Husband and wife from Puerto Rico earn accolades
June 20, 2014
NEWBURGH, N.Y. – June 2014 – It was an exciting night for the 26
students recently inducted into Mount Saint Mary College’s chapter
of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society for adult students in
For husband and wife team Roberto and Iraida Ayala, who were
born in Puerto Rico, the honor was even more special – Roberto is a
first generation college student.
“I feel very proud of myself and Roberto,” said Iraida. “Having
two kids and being able to accomplish this is a dream for us.”
Currently living in West Point, N.Y. the Ayalas are a United
States Military family. Roberto is a Lt. First Class, and Iraida is
Both seek a bachelor’s in business administration. They plan to
use their Mount degrees to further their military careers.
In addition to sharing the honor society induction, the Ayalas
also have many of the same classes and professors. “They have
different methods of teaching, so I learned for each one in
different ways,” said Irida.
Roberto agreed. “Every professor made class special.”
The minimum for admittance to the college’s chapter of Alpha
Sigma Lambda is a GPA of 3.2. Among the recent pool of candidates,
GPAs ranged from 3.56 to 3.88.
“This is truly a stellar group of students,” explained Karen W.
Ulrich, the society’s advisor and assistant director of advisement
for adult degree completion programs. “These adult students balance
academic, professional and home life, children, and more, and still
manage to get GPAs higher than 3.5. I couldn’t be prouder of them
In addition to the Ayalas, 2014 inductees were: Jacquelyn
Augusto of Wallkill, N.Y.; Annemarie Collins of Wallkill, N.Y.;
Domenico D’Amico of Middletown, N.Y.; Adam Hammel of Greenwood
Lake, N.Y.; Lydia Hart of Cornwall, N.Y.; Courtney Horan of
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Nicole Marc of Middletown, N.Y.; Elizabeth
Monroe of New Windsor, N.Y.; Thomas Palermo of Newburgh, N.Y.;
Elizabeth Quinones of Washingtonville, N.Y.; Breeanna Ramos of
Newburgh, N.Y.; Paula Randolph of Middletown, N.Y.; Melissa
Ricketts of Cold Spring, N.Y.; Gregory Roe of Newburgh, N.Y.;
Melissa Ruaya of Highland, N.Y.; Zachary Ruckh of Newburgh, N.Y.;
Devon Scalfari of Newburgh, N.Y.; Julann Schwarz-Cobb of Beacon,
N.Y.; Whitney Shkreli of Newburgh, N.Y.; Chris Toscano of Newburgh,
N.Y.; Jessica Tripaldi of Wallkill, N.Y.; Yamaris Vaillant of
Newburgh, N.Y.; Diandria Williams of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; and
Alicia Yonker of Napanoch, N.Y.
For adult students interested in starting or transferring
credits towards a bachelor’s degree, Mount Saint Mary College
offers programs in career-focused, in-demand fields that can help
to advance career and earning potential, including accounting,
business management and administration, history, human services,
interdisciplinary toward childhood education, nursing, online RN to
BS, and psychology.
The Mount’s master’s degree opportunities include options in
business, education and nursing. All three programs carry
specialized accreditation at both undergraduate and graduate
The college provides affordable tuition and accelerated programs
with convenient evening and weekend classes for the busy adult age
24 and up.
About Mount Saint Mary College: Founded by the
Dominican Sisters of Newburgh in 1959, Mount Saint Mary College
overlooks the Hudson River and valley, just 60 miles north of New
York City. With 2,600 students pursuing bachelor’s and master’s
degrees on its beautiful 60-acre campus, the College prepares
students for careers in healthcare, business, education, social
services, communication/media and more.