Student Spotlight: Jovanna Laurencin

Kyle Clouse, Rachael Eyler, and Bethany Wade


Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

Name: Jovanna Laurencin
Major: Hospitality Management
Year: 2018
Hometown: St. John, The Virgin Islands

Jovanna Laurencin is a junior hospitality management major. She is the President of Diversity United, Vice President of the Multicultural Club as well as the founder and President of the new Marywood Colleges Against Cancer chapter.

Q. Why did you choose to come to Marywood?

A. My sister went to Marywood and so did my cousin, and ever since my cousin went to Marywood and would come home during the summer and talk about it, I always wanted to [attend Marywood].

Q. You said you were majoring in Hospitality Management. What do you want to do when you graduate?

A. I want to have my own wedding planning and catering company, so start small, and then go from there. I love planning events. That’s also what draws me to clubs … I love seeing other people happy. I love to cook, so that’s another thing.

Q. How did you choose somewhere so far [from the Virgin Islands]?

A. Everyone was like, “you’ll love the snow,” and I’ve never been far from home. They lied about the snow part, though. But I’ve never been so far from home and so away from everyone, so I thought I’d give it a try … [It’s] something different. You’re finding yourself when you go to college, so why not?

Q. How would you compare that to the Virgin Islands?

A. It’s completely different because the island that I’m from, St. John, is such a small community so everyone knows each other, versus me coming here and my closest family members are in New Jersey, and I rarely get to see them … I can’t call and be like, “Hey, come over tonight,” and see my family… it’s hard.

Q. Since you’re so far away from home, you’d have to immerse yourself in Marywood’s culture. How would you say you’ve done that?

A. I got involved with Diversity United and the Muticultural Club, and I’ve met a lot of my current friends that I have now. From there, I would say I liked it. I got more involved with doing Adopt-a-Family, then I got interested in starting another club on campus, which is called Colleges Against Cancer … I became President of Diversity United and got more involved with Black History Month, Martin Luther King Day, International Events and a lot of other events on campus. I got to work with Residence Life and SAC as well.

Q. Why do you think it’s importance to promote events such as Black History Month and International Week on Marywood’s Campus?

A. I feel like Marywood isn’t that diverse and a lot of people don’t acknowledge those things. For Martin Luther King [Jr.] Day, we have kids that come from the community that come to Marywood, and we have different events and not that many students volunteer for it. I feel like being a part of the Dunmore community and Scranton community, we should be more involved with the kids because a lot of them are from Club Discovery and other places in the community… maybe they might grow up and say, “Hey, I want to go to Marywood because a student from Marywood really touched me in this way.”

Q. And you said you started Colleges Against Cancer?

A. Yeah. At first, I talked to Kim Coleman [Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development]… I told her about my interest for starting a Relay for Life [event] on campus, and then when we looked into it, we found out we could start Colleges Against Cancer, and start small, and then hopefully, progress from there and start a Relay for Life on this campus. So hopefully that’s in the near future. Basically, we focus on advocacy, education, and last year we tried to do Relay for Life. But this semester, since September is Go Gold for Childhood Cancer, we’re giving out gold ribbons, and also we’re trying to do Light the Night.

Q. Can you talk about that?

A. On October [22], there’s supposed to be Light the Night, and it’s going to be held in Nay Aug Park at 4:30 p.m. And it’s just to spread cancer awareness … We’re going [to] release lanterns at the end of it for loved ones, and you can also donate money, so it goes to a good cancer institute. We’re also trying to do chemo baskets to kids in the Danville, Pennsylvania Hospital. My little cousin had leukemia, and she’s three years a survivor. She really inspired me to start Colleges Against Cancer because she fought for a long time, and I feel like that’s so difficult especially at a young age. Her mom gave us ideas of what we could put in the baskets to help the kids. We’re going to send out a flyer, just asking for students on campus and faculty as well, if [they] want to give in coloring books or any type of thing to help them feel better.

Q. Since you do so many clubs and activities, how do you budget your time?

A. Well, basically, I have to delegate a lot because if I don’t, I’m basically doing everything myself. My Exec Board really works with me. We all get along, and I have a committed team. I can truly say that. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t been able to delegate my time because I have to separate. Academics comes first and [extracurricular activities] comes second. So I do plan accordingly with my schedule, and I try to fit in everything as much as I can.

Q. You’re a very involved presence on campus, a very strong woman in a lot of leadership positions. What would you recommend for any other student who wants to get involved?

A. I would tell that person to be honest. All you really have to do is look over your schedule and make sure that you’re not going to overwhelm yourself because then you’ll lose sight of what you’re really trying to do if you get involved in these clubs. There were many times where I felt like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t do it,” and I wanted to give it all up. Don’t do that to yourself. Just make sure that you can be committed to it, and just work on it. At the end of the day, what you really want done, you can get it done if you put your mind to it. Analyze yourself, and stay focused on what you want to do, especially if you really want to be a part of a club, don’t just throw it aside. Make sure you separate time for commitment.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. We’ve decided to merge Diversity United and Multicultural Club.
Hopefully, you can come to the meetings and you can see what that’s like … We tried it for our first meeting so hopefully for our second meeting we’ll have a larger crowd. Our meetings are normally held in the library on the second floor in room 206 on Fridays at 4 p.m.

Brooke Williams contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @ADuncklee_TWW