March 18, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Five panelists from Mount Saint Mary College recently discussed their experiences as first generation college students. Left to right: Clarisa Rosario-DeGroate, student staff coordinator at the college's library; Paola Martinez, admissions counselor (speaking); Linda Kelly, assistant professor of Nursing; Veronica McMillan, assistant professor of Healthcare Management; and Anthony Scardillo, assistant professor of Marketing.
A panel of Mount Saint Mary College faculty and staff, all of whom were first generation college students, recently shared their experiences at the “Hear My Story” talk on campus.
The panelists were Anthony Scardillo, assistant professor of Marketing; Paola Martinez, admissions counselor; Linda Kelly, assistant professor of Nursing; Veronica McMillan, assistant professor of Healthcare Management; and Clarisa Rosario-DeGroate, student staff coordinator at the college's Kaplan Family Library & Learning Center.
The discussion allowed the audience, many of whom are first generation college students themselves, to ask the panelists questions about their experiences, such as pressures related to being the first to graduate in one’s family. Panelists revealed that their relatives came to America from places like Italy, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
Scardillo was grateful for his parent’s support of his decision to attend college: “Our parents were both supportive in my sister and me going on and continuing our education,” he noted.
Martinez, a 2017 Mount grad, discussed her decision to pursue higher education and how she got to where she is today. She credits the Mount for much of her success. Now as an employee of the college, she strives to pay it forward to current first generation students.
“Choosing the Mount was the best decision I made,” she said. “I became very independent from my experience in college and it has helped me later on in life.”
This panel discussion was the first in a series facilitated by the college’s Office of Student Success for first generation college students. In addition to programming like “Hear My Story,” the Office of Student Success helps Mount students by offering support through academic coaching, tutoring, and academic advising.