Recently, the Siena College communications office published a short “5 Questions With…” interview of Dr. Shannon O’Neill of the Siena College Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women. Dr. O’Neill, the director of the Bowman Center, is the other faculty facilitator that is going on the service trip to the Dominican Republic next week along with ten students from the college. I thought it would be nice to spotlight the Bowman Center and Dr. O’Neill in light of the DR trip and the timing of this press release featuring her brief interview fits well with the upcoming trip. Check out the Siena College website for more information.

Meet Shannon O’Neill, Ph.D.
By Jessica Atkinson ’12
Q: What is your role at Siena College?
A: I am the Director of the Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women. I serve on the Human Rights Committee, I help with our Social Norms Campaign, and I am teaching the ‘Learning, Living Course’ with Fr. Dennis Tamburello, ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D.
Q: What does the Women’s Center do exactly?
A: The Women’s Center does a variety of things. We do a very traditional Women’s Center program. We do sexual assault prevention, Eating Disorder Awareness Week, we focus on gender issues and women’s issues. We also focus on social justice issues that affect women globally.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: The students. I always say I hate that our students leave us in four years. I always joke that I am going to go to the Registrar’s Office and remove some courses for some people so they have to stay longer. But to see them develop from their first year is tremendously rewarding. Then to have them come back and tell me what they are doing with their Siena education is always very fulfilling.
Q: Best Memory?
A: I think one of my most rewarding memories was on our Dominican Republic trip; taking a student, who only knew about nuns was from what her roommate told her. She had not had much experience with a Catholic education before Siena. In the Dominican Republic we work with Franciscan Bernadine Sisters. She was so moved by their demonstration of their faith and vocation in serving the impoverished community of Santo Domingo.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
A: I am just really grateful to be a part of the Siena community. It is a community that shows it cares about the students through the kinds of opportunities we have here at Siena.

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