February 2016 Smithie of the Month: Crystal Arellano-Fryer


Lola (right) and I (left) took our families apple picking on the weekend before our wedding for our own “Wedding Mountain Day.”

Name: Crystal Arellano-Fryer

Class Year: 2009

How long have you lived in Philadelphia? What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

My wife, Lola (class of 2011), and I moved to Fishtown in the fall of 2013 for graduate school with our two cats, Teddy and Yaz. Everyone MUST try Que Chula Es Puebla, a fantastic, authentic Mexican restaurant in Northern Liberties.

What are you up to now?

I am in my final semester at Princeton Theological Seminary in the Master of Divinity program. I am also the Minister for Youth Formation at Christ Church Philadelphia and a Teaching Assistant for Biblical Hebrew (my boss is also a Smithie!).

What house did you live in on campus and what was your favorite thing about it?

Talbot House was an amazing place to live and always felt like home and Talboteers will always be like family. Moose love ❤

Why did you choose Smith?

Smith immediately felt like home from the first time I stepped on campus. I loved being surrounded by smart, motivated, and passionate people who wanted to make a difference. Smith’s generous financial aid made an otherwise impossible experience possible for me. I also loved Smith’s focus on the liberal arts and locating its coursework in actual world experiences.

Do you have a defining/favorite/most memorable/transformative Smith moment?

I loved playing softball at Smith with the best bunch of teammates in the world. Smith made me love the game again and playing a sport was the perfect compliment to tough courses and hours of studying.

What makes a Smithie unique?

I think you can tell what makes a Smithie unique when you meet someone and think, “You could be a Smithie.” Smithies are strong, independent, passionate problem solvers with a pension for questioning authority, deep conversation, and political convictions. A young woman in my church’s high school youth group recently shared with me how unfair she thought it was that all of the schools in Philadelphia do not have the same resources, to which I said “Have you ever thought about going to a women’s college?”

How did your Smith experience shape your life?

Besides introducing me to my best friends and my wife, Smith pushed me to challenge myself and the world around, to ask for more out of life for myself and others. Smith taught me the power of organizing and finding my own voice. Smith was the place I learned to write, to speak, to protest, and to build relationships for a lifetime.



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