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Five-Minute Interview with Returning Alumni, Colleen Cook '02 and Raheem Logan '12

Kelly Slonaker

A Five-Minute Interview with Returning Alumni, Colleen Cook '02 and Raheem Logan '12

Canterbury enthusiastically welcomed two alumni back to campus as faculty for the 2019-2020 school year, Colleen Cook '02 and Raheem Logan '12. 

Colleen '02 returns to us as the Director of Health Services after spending several years working as a nurse in the organ transplant unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After Canterbury, she received her BSN from Villanova University and obtained her MBA from Temple University. Colleen lives on campus with her mini-labradoodle, Charlie, and, outside of the School, is actively involved with two organizations based in Togo: Wish Them Well and El-Fazien orphanage. She recently traveled to Togo as a volunteer, and has also participated in 11 of Canterbury’s annual trips to Lourdes—three as a student and eight as the attending nurse for the group.

Raheem '12 joins the faculty in the Theology department and will also work in the Office of Student Life, assisting with diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus. Additionally, he will serve as head coach for Boys’ Varsity Squash, assistant coach for Track, and dorm parent in Carmody House. After graduating from Canterbury, Raheem attended Wesleyan University and earned his bachelor’s in sociology. He then served as the Director of Squash for non-profit, CitySquash, in Brooklyn, where he coached, mentored, and managed the squash program for 50 urban youths and assisted in the overall operations and culture-building for the program. Outside of Canterbury, Raheem is in the process of completing a children’s book and is training for the 2019 New York City Marathon.

We are grateful and elated to have such committed, passionate, and ebullient community members back on our campus. To help our hilltop get to know these two a little better, we asked each of them six questions about their respective journeys on-, off-, and back-to-campus.


What is your favorite Canterbury memory?
Colleen: I loved my activities with the Women of Canterbury group and getting to work with Sandy Behan—even just hanging out in her office, stuffing envelopes and chatting with her and the other girls.

Raheem: My favorite Canterbury memory would probably be the Emmaus retreat. I’m really thankful to have had that [experience], and it was life-changing in the best ways possible.

What's one thing you would go back and tell your high school self?
Colleen: That you don’t have to be so stressed all the time!

Raheem: You don’t have it all figured out and you don’t have to be so stubborn all the time. Being open-minded and willing to embrace and try new things is so important. There were things I restricted myself from trying—based on past experiences and educators—that I wish I had delved into, like art classes.

What was your favorite subject? Were you involved in any sports or activities?
Colleen: All of my science classes were my favorites (thank you, Dr. Lee and Sandy Behan!). I also did field hockey, basketball and softball, and was active in the yearbook and Women of Canterbury.

Raheem: It was a close tie between the various math classes I took—I really enjoyed the high level of courses—and my writing class with Dr. Stankus-Saulaitis. She pushed me in ways that were frustrating at the time, but made me a far better writer and communicator.

What made you want to come back to Canterbury as a faculty member?
Colleen: I wanted to be part of a community again where everyone is focused on serving the same goal. When I think about the other adults in my life, outside of family, that have had an impact on me, they all came from Canterbury. And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do that for another student?

Raheem: As awesome of an experience as I had here as a student, I didn’t have any direct role models that were like me. Representation is really important for our students; they are from all walks of life. I don’t like to complain about things I have no intention of changing, so I saw an opportunity and I decided to come back and be that presence for both minority and majority students. I also saw it as an opportunity to learn more about myself in a familiar environment as an adult versus a student.

How has Canterbury changed since you were here?
Colleen: Outside of the physical changes, I think the sense of community is stronger and the emphasis on student life and student wellness has grown. There’s more focus on balance for both the students and the faculty.

Raheem: The levels of conversation that we’re having—in terms of race and identity—have grown. My experience here [as a student] was great, but we weren’t having those conversations; I think a lot of students wished that the door had been open to talk about those difficult things. Our students come from vastly different backgrounds, and being able to talk about those differences can help alleviate so much stress and anxiety. I think Rachel is really leading those dialogues between adults and students, and they’re valuable for both sides. 

What do you hope to achieve in your time here?
Colleen: I’d love to build lasting connections with students and staff. I’m also really looking forward to getting to relearn the School and see a different side of it. I’m learning more about the ways it has grown, and seeing where I can help elevate its progress.

Raheem: I want to spread love and positivity; that’s the way that I lead and the way that I live. I also want to enact some change by bringing more representation and diversity to campus. Diversity is more than just getting students here; it’s making sure that there are conversations around the integration of different backgrounds, genders, identities, and races. It’s about talking and sharing experiences; that’s often where you find you’re actually a lot more similar than you are different. And it’s also about celebrating and appreciating those differences—there is no one else like you or me, and that is beautiful in itself.