at Colgate, Spina studied abroad in Madrid in the Colgate study group in Fall 2012. Reflecting on his time overseas, Spina believes it to be one of the best experiences of his Colgate career. He had the opportunity to study in a foreign setting while making what are now some of his closest friends.

“Never having been to Europe before, the program was eye-opening and made me much more intellectually curious about other cultures. My host mother, though definitely eccentric, certainly gave me a personal spin on all of the history and politics we were learning in class,” Spina said.

Spina is also involved in the biology department. Here, he conducts independent studies on things such as bacterial evolution. He and two of his senior classmates, Mallory Rowley and Laura Arboleda, presented a study at a Harvard conference and have recently submitted it for publication to the journal “BMC Evolutionary Biology.”

Spina was very involved even in high school, but claims to have definitely stepped up his game at the university level. He spends most of his time in the Office of Admission, but has gained great insight into the philosophy of giving back through his encounters with the prospective students. Being an advocate of the university makes his job much easier.

“Apart from Admissions, I think it was just my determination to not leave any stone unturned when it came to discovering all the opportunities Colgate provides, whether that’s community service, opportunities to study off campus, getting involved with a professor’s research projects and just joining clubs with other students who have similar interests as myself,” Spina said.