Morristown, N.J. (March 26, 2015) – Raul Pamplona has journeyed far to his current place. Born and raised in Colombia, he came to the U.S. in his early 20s to reunite with his mother and father. He spent his childhood involved in the church of his mother; his mother was active in the different ministries the local parish offered and he tagged along. It was here that he had his first inklings of his goal in life, although at the time he did not know it.
After some time in New Jersey, becoming involved in his local parish, he began to look for opportunities to study chaplaincy to work with the sick and dying. He attended and received his associate degree at Passaic County College where he also learned English through the English as a Second Language program.
In an abbreviated history of his journey to CSE, he contacted several colleges to explore getting a bachelor's degree in theology. Ultimately he came to CSE as a result of the flexibility, faculty support and availability of classes.
"They were so good to me here," says Raul. "I wanted to finish my bachelor's as soon as possible, and they made it happen for me."
His finished his bachelor's in a year by taking summer and interim classes and immediately began his master's program in theology, also to be finished in a year.
"I felt very welcome here and Dr. Santamaria guided and supported my plans and goals from the beginning."
Currently, Raul is a full-time chaplain and patient representative (advocate) at Jersey City Medical Center.
"I have been preparing for this my whole life," he says. "The College of Saint Elizabeth has really helped me to get here."