There’s a familiar face back on the Hilbert campus after a brief hiatus: Jeff Papia.
Papia, who returned this year as Hilbert’s Vice President of Mission Integration and Campus Ministry, took a position with D’Youville College in 2018, where he had a similar job as their Chief Mission Officer.
He said he is very happy to be back.
“It’s a Joy,” Papia said. “I’m seeing old friends and making new ones, and coming back to the Hilbert student community.”
Hilbert is an institution that is proud of its Franciscan heritage and values and seeks to do good, as the founder of the college Mother Collete Hilbert envisioned. At the heart of Hilbert the goal is to help make individuals who are empathetic and informed.
Papia had been a member of the Hilbert Community loved by many when he left for D’Youville. Eileen Stack, the Administrative Assistant to President Michael Brophy, works closely with Papia. She said she is very excited to have him back on campus.
“It’s an absolute pleasure because he is a genuine Franciscan person and lives his life as a Franciscan,” Stack said.
While some students may not be familiar with Papia, many on campus are familiar with his events. Agape Latte, a popular speaking series where students have an opportunity to get to know a side of professors and faculty on campus that they wouldn’t have learned about in a traditional class setting, is one of his hallmarks.
Papia said that while D’Youville was a school of faith that he was “grateful to be back at a Franciscan College” as his heart is with the identity of Hilbert.
Stack said Papia fits right in with the administrative team.
“I’m very fortunate as the people I support are those who help to make decisions based on the values they hold in the college,” she said.
While the entire world and Hilbert is currently going through what would be considered a new norm Papia’s office is not going to slow down, as he said he remains passionate for what he does and stands committed to his roll on campus despite challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
“No, nothing really has changed. The goal is to support our Franciscan heritage and students,” Papia said. “So how I do it may be different but the goal is the same.”