Junior Follows her Passion for Theology

Alessandra Carino, FCRH ‘23, is a big part of campus life at Fordham. (courtesy of Herzlich)

Alessandra Carino, FCRH ‘23, is a big part of campus life at Fordham. (courtesy of Herzlich)

Alessandra Carino, FCRH ’23, is the president of Fordham. Well, not really, but she is well on her way. 

Carino is not your typical commuter student. Not only is she an active participant in on-campus activities, but she is an active leader. When asked to list all of the extracurricular activities she is involved in, she laughed and decided to list only her major time commitments. This shortened list involves acting as executive programming coordinator for Commuting Students Association (CSA), a leader for Campus Ministry’s Retreat Team, a sacramental coordinator intern at Campus Ministry, a tour guide and an orientation leader. Yes, this was the condensed version. 

When asked if there was anything she did not do on campus, she responded with, “I’m not a part of the business society,” before dissolving into another fit of laughter. 

Carino is a truly clouted figure here at Fordham, whether or not she wants to admit it. It is nearly impossible to walk around campus alongside Carino without being interrupted by countless friends and peers. Carino’s dedicated involvement to campus activities requires a delicate balance as a commuter. 

“My favorite thing [about being a commuter] is definitely having a home-school boundary,” says Carino. As a resident, she believes she would overextend herself. Returning to her home at the end of the day is both a relaxing ritual and a way of forcing her to put her social butterfly tendencies aside until the next day. 

Her least favorite thing about being a commuter student is the inconvenience. Carino says that the hardest part of being an actively involved commuter student is not having a room to return to in the middle of her packed days. “Sometimes I wish I could just take a nap, but … oh, well,” she jokes.

“I would say I’m in a special position as a commuter because I don’t live very far, so I have the opportunity to stay late or come on weekends, so it’s not as difficult as it would be for other commuters,” explains Carino. This flexibility is surely what allows Carino to assume a leadership role in almost every organization she belongs to. For example, Carino always aimed to work with Campus Ministry, leading to her current position as an intern helping to organize weddings in the campus church. Carino’s way of romanticizing life is not limited to the love she witnesses in the church, though. 

We are sitting by the fountain, at Carino’s request, when she launches into a completely unprompted, unscripted lovefest for the Fordham fountain. 

“There’s a really great view of the influx of people going to and from class. You get the beautiful water. You get the mums in the fall. You get the other flowers in the spring. When the trees are changing, the foliage is out in view. When the leaves fall down, you have a beautiful view of Keating,” gushes Carino, whose zest for life can also be witnessed in her studies. 

Her favorite subject throughout high school was theology, and this trend continued throughout her core studies at Fordham. However, Carino tried to push aside her passion for theology, explaining that she initially wanted to major in something more practical. 

“I ultimately decided to go with my heart and major in it,” says Carino. Her inclination to follow her heart led her to declaring a second major. 

One of Carino’s professors had been encouraging her to declare an Italian minor because of Carino’s clear interest in the field. Carino intended to declare the minor, but later decided on an Italian major because of her close connection to her Italian heritage. Carino attributes this connection to her grandmother, whose house she went to every day after school and who taught her how to cook. 

“Hearing [my grandma] talk about her life and her journey to America … that was always really important to me,” Carino says of her connection to her Italian background. 

In fact, Carino’s family was one of the supporting factors in her decision to attend Fordham. Carino comes from a Fordham family, explaining that she remembers getting alumni magazines from the school in the mail.

When it comes to Fordham, it is the close-knit community that Carino loves most. She enjoys the fact that everyone seems to know each other, with friendly connections forming among students, professors and administrators. 

“I feel like it’s a net because there’s always a connection to another person, but in a good way,” explains Carino. Then she laughs, leans in and whispers, “Sometimes not in a good way.”

Fordham’s community always felt like a part of Carino, so the decision to attend the university seemed like destiny. 

“I just love Fordham’s mission, and I love all the people here, and I couldn’t imagine not being such a big part of it,” says Carino.