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Student Research Facilitates Diverse Spiritual Experiences on Campus 

Feb 29, 2024 By Queens University Communications

The interfaith community at Queens University of Charlotte fosters connection, curiosity, and growth on campus. Davies Fellows Maggie Dineen ‘25 and Sophie Lange ‘24 have developed a passion for interfaith work during their time at Queens and are using their fellowship with the Belk Chapel to cultivate meaningful conversation and community programming on campus. 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Maggie Dineen ‘25, a professional writing and rhetoric and Spanish double major, discovered Queens as a student-athlete looking to play on the women’s rugby team. It was the campus motto that confirmed her decision to enroll and become a Royal. 

Maggie Dineen ’25

“A big reason that I came to Queens was because of the culture of community service that is so apparent here,” said Dineen. “When my coach told me about the Queens motto, ‘Not to be served, but to serve,’ I knew this was the school for me.” 

Sophie Lange ‘24 had a similar, but different journey to Queens. The international studies major was drawn to Queens from Chesapeake, Virginia. because of the women’s swimming team and found that she would thrive on campus both inside and outside of the pool. 

“While I initially found Queens because of its swimming team, I quickly realized that this experience would be what would propel me toward my personal and professional goals,” said Lange. “The political science, international studies, and sociology department is a close-knit family full of professors that have so many connections.” 

Sophie Lange ’24

Dineen and Lange got to know one another when they went on a Belk Chapel trip to the Chicago Parliament of World Religions alongside University Chaplain Adrian Bird and fellow Queens students. While both Dineen and Lange had unique spiritual backgrounds, they found this experience to be life changing. It would inspire them to apply for the Davies Fellowship, a year-long enriching program centered around research, community outreach, and interfaith exploration. 

As Davies Fellows, Dineen and Lange have been given the opportunity to reflect on their own faith-based or philosophical values while serving as campus leaders, engaging in community outreach, and researching in academic and co-curricular settings. 

They decided to focus their research and experiential learning around Diwali and the Hindu community during the fall semester and are currently working on planning a Sikh celebration alongside the local Sikh community in Charlotte to bring to campus this spring. 

When asked about their motivation for the project and their research, both students reflected on the learning environment at Queens. 

“I am passionate about creating spaces that unite people from different backgrounds,” said Dineen. “Queens does such a great job of cultivating strong student leaders. Faculty and staff empower us to use our voices and explore our interests.” 

“Queens sees the whole person — you aren’t just a student or an athlete or someone who goes to Belk Chapel,” said Lange. “There are opportunities here to discover so much about yourself and the world around you without being boxed in.” 

Lange’s interfaith involvement has shifted her perspective of international relations. 

“For a long time, I felt that religion had no seat at the table when it came to political discourse,” said Lange. “Now, I understand how contradictory that is. You must bring yourself to the table. It is crucial that we recognize that there are so many religious, cultural, and societal factors that influence how we make decisions overall.” 

Visit the Belk Chapel Davies Fellowship webpage to learn more.