Posted on Jun 23, 2006

Coming to Union was a leap of faith for Regina Chiuminnato. The ballet dancer from Milwaukee, Wisc., had planned to go to a college closer to home. Her high school guidance counselor had other thoughts.

“She was always raving about Union,” Chiuminnato relates. “She said, ‘This school is perfect for you.' I said that was interesting, but I'd look later.”

When she did, “what struck me most was how beautiful the campus was. Union also had a broader curriculum, so at the last minute, I changed my mind.”

In high school, Chiuminatto wrote sonnets and was a member of the Milwaukee Ballet School, a rigorous classical training ground. Her arrival at Union, a pas de deux with fate, propelled her into a world of languages and Victorian literature. Already well-versed in French with knowledge of Latin, she jumped into Greek and German classes her first trimester. A Classics major, she hopes to learn Italian, Chinese and Russian, study comparative literature in graduate school and “definitely” pursue her Ph.D.

When she needs a break from “brain-frying,” Chiuminatto turns to poetry by Milton, Pope and Thomas Hardy. She's a member of Orange House Council and the Ballroom Dance Club. She thinks about a term abroad: “France, Greece, China, Italy… with so many options, it would be foolish not to go somewhere.”

In short, Union allows Chiuminnato to be who she is and who she might become. Clearly, she's poised for great things.

“I don't think any other school would have been as good a fit for me because of the stimulating social and intellectual atmosphere here,” she says. “For instance, Professor (Tarik) Wareh, my Greek teacher, is really great. Last week, we were discussing the various functions and forms of intensive and reflexive pronouns in English, French and Greek. I really enjoyed international politics with Byron Nichols, too. He's another one I can talk to about anything.”