Boston College is home to plenty of people who do incredible things every day: from the sports field to the stage, to the classroom and beyond. Each week, we’ll be featuring different people from the BC community as a way of honoring their awesome deeds.
Last November, a new Facebook page emerged on the BC scene: “Faces of Faith, Spirituality and Humanity at Boston College”, started by Ricky Scheiber-Camoretti. Each post featured a photo of a BC student or faculty member, accompanied by a question and answer on subjects varying from religion to relationships, character to challenges, life to love. “We want to unify people by posing questions and recording their responses, promote active reflection, and ultimately generate more conversations to carry us through the world after four years at BC,” Ricky wrote in the page’s description. “Putting words to faces by way of camera is just a cool way of doing it.”
Boasting over 1,000 “likes”, the “Faces…” page has become a campus sensation and continues to spark discussion with its thought-provoking posts. This week, we’re getting to know the BC students behind the page: Paola Cisneros, Adisa Duke and Nick Genovese.
Paola Cisneros ’15
Adisa Duke ’15
Nick Genovese ’16
How did you get involved with this project? Why is it important to you?
Paola: “Ricky [Scheiber-Camoretti, the founder of the page] is a really good friend of mine. I saw firsthand how excited he was about the page, so I would not want it to die out just because he is not here. When he asked me to help, I was more than happy to! It is important to me not only because I want to keep this going for him, but also because I think it is a great way to showcase all the wonderful people that make up the BC community. It is important for me that people’s thoughts and stories be heard.”
Adisa: “Ricky approached me about it, asking if I would like to help run it this semester. I, of course, said yes. Ricky has started something truly remarkable. This project is important to me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I love photography. It’s something I’ve done as a personal hobby since high school; I have a plethora of photographs that I’ve taken over the years but have never shared. This project gives me not only a reason to now carry my camera with me to class everyday, but also a reason to share the photographs that I take.
Secondly, I truly enjoy having conversations with people — even uncomfortable conversations. I also love it when people ask more than the simple, ‘hey, how’s it going?’. I see people every day on my way to class that I do not know well; I may have spoken to them maybe once or twice. Many times I would love to stop and speak to these people, but there’s always this feeling of ‘that would be awkward’ or ‘what is there to talk about?’. Or sometimes they’ll give me the infamous ‘BC lookaway’ when I attempt to make eye contact. Perhaps it’s just me; maybe my shyness from my childhood days. Or perhaps it’s the fact that, having grown up in New York City, I have no problem putting in my headphones and going about my daily commute, shutting out the rest of the world while looking past the person in front of me; I’m used to it and sometimes do it unintentionally. However, as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of conversation, which is why now, no matter how mundane a conversation may seem to be, I try to always stay engaged with the intention of advancing the conversation beyond small talk. It’s tough at times because sometimes I honestly just do not feel comfortable; sometimes I may not be feeling too great that day. However, this project has given me the opportunity to take a step outside of my own comfort zone to have those conversations anyway. Not only has it given me a reason to ask people spontaneous questions that I would not have asked otherwise, but it also has given me a reason to take their picture, which I genuinely enjoy doing. Every time I do, I either make a new friend or catch up with an old one. It’s truly rewarding.
Lastly, this project is important to me because some of the most influential thoughts, ideas, and friendships begin with simple–and sometimes awkward–conversations. Many of these conversations occur once, never to be heard again–similar to hearing an unrecorded speech and knowing that you will probably never be able to hear it delivered again with the same amount of passion. Ultimately, I want to have more conversations with people I do not know while at the same time sharing with others the vast interests and personalities of students, faculty, and staff that I converse with at BC.”
Nick: “My homie, Ricky Scheiber-Camoretti, unexpectedly reached out to me a little more than a week ago, and he asked if I was interested in continuing the project that he pioneered last fall. I am tremendously grateful for his faith in me to carry out his vision for the site. I believe that the power of the one’s story is deeply transformative, and the messages that people convey through daily actions reflect an appreciation of life’s journey. There are few greater gifts one may receive than authentic entry into a part of another’s life.”
How do you think the “Faces…” project contributes to the BC community and the ongoing university conversation?
Paola: “Before I got involved with running the page, it was always interesting for me to read the conversations, whether they were about people I knew or didn’t know. Sometimes my own friends would surprise me, or just reaffirm to me the amazing people that they are through the beautiful words posted. I think putting answers to these questions up on Facebook for everyone to see might show people that conversations like this really do happen, and open up a new avenue of communication. On the other hand, I think there is also something beautifully raw about posting simpler, less philosophical snippets of conversations, because these are also an important part of our everyday lives and should be cherished.”
Adisa: “It contributes to the BC community by providing an outlet for students, faculty, and staff to have their words shared with peers that would otherwise never see or hear what they have to say (or how they feel) about a topic. It also provides a place where we all can have a glimpse at the beautiful personalities that are present on this campus. One thing that many of us are guilty of is developing preconceived notions about people we do not (or barely) know. It is rewarding to know that through this project, people will find that they may be able to relate to and connect with someone that they never thought they would. As this project grows, members of the BC community will see more and more familiar faces–their friends, classmates, professors, co-workers, etc. Let this page be a point of conversation.”
Nick: “As students who often immerse ourselves in academic pursuits, extracurricular activities, and weekend festivities, we may occasionally divert the time to engage in genuine reflection and conversation. Although this site does not intend to replace this time, the power of social media becomes a powerful medium for students to widely access intimate aspects of other’s lives.”
What’s been your favorite post on the page so far?
Paola: “My favorite post was Colin Pavano’s story about the first time he saw his girlfriend of seven years. I’m a sucker for love stories.”
Adisa: “The post featuring Jenna LaConte. I don’t know her, nor did I interview her, but her post is great!”
Nick: “I don’t want to play favorites, but the brief post by my good friend, Rory O’Donnell, is up there. A laugh is worth a thousand words.”
What are your future hopes for the “Faces…” page?
Paola: “I want to diversify the page a little more. In terms of the types of conversations, as well as the people we put up on it. So far, it’s been easy to post photos and conversations I’ve had with my friends, but I want to woman up and just start approaching strangers who look interesting. It might be weird at first, but it will be a cool way to broaden the spectrum of the page. I want to continue to encourage deep (and not-so-deep) conversations, and keep this thing going for as long as we can. I’m really excited!”
Adisa: “I hope that this project lives on for many years at BC. In the short run, I want every member of the current BC community to be aware of its existence. I would like to see this project eventually inspire students at other universities — so much so that they decide to create a page with a similar mission. I also hope to hear that this page has fostered new friendships and sparked meaningful conversation across campus and beyond. As this project grows, members of the BC community will see more and more familiar faces — their friends, classmates, professors, co-workers, et cetera. May a post on this project’s Facebook page be the spark to new conversations among them.”
Nick: “I hope that this page may galvanize the BC community to live authentically, allow students to find truth and solidarity in the words of others, and serve as a vehicle so that everyone may have a chance to express themselves in a meaningful way. I accredit all of the good that comes out of this to my dear friend, Ricky. He has and will continue to shape the lives of many others through his wonderful initiative.”
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