In the depths of the Cavern beneath Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College Chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life Elizabeth Candido sat in her office while eagerly awaiting students that stop by for a cookie and some tea in between classes.
Candido graduated K in 2000, and she returned to Kalamazoo specifically for the job of Chaplain and director. She previously worked with interfaith communities at Ohio State University and she wanted to continue in this work field.
“I knew that I wanted to spend my time with diverse groups of people and I love the college student age, its my favorite group to work with, so this was exactly the right job for me at a place that I knew,” said Candido. “I was surprised and delighted when they hired me.”
Candido helps organize student religious and spiritual life activities on campus. She works both with individuals and existing organizations to provide support and guidance.
As campus chaplain Candido provides pastoral care to students. In providing pastoral care, Candido is available whether a student is need of spiritual or religious guidance or a friendly face to reflect on their lives. a
“I think I have the best job on campus,” said Candido “I get to talk with students about the stuff in their lives that’s really important and the ways they’re trying to make sense of who they are and what they’re studying and what life is about.”
Candido graduated from K as a religion major and continued her education at Harvard Divinity. She began studying computer science at K but decided that was not the path for when she realized the depths of religion.
“I didn’t know there were other ways, so kind of learning that was really empowering for me,” said Candido.
Outside of work Candido enjoys spending time with her two young children, hiking, reading mystery novels and watching Project Runway.
Candido’s helpful advice to the K student body is to continue to grow and question the world.
“One of the great privileges of being this age in this part of the world is the opportunity to continue to question what you know and to learn new things from new perspectives that you haven’t considered before,” said Candido. “How exciting that we don’t have to be in the same place today that we were yesterday.”