Andy Resto: Taking a Broader Perspective


Andy Resto is a fifth-year Religion, Literature and the Arts (RGLA) student with a Russian minor. Currently in his final year of studies, Andy enjoys the degree for its interdisciplinary nature and the ability to combine his interest in multiple fields: literature, languages, theology, and philosophy.

Courses from different departments are cross-listed with RGLA and seminar topics change annually. While students can take courses on topics ranging from Dante’s Inferno to Italian cinema to existentialist philosophy, there is also the option to specialize.

“It’s very broad, but it’s a degree where you can focus on what you’re interested in. For example, if you want to take more courses about religion you can do that without just limiting yourself to religious studies,” said Andy.

While Andy was initially skeptical about going on exchange, he ended up thoroughly enjoying his year studying at Humboldt Universität in Berlin, Germany, taking courses in the theology and Russian faculties.

“In Germany, they’re really proud of their theological history, especially Protestantism, so I was able to take theology courses of a specificity that isn’t offered at UBC,” said Andy. “It opened my eyes to a lot of new writers and modes of thought that I can now apply to my studies here.”

Outside of academics, Andy spends much of his time working with CiTR, the campus radio station. He first started volunteering four years ago by writing for Discorder, their music magazine, and then became involved on the student executive team as the programming director, where he helped to organize live broadcasting sessions at events and venues throughout the Lower Mainland. Currently, he is employed as the digital library coordinator through a Work Study position, converting CiTR’s extensive music collection into digital format.

“CiTR’s a really different place on campus that not many people know about. There’s a lot of freedom to try new things and there are a lot of different experiences that you can have,” said Andy. “It gets you involved with the city, either by going downtown to see new bands play, or by volunteering in more community areas.”

Andy intends on continuing on to graduate studies in comparative literature someday, and eventually hopes to become a professor, while keeping his options open in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or working in broadcast journalism.

“Literature and philosophy have been vital to my own personal development,” he said. “I think opening people’s perspectives to these things and changing the way we think, or expanding the way we think, is very important and at times overlooked. I want to be able to open up some of these avenues to students.”