March 9, 2011 • Campus News
St. Vladimir’s Seminary is pleased to welcome two new staff members: Matushka Robin Freeman, Annual Gifts Officer; and Matthew Garklavs, Assistant Librarian. Matushka Robin replaces as Annual Gifts Officer, Fr. Jason Foster, now attached as priest to Bossier City Mission Orthodox Church in Louisiana.
Matushka Robin Freeman graduated in 2006 from Gordon College with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. She and her husband, Dn. Evan Freeman, moved to St. Vladimir’s Seminary later that year in order for Dn. Evan to work on a Master of Divinity degree. While at the seminary, Mat. Robin worked in the Advancement Office, and also worked with the chapel choirs as an assistant conductor. After Dn. Evan graduated from the seminary in 2009, the Freemans relocated to Bloomington, Indiana, in order for Mat. Robin to complete a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Dn. Evan was ordained to the diaconate in July 2010 by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, and the Freemans have been serving in their local parish, All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church. Mat. Robin anticipates graduating from her program in May 2011, after which she and her husband will relocate to St. Vladimir’s Seminary, where Mat. Robin will her begin work as the Annual Gifts Officer.
“My husband and I are thrilled to be returning to St. Vladimir’s Seminary, a place that was extremely influential in our formation as Orthodox Christians,” said Mat. Robin. “In particular, I am looking forward to getting to know the seminary’s many faithful stewards on a more personal level, to the glory of Jesus Christ and the edification of one another. I am honored to be a small part in furthering the vital work of St. Vladimir’s Seminary.”
Matthew Garklavs is a 2007 graduate of Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, from which he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a concentration in Russian and Eurasian Studies. During his collegiate career, he was given the Bard Publications Prize, in recognition of writing, editing, or design achievement in the preparation of a Bard publication, in 2007; and the Lindsay Watton III Memorial Essay Award, based on an essay that demonstrated excellence and dedication in the field of Russian and Eurasian studies, in 2006. Also in 2006, he studied Russian Language and Culture during his year abroad, at Smolny College, St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2010, he earned his Master of Science in Library and Information Sciences, with an Archives Management Concentration, from Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts. In 2009, he was awarded the Dolores M. Sayles '29LS Endowed Scholarship, based on academic achievements.
Mr. Garklavs noted his early association with the seminary, saying, “As the son of an Orthodox priest, who grew up in the New York area, I was introduced to St. Vladimir's Seminary at a young age. My father often took me along as his sidekick whenever he had business in Crestwood. Of course, to a kid, these excursions were not always exciting. But in hindsight I realize what an impact they made on me. Visiting St. Vladimir’s broadened my outlook on Orthodox Christianity and informed my initial impressions of higher learning. These experiences inspired me to take my studies more seriously and helped me to appreciate how Orthodoxy is present in contemporary life.
“Assuming the position of Assistant Librarian at St. Vladimir’s Seminary is an opportunity for me to put into practice what I have learned,” he continued. “After six years of studying in academic institutions and training in various libraries, I finally feel ready to make a contribution."