Vocation and Calling | Dr. Michelle Perez

In the Fall of 2020, Campbell staff members invested in themselves and their coworkers by taking part in a virtual cohort on a quest to illuminate their gifts and career paths. The staff members used their reading and discussion groups to get to know one another, telling stories from their own lives and the lives of others who made an impact on them. 

Led by Vice President for Spiritual Life and Campus Minister Faithe Beam, the cohort met in two groups of six and was funded through a $10,000 grant from NetVUE (Network for Vocation in Theological Education) to engage staff in the process of vocational discernment. Participants read “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker Palmer, which shares insights and wisdom on the learning from our core attributes and following a sense of meaning and purpose. They also discussed their faith journeys and the integration of their spiritual lives at Campbell. 

Cohort discussion encouraged personal spiritual formation, interdisciplinary exploration of the meaning of “calling” and new ideas and practices toward engaging students in career discernment. 

Michelle Pérez believes two things to be true: that we are attracted to the best of ourselves in others, and that we become what we know. As associate vice president for student success, she often sees the impact of those truths in the lives of students and especially empathizes with students who struggle to fit in on campus. Pérez spent a year in Campbell Spiritual Life’s vocation and calling cohort reflecting on memorable moments in her life that helped her identify who she is called to be– someone who reassures others and finds them a place to belong. 

Pérez credits her incredibly loving mother with giving her the self-confidence to break her family’s career mold and become a first-generation college student. Looking back on her life, she can see that the people she most admired were great encouragers who created environments where people felt valued. Now, she feels called to do the same. 

“I want students to know they are welcome here and that they can be and do almost anything,” said Pérez. “I hope to do that with laughter, with care and with love.”