Even if you don’t know Stephanie Raso, you’ve probably seen her.
Walking through Ford Hall, you will find that her name and face pepper the information wall.
In a passé position, with one arm extended forward and book in hand, Raso poses in one of the Linfield READ posters.
Framing the poster are past articles, picturing Raso dancing skillfully on the Ice Auditorium stage.
The senior communication arts major has been immersed in the Linfield dance scene since her first days on campus—and since her arrival, the scene has grown.
“Although we don’t have a big dance culture at Linfield, I try to support it as much as possible,” Raso said.
A humble simplification considering she has been enthusiastically active in promoting the dance showcases, as well as persistent in communicating with college relations.
“I really want to see dance succeed at Linfield,” Raso said.
Raso’s indisputable appreciation for dance is a product of her extensive experience.
“My mother started me in tap when I was four,” Raso said.
After tap, she moved to jazz, then ballet—fast forward 20 years and Raso has mastered an array of dance forms.
“In a nutshell, I’ve done it for a long time,” Raso said. “I’m passionate and very dedicated to it.”
Raso’s dedication is evident, as she will perform in four different numbers in this semester’s dance showcase, choreographing one dance and co-choreographing three others.
However, Raso’s ardor isn’t limited to dance.
Raso has been working as an intern for Vista Hills Vineyard and Winery, an internship that’s known to be difficult to land—except for Raso.
“I applied and that week they wanted to work with me,” Raso said.
Since officially being hired in October, Raso has spent countless hours at the peak of Dundee Hills, learning the complexities of wine making.
“There’s so much that goes into the production of wine, it’s really fascinating,” Raso said. “I slowly but surely started to develop my knowledge about the wine industry.”
Raso regularly informs customers about Vista Hills’ highly acclaimed Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines, a task that she happily performs.
“Working in the tasting room, it’s fun because you meet different customers,” Raso said. “You get to learn about the people who come in.”
On March 10, Raso set up an exclusive, RSVP event, in which she prepared the Treehouse Tasting Room for about 32 Treehouse Club Members who visited Vista Hills to hear winemaker and General Manager Dave Peterson talk about select wines.
“She set up this entire event,” Tasting Room Manager Ryan Fish said. “She also did our last Thanksgiving event.”
Additionally, she worked the wedding season—a busy time for the winery.
“I’ve never imagined having an internship at a winery. I enjoy the world of wine so much,” Raso said.
Between the numerous duties for dance and the internship, Raso’s time is stretched, impressively so.
Not only has she had to prepare a senior thesis, which she presented last semester, she has had two opportunities to study abroad, recently returning from Greece and Rome.
“I am so grateful and thankful for having the opportunity to go abroad, not once but twice,” Raso said.
Even more, Raso has to balance the daunting responsibilities of a senior preparing to start a new chapter away from Linfield.
“Now that I’m a senior, I have to think about places I have to go. I’m dealing with the graduating questions, like where I’ll live,” she said.
The California native has considered returning to her hometown in the Bay Area, but she sees potential in Oregon.
“I’d like to stick it out here and get into the wine industry or get back involved with dance,” Raso said. “I like to be optimistic. I’d rather not say what’s negative when I might find something or something might fall into place.”
Chrissy Shane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org