Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center


JFRC's First "Talking Books" Event Presents Local People as Living Stories


In an effort to satisfy student curiosity about their adopted city and its inhabitants, the JFRC library welcomed nine special guests for its first ever "Talking Books" event, presenting local people as living stories to our student population. Their backgrounds and expertise included private equity, sustainable energy, international education, Scout leadership, diplomacy, fashion, journalism, computer software, and law. Students could reserve a 25-minute conversation with the “Talking Book” of their choice, either as a one-to-one or in a small group.

The “Talking Book” volunteers were as excited to meet our students as our students were to meet them. They were delighted to offer an insider’s viewpoint of life in Rome, including key aspects of their life journeys and decision-making processes. The visitors were impressed by our students’ depth of understanding and motivation, while the students were inspired by the guests’ achievements to consider how their own careers might develop.

JFRC student and Ricci Scholar Sydney Williams said, “This event was such an amazing surprise. Speaking with so many people from so many backgrounds was illuminating. Each person was able to offer a nugget of wisdom that I was not expecting. The ‘books’ came ready and willing to share their stories and made the experience very comfortable. I would definitely recommend attending this event to any of my friends.”