Liz Hallinan: A Shining Light at La Salle

Elizabeth Hallinan is a sophomore Psychology major at La Salle University. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to get a Master’s degree in Counseling. After school, she hopes to become a high school counselor. In interviewing Liz, she proudly asserted that she thrives on talking to others and learning more about them. Liz is involved in an abundance of clubs and organizations on campus. She is a Resident Assistant in St. Katherine Hall, serves as the Conference Coordinator for Resident Student Association Executive Board, is a member of the co-ed service fraternity on campus (ESA), sings in Chapel Choir, is a Music Ministry Scholar, a student ambassador, works for Late Night La Salle, led the Women’s Retreat through University Ministry this past fall, and will be going on a LIVE Trip for Project Appalachia during spring break! Even though Liz does a laundry list of things here on campus, she still remains both extremely humble and grounded.


This past weekend, University Ministry hosted Explore Retreat in the Lebanon Valley where everyone learned more about themselves. Since the beginning of the semester, Liz continued to encourage me to sign up. I was a little unsure at first, but she kept saying how much she thought I needed a mini getaway from campus. So, I decided to sign up, still a little unsure of what to expect. The retreat was everything I needed and so much more. One of the many reasons why I decided to interview Liz was because she is the person who encouraged not only me, but many others, to attend.


In the interview, I asked Liz what she is passionate about. She claimed:


I am passionate about the organizations I am involved in because a lot of them are based on people. I am very passionate about people, and community, and working with others; building relationships with the people at La Salle, and people beyond La Salle. I am really passionate about service and giving back to the students here, the alumni here, the people around Philly and the people around the world.


Along with this, she talked about her passion for music. She described it as her “therapy,” and says that it has always been a large part of her life. Liz sings at every Evensong on Thursday evenings at 5 PM in the Chapel and also sings at every mass on Sundays at 6 PM. Her faith has always been an important aspect in her life.


For the majority of the interview, I asked Liz questions about her experience on the Explore Retreat. I asked her what she took away from the weekend and she said that it was different from the last Explore Retreat that she went on. She expressed:


I learned that it’s okay that I have things going on in my life and although I may think that they seem big compared to other people who shared their stories, I know that I am important too. I felt like other people’s stories needed to be heard more than mine. I learned that it’s okay to be a listener and sometimes to be that shoulder for someone else.


In turn, I asked how she was going to take what she learned about herself and apply it to life here at La Salle, to which she replied:


I just want to keep encouraging people to follow their dreams and aspirations and be passionate about the things they do. One of the main focuses of Explore Retreat was ‘Who am I? What is my calling?’ I want to be the best source I can be to help people find their way.


I asked Liz if she had to tell the student body at La Salle one thing, what would it be? She took a minute to think about her answer and graciously said:


You are not alone. As dark as times may get, there are people that love you, and

think of you and pray for you. I hope that the students here take advantage of every opportunity they can, because the more they get involved and meet people, the closer they are to finding their passion and their purpose and I think that’s the best thing that anyone could ever strive for. You’re here for a reason and everyone at this school is meant to do something. We’re a pretty special place here on our little corner of 20th and Olney.


There is just something about Liz that is so special. When I had to think of someone on campus who I thought was empowering and inspirational, Elizabeth Hallinan was the first person who came to my mind. If someone is ever having a bad day, she is always the first one to take time out of her extremely busy schedule to listen and be that shoulder to cry on as she described in her interview. Liz is so passionate about everything she does and never gives less than her all.