Relishing summer 2021


Photo from @sketchymandy on Instagram

How students spend their summers highlights the diversity of Iona’s student body’s interests.

Shakinah Silverberg, Managing Editor

As the Gaels come back for the 2021-2022 school year, many students have interesting and diverse summer experiences to share. One of the most exciting aspects of coming back to school, besides seeing the faces of fellow Ionians again, is telling them about thrilling summer experiences. Whether it be traveling, working, doing special activities or staying on campus for a summer class or research, Gaels are always finding ways to make the best of their summers.  


Sophomore Alesandra Payne took a trip to St. Marteen this past August and enjoyed her luxurious one week stay. 


“My vacation was great! I tried paddle boarding for the first time, ate a lot of seafood, and went to the beach every day,” Payne said. “The water there is the Caribbean Sea so it’s warmer than that on the East Coast of the US, and some beaches are a different color blue. It was interesting to see how one beach was demolished by hurricane Katrina years ago and how the houses in the lower income areas were still broken down.  


Payne took note of the different approaches to combatting the current pandemic in St. Marteen compared to the United States. 


“Their approach to combatting COVID-19 is also very different from the States because you need a negative COVID test to get in the country and to leave,” Payne said. “The French side of the island has a curfew of about 7 or 8 P.M. where everything is closed, and people are supposed to stay home to prevent further spread of the virus.” 


Other students spread their Gael pride all over the world this summer. Sophomore Annika Ziels worked on the other side of the country these past few months, but the distance didn’t get her down. She’s offering her services here on the East Coast too.  


“Over the summer honestly all I did was work,” Ziels said. “However, I really love my job so it’s okay. It is my third summer working in a floral shop in Portland, OR. I really feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to learn the skill of floral arranging at such a young age. My favorite thing is when I make arrangements for customers, and they come back to tell me how special my arrangement made their event. If anyone needs any floral arrangements, let me know!”  


Whether it’s out of the country or on the other side of the continent, our talented students are always sharing their skills. 


There were also several Iona students who stayed for some time over the summer working as Gael Guides and showing our lovely campus off to future Gaels. Others served as Orientation Leaders/Orientation Assistants, who stayed on campus and helped with Kickoff Orientation Days in June and came back to finish off Orientation at the end of August. These benevolent students gave so much of their time to the benefit of our school, showing that no matter what time of year it is, Gaels will always be drawn to Iona.