Before joining Salve Regina’s graduate program, Jacqueline Allee was a flight attendant who transported the military around the world. Following that, Allee worked in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a contractor.
After graduating with an M.A. in International Relations in 2018, Allee was awarded the David Boren Homeland Security Distinguished Fellowship (the first to be selected in Salve Regina history) to study Arabic in Oman during the academic year 2018-19. Afterward, Allee spent the Summer of 2019 studying Classical Koranic Arabic at Harvard Divinity School. She relocated to Virginia in January of 2020 and has since been seeking opportunities in Washington, DC, where she can use her language skills and cultural expertise in the areas of Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Humanitarian Relief. Meanwhile, Allee is currently volunteering as an Emergency Response Spanish linguist translating at a COVID-19 testing site. She is preparing to take the Foreign Service Exam in the Fall and has a deep passion to learn more about Muslim-Christian apologetics; Allee’s goal is to complete a certificate program in Interreligious Dialogue at Pontifical Institute in Rome sometime in the future.
Allee’s favorite Salve memory is sitting in class on the 2nd floor of McCauley Hall with a view of the ocean, studying International Relations along with War College military officers from all over the world. Her two favorite professors during her time at Salve were Dr. Symeon Giannakos and Dr. Chad Raymond.
Going to mass daily in the chapel, Allee felt so blessed to be studying at Salve and felt the desire to thank God and give back somehow. “It reminded me that God was with me as I balanced my classes and my job at the Naval War College. I thoroughly enjoyed attending Seahawk football and men’s hockey games, as well as Salve’s dance and choir performances. I decided I would be the one to represent the grad student fan base! One thing I will always treasure: I made many undergraduate friends who made me feel young and included, and it was such a unique privilege to be both a classmate and mentor.”
Allee’s favorite hangouts on campus were the Mercy Center and McKillop Library. Sometimes she would take a study break and wander into the Breakers to experience its beauty and to recharge her brain. “I was also a member of St. Mary’s Choir, and they became my second family,” Allee says. “It was elevating to learn beautiful, challenging hymns and was the perfect balance I needed between academic and artistic rigor.”
While at home in California, Allee wanted to find a graduate program in International Relations at a Catholic University on the East Coast. Although she had never heard of Salve, her decision was made after taking one look at the photos of campus! Walking the Cliff Walk for the first time, she knew she had chosen the right school. It looked enough like California to feel at home, yet it was so exciting to be in New England. Being from the Pacific coast, it was so strange for Allee to behold the ocean and snow in the same location!
“I would tell someone considering to attend Salve that you could not ask for a more beautiful campus, and friendly faculty and peers. A big plus is how small the school is. It made such a difference to me that Sister Jane knew me by name, one of only 500 graduate students. I think especially for an undergraduate starting out, the small, intimate feeling of campus is a perfect transition point between leaving home and before navigating life and career in the big city.”
One of the things about Salve’s mission that resonated most with Allee is the community that welcomes people of all beliefs, since interfaith dialogue is a cause close to her heart, and dialogue is possible only through the lens of mercy. As Pope Francis said, “We are able to give mercy to others if we are able to receive mercy from God.” Being stewards of God’s creation, using sound judgement, and thinking creatively are skills that Salve has nurtured in me to apply in my future endeavors.