Four years of hard work didn’t go unnoticed for Mount Saint Mary College senior Louise Goodman of Brewster, N.Y., who was recently awarded a full scholarship to Albany Law School.
While her peers were applying to jobs and celebrating grad school acceptances, Goodman – a double major in English and Psychology at the Mount – had to decide between Albany Law and Penn State University, which had also offered her a full scholarship. Looking back on her time at the Mount, the choice became clear.
“My favorite thing about the Mount is the small community feel,” Goodman said. “I like knowing my professors and the other students, and that’s what I think Albany can provide me with. That’s why I chose to go there.”
Goodman has demonstrated her academic excellence at every step of her undergraduate career. In 2020, she won the college’s Fifth Annual Writing Contest with her essay, “Incomplete: Enjambment in Poetry.” A year later, she was named an Aquinas Scholar, which requires a minimum grade point average of 3.60. While taking part in the college’s annual Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), she enjoyed hands-on research into medieval recipes under the mentorship of Rob Wakeman, assistant professor of English. On top of that, she has consistently made the Mount’s Dean’s list, she was a student in the college’s rigorous Honors program, she was chair of the Student Honors Council, she was president of the Mount’s chapter of Psi Chi (the International honor society for Psychology), and more.
It might sound like a lot of activities for just one student, but Goodman wouldn’t have it any other way: “I work hard and I enjoy working hard,” she said. “Higher education is something that brings out the best in me.”
After the Mount’s annual commencement ceremony in May, Goodman will enjoy exploring a career in law. Right now, she has her sights set on becoming an attorney.
“Law will make the most of the strengths that I know I have and it sounds like the most interesting career to me, so that’s why I chose it,” she said.
Goodman is one of seven children, and like her siblings before her, she is a first-generation college student. Her brother, George, graduated from the Mount’s Nursing program in 2016. Her sister, Lily, was a Biology major on the Pre-Physician’s Assistant track who graduated summa cum laude in 2018.
Having carved her own path in different fields than her siblings, Goodman is thankful for the professors who helped mold her into the successful student she is today.
Goodman said that Peter Witkowsky, associate professor of English and Chair of the Division of Arts and Letters, is “an incredible man and very compassionate. If you want to succeed and are determined, he will not let you fail. That was so wonderful to me.”
She added of the entire Arts and Letters department, “English gives me insight, and they [the professors] are the conduits of that insight.”
On the Psychology side of things, Goodman noted that Paul Schwartz, professor of Psychology, is a mentor like no other.
“I need to know that the professor cares about me as an individual and as a student,” she said. “Dr. Schwartz has always proven that he does.”
As she prepares to walk across the Commencement stage, Goodman finds herself reflecting on her time at Mount Saint Mary College.
“I enjoy walking through campus and saying ‘hi’ to people and knowing most of them. It gives me a feeling of comfort,” she explained. “If you let it be, academia can be very lonely if you only focus on the score aspect of it. I tried that; it’s not a good place to be. I love being surrounded by people and the compassion of the teachers – that makes all the difference to me.”