Graduating Biology Majors Reflect on Their Time at Molloy

Foreword by Christie Catterson

Reflections by graduating Biology students

I am honored to say that I am one of the Biology students of the graduating class of 2018. When I first met my peers during day one of classes, we all knew that we had a long way to go. Looking back to where we started and realizing we achieved our goals brings on a huge sense of accomplishment. We have come a long way for us to confidently start our prospective professional studies. We have had many professors and mentors who have helped us along the way, catering to our vision of success. I am so grateful for the numerous opportunities Molloy’s Biology program has given to me and I am extremely proud of all of our successes. I am going to miss my peers and more importantly my friends as we embark on the next chapter of our lives. Best of luck, Class of 2018; I have much confidence that we will all achieve our greatest dreams.

christie catterson

Christie Catterson, Amityville, NY

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2022

Why did you choose Molloy?

When I first came to Molloy, I absolutely fell in love with the warm, friendly community. I was able to see myself having a home for the next four years. When I met with then-Vice President for Student Affairs Bob Houlihan, he took the time to walk my mom and me around campus. After that conversation, I was more than excited to attend the following fall.

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

I have so many wonderful memories of my time at Molloy and with the Biology program, but one memory that will always stand out in particular was when I was able to compete in the Sigma Xi Conference with six of my research peers. It was a wonderful bonding experience as I was able to present my research from my undergraduate career at a competitive conference. It was also great to spend time with my research group before we all graduated.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

The professor that inspired me the most was Dr. Jodi Evans. I will never forget the first day I met her as I was registering for my second semester of classes. In the classroom, she has pushed me academically to always ask why and go beyond the material. As a person, she has inspired me to be hardworking yet humble at whatever task I may take on. I sincerely thank Dr. Evans for being an influential mentor in my undergraduate career. I also want to express my gratitude to Dr. Monaco as she has helped me every step of the way during the application process. Molloy’s BCES program would not be what it is today without the leadership of Dr. Massone, the chairperson, who has been supportive of all of our aspirations.

Carl Rocco Palladino, Lindenhurst, NY

North Eastern Ohio Medical University

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

My favorite memory is all the research my group and I did with Dr. Sanz. I am glad that all the hard work we all put in together amounted to something truly special.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

I want to give thanks to Dr. Massone, Dr. Sanz, Dr. Monaco and the rest of the BCES faculty for all their help.

meghan mitchell

Meghan Mitchell, Baldwin, NY

SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn – Physician Assistant Program beginning May 29, 2018

Why did you choose Molloy?

The Biology program at Molloy provided opportunities to advance our knowledge in many different aspects of biology. Whether it was through the optional extra-curricular activities or the required courses or events, we were given the chance to obtain the most out of this program with the help of the incredible Biology department here, as evidenced by the number of students moving on to graduate school from our class.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

I was lucky enough to have Dr. Maureen Sanz as my advisor from my start at Molloy, who later became one of my professors and then later on my research mentor throughout the duration of my research work here. I can honestly say that without Dr. Sanz’s incredible knowledge and passion about biology as well as her willingness to educate and help made the program worthwhile for me. She became someone who I knew I could go to for anything, program-related or not, and I am very lucky that I was fortunate enough to work with someone like her so closely for so long. I will genuinely miss her as I move on to my next journey in life at Downstate.

Aside from Dr. Sanz, it was always comforting having such a great chairperson (Dr. Massone), who was always willing to listen to the voices of the students in the program and always willing to do what he could to improve the program. Thanks to him, we were all lucky enough to have amazing professors throughout our time here as Biology students.

Jaclyn Kirshbaum, West Islip, NY

Touro College of Dental Medicine

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

My favorite memory about the program was presenting my research at the Senior Research Thesis colloquium. It was a very rewarding experience!

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

I would like to thank all of my teachers and staff that helped me get to where I am today. The science department at Molloy was truly incredible and I am thankful to have crossed paths with many of the faculty at Molloy. I would especially like to thank Dr. Massone, Dr. Kusenda and Lynne Quiroz for their guidance and support through my time here at Molloy College and for going above and beyond in helping me reach my goal of becoming a dentist!

I transferred into Molloy College as a sophomore and it was the best decision I have ever made. The BCES department at Molloy College has incredible faculty that truly prepared me for my next chapter. Thank you again to everyone who has helped me along my journey!

anthony morante

Anthony Morante, West Babylon, NY

Fordham University, Ph.D. in Biological Sciences

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

During the spring of my junior year, I was given the opportunity to perform research under Dr. Evans. The Biology program at Molloy requires one semester of research techniques, which involves learning proper research methods and forming ideas about future experiments we could pursue. The Biology track that I am on did not require me to continue to the hands-on research class. However, I was interested in the idea of moving forward. I had always enjoyed working in the laboratory, but this was my first time working on a long-term project. I—as well as the other members of my group—worked very hard and enjoyed our project so much so that we decided we wanted to continue the project over the summer. We were very serious about our research but made sure to have plenty of fun along the way. Our results validated the effort that we put in along the way. All the time we spent at Molloy in the laboratory without taking any classes was the best way to spend the summer vacation.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

I would like to thank my professor and research mentor Dr. Evans for all of the help she has given us. She put in countless hours of effort outside of class that was never required of her. She was dedicated to our research project and was with us every day over the summer. She taught us so many techniques that will give us great experience for a future in biology. We learned more through her over the summer than we could have in any class. She was there to help us along every step of the way but gave us enough room to learn for ourselves and learn from our mistakes. All of the effort we put in was because she showed us how to be passionate about our project and to keep pushing forward, even if the results don’t come out as planned.

Before taking the research classes with Dr. Evans, my future plans involved going to some form of medical school. I knew I had liked science and Biology but did not know much about research. Without the chance to work with her, I would have never discovered how much I enjoy research. And I would have never changed my mind to pursue a field in it. But now, here I am, going on to work for my doctorate in Biology.

shane martensen

Shane Martensen, East Islip, New York

Touro College Physician Assistant Program at the Bay Shore campus

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

During my senior year I was given the opportunity to participate in a clinical research trial. A small team, made up of students and professors, collected and analyzed data to determine if stress-related hormones and manual therapy play a role in osteoarthritis pain. Being able to work with human participants in a clinical setting was a great experience. Not many colleges can offer this type of opportunity for undergraduates.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

I would like to thank Dr. Monaco for her advisement and encouragement throughout the entire physician assistant (PA) application process. With her efforts, I was able to stand out compared to all the other applicants. PA school interviews are grueling, and Dr. Monaco prepared me to be my best.

How did you choose to become a Biology major?

When I was applying for colleges during my senior year of high school, I always enjoyed science and I saw myself working somewhere in the medical field, but I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do. Molloy was the perfect fit for me because they have a lot of different options when it comes to majors that will allow you to excel in the medical field. I did not have a major going into Molloy; I was undecided. I explored many different options, but I chose Pre-Allied Biology because it allowed me be flexible when it came to applying to grad school. Looking back now, I am very happy with my decision in choosing Molloy College and the Biology program. The program challenged and pushed me to be my best, which made me successful. It was a pleasure to have lot of amazing professors, such as Dr. Evans, Dr. Cutter, Dr. Stoski, Dr. Monaco and the late Dr. Belton.

rosemary ritter

Rosemary Ritter, Massapequa, New York

NYIT, Physician Assistant Studies

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

My favorite memory from the Molloy College Biology program was the Bio 371 Restoration of the Gulf course that I took my senior year. I was able to spend a week in New Orleans with other Biology majors under the leadership of Dr. Tolvo. The experience allowed me to learn about the science at work in a post-disaster community while restoring the marshes that had been destroyed by storms. It was a great trip where I got to meet new friends and make great memories.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

Special thanks to Dr. Cutter for being a great research and life mentor these past four years. Thank you for always having an open door and willing to listen to me vent and look at pictures of puppies.

Anthony Ricigliano, Massapequa, NY

Hofstra University, M.S. in Integrative Biology, Class of 2020

What is your favorite memory of the Biology program?

It’s really tough to pick out just one moment from the four amazing years spent in the Biology department. The entire research track experience, for example, was notable for many different reasons. One part of the research experience that I will always remember fondly was the daily routine my lab group made during the summer portion of our research. Nearly every morning, we would lazily meet in the empty classroom next to the lab, and have a “coffee clutch” as we decided where to steer our research for the day. It was in that bleary-eyed stupor surrounded by friends and working on a project that would soon bring us to the Sigma Xi conference in North Carolina that I realized I hit the jackpot. I was not only doing what I loved, but I was also in fantastic company. Some of our best breakthroughs in the lab were followed by pranks and jokes. It was this effortless mix of challenging science and lighthearted humor that made the 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. days fly by. My lab mates became some of my closest friends and we have had some of the greatest laughs and greatest successes working together.

Are there any professors that you would like to thank?

I am so very lucky to have had the opportunity to work under such dedicated and intelligent professors over the past four years. In many ways each professor deserves his or her own special thanks for inspiring me in such unique ways. I do however give a very special thank you to my mentor, Dr. Jodi Evans. I am truly lucky to be able to call Dr. Evans my mentor. Her dedication, passion, and intelligence are truly remarkable. However, these qualities pale in comparison to her unparalleled ability to inspire students through the perfect mix of challenge and guidance. Had I not joined her lab in my junior year, I can guarantee I would be very unsure of where to take my education and career next. Her tutelage in laboratory techniques and protocols are undoubtedly a valuable asset, however, the greatest thing she has given me is an inflamed passion for the biological sciences. With this passion she has also instilled an ability to think critically and react fluidly both in and out of the laboratory. I owe much of my future success to the brilliant framework created by the hundreds of hours of mentoring from Dr. Evans. There is no truly proper way to say thank you considering how invaluable these experiences were. All I can say is that I promise I will do my best to make her proud!

After four years of experiencing the intricacies of the BCES department, I feel there are two unsung heroes who deserve mentioning: Lynne Quiroz and Dr. Massone. Together, these two create the engine that drives the department forward and allows for the many fantastic experiences we share in the department. It is so plainly evident that these two put nothing less than their heart and soul into the success of the BCES department. I want them to know that the department as a whole is so grateful for all that they do. They’ve been an essential part of my Molloy experience and were instrumental in making it as successful and enjoyable as it was.

New Media Is My Niche

Erin Battaglia typing at laptop

By Erin Battaglia

Author. Maker. Creator. Innovator. There are a million ways to describe the New Media department at Molloy, and the students in the program, but I think those four words tell the story perfectly. Hi, I’m Erin, a sophomore New Media major here at Molloy. I feel like I should give you a little bit of a backstory before I start going on about the New Media program, so stay with me. I have a pretty creative family: my dad is a graphic designer, my sister is an incredible artist, and my mom is more of the brains (don’t tell her I said this, but she lacks the creative genes).

I never really knew where my creativity was rooted, but it would peak out every once in awhile. But when I got into high school, I realized that I loved to write. I had always been an avid reader, but never really gave writing a fair shot. Once I did, I thought I had finally found my creative output — that was until I reached my first year of college. When I came to Molloy, I was an English major. I wanted to pursue a career in writing, whether that ended up being an editor for some big company, or a journalist, I didn’t know nor really care. It wasn’t until about a month into college when I started looking into the New Media program. I had always had a love for YouTube, but never thought that I could end up studying it. When I looked into the New Media program, I saw those four words: Author, Maker, Creator, Innovator. I was intrigued, and wanted to know more. I read up on what the program was like, and then two days later, I redeclared my major. I had never felt more confident in a choice in my life. Dramatic, I know, but it’s true.

Erin Battaglia on phone and laptop outside

I took my first New Media classes the next semester, and I knew it was a perfect fit. There is a quote on the wall of the lab that says, “New Media attracts innovators, iconoclasts, and risk takers.” The new and ever-changing program creates an active environment that is always interesting. New Media courses challenge you intellectually and creatively. You learn more about your online presence, how to make content you’re proud of, how memes are important, and so much more. Jamie Cohen and Matt Applegate are two extremely knowledgeable professors who offer more and more every time you walk into class. They are passionate about media literacy and the way the internet operates. They encourage your creativity and artistry, and want you to find your niche. Once you do, they guide you on how to create your voice via media. Since becoming a New Media major, I have found that I love editing and photography. I love taking photos and videos of places I have been and things that make me happy, and I love to edit them in a way that shows who I am. Portraying yourself through your work, whether that be photos, paintings, or blog posts, is something everyone should aspire to do. And I can say that I am able to do this and have found my voice through this program.

I could go on about new media all day, and in a lot of cases I have done so. I am passionate about new media, and I always will be. Growing up, my dad always said to get a job that doesn’t feel like you’re going to work. I always brushed him off, because no matter what I do, or how much I love it, work is work. Well — spoiler alert — he was right. I found what doesn’t feel like work to me, and I can’t wait to make it my career.

An “Enthralling” Experience: Biology Students Reflect on Presenting at the Sigma Xi Conference

On November 10-12, six Biology students and their mentor Dr. Jodi Evans attended the Sigma Xi Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Students share their reflections on the conference.

students at biology conference

The Sigma Xi Student Research Conference was a great learning experience from start to finish. We first heard about the conference in the spring and decided we would work towards submitting an abstract for consideration. We did not know at that moment what we were getting ourselves into. We spent countless days over the summer performing many tests to get data for which to write an abstract.

Our hard work paid off when we received the email notifying us that our abstract was accepted into the conference. However, that only opened up a new challenge for us to face. We now had to raise enough money to get to North Carolina.

The entire experience gave us the accomplishment of seeing our work through to the end. Every step along the way, from culturing the cells over the summer to hosting bake sales in the Public Square lobby, and then finally to presenting our research in front of the judges, taught us that all of our efforts brought us to that moment. It was the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work, and we got further than we thought we ever could a year ago. Even though we didn’t come home with a medal, we learned that we could accomplish anything if we put our minds to it. And as cliché as that sounds, sometimes that’s all you need to be successful.

Anthony Morante, senior Biology major from West Babylon, NY.

My experience attending the Sigma Xi Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, was nothing short of enthralling. After a little over a year of engaging in highly specific biomedical research, crunching data for hours, and fundraising for the trip, my fellow researchers and I had been excitedly anticipating this conference for a long time. It was the perfect opportunity to share our research with others who felt just as passionate about the sciences as we did.

The most rewarding part of attending this conference was hearing from other scientists about their own remarkable research and findings. We got the chance to learn so much about topics ranging from climate change to animal behavior studies to immunology, all while socializing and networking with scientists and researchers that will someday change the world.

It was impossible not to be humbled by an opportunity like this. My passion for science was inflamed, and my excitement for a career in biomedical research swelled. Upon arriving back home in New York, fresh off of this infectious excitement, my sights sharpened more than ever on enrolling in an institute for my master’s and doctorate in Immunology. I’m so grateful for this experience, and it will remain as one of the most rewarding opportunities my time at Molloy has offered me.

Anthony Ricigliano, senior Biology major on the pre-medical track from Massapequa, NY.

biology students posing with skeleton

Over the weekend of November 10-12, I was honored to go and present my research on mesenchymal progenitor cells and their influence on macrophage phagocytosis through secreted factors and direct contact but with opposing regulation. This entire research experience has been one of the best experiences of my life. All of our hard work was really shown first when we were accepted to the conference and then when judges and peers from all across the country listened to what we did and enjoyed it. Being in that environment was a once in a lifetime experience. It really brought everything we had been doing for the past year to light as something more than just another project. In addition, raising the money for this trip really inspired me as I watched so many family, friends, peers, and faculty support us. I am happy I was able to be a part of it and enjoyed telling everyone about our project at MACUB at the Sigma Xi conference. I also look forward to presenting to the entire BCES department.

I’m grateful to my peers and mentor who I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know throughout the duration of this project. They are part of what made it such a great experience. I would like to thank everyone for their support.  I will always treasure this opportunity I was given, and it will help me become a better scientist, worker, and person as a whole.

Rachel Rex, senior Biology major on the pre-veterinarian medicine track.

biology students and mentor

First, I would like to start by expressing how proud I am of my colleagues – and myself, of course – who worked so hard over the last year. It all began with long nights of research followed by long weeks of lab work that perpetuated into the summer months and all culminated into a grand final masterpiece. The number of hours that we dedicated to research, lab work, data analysis, and fundraising efforts were more than worth it.

While at the conference we met a plethora of other young researchers who came from vastly different places and backgrounds, all congregating in one city in North Carolina to nerd out together. It was very interesting to talk to these other researchers and find out where they came from, what inspired their work, and how they’re going to proceed in the future. We could also see, first hand, how well received our research was, which made us all feel elated to say the least.

Additionally, we were presenting among both high school and graduate students in addition to fellow undergraduates. Being between these two ages we could vividly see where we came from and what we will progress into one day. It was really exciting to see how much we accomplished at an undergraduate level and how much we can seek to accomplish as we move into graduate schools.

None of this could have been done without my peers and our absolutely fantastic mentor Dr. Evans. She provided us with more wisdom, time and energy than was ever required of her, but really helped us to succeed nonetheless. I am grateful I came to work with a group of such brilliant minds.

Jillian Weiss, senior Biology major on the pre-medical track.

biology students at conference

This past November I had the wonderful honor and privilege to represent the Molloy College BCES program at the Sigma Xi Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. I found myself surrounded by five peers competing in a highly-accredited undergraduate research competition. We had poured our blood, sweat, and tears in the lab to further research in the world of science. We had all worked extremely hard over the past year, including the summer, to pursue our research. I was also fortunate enough to receive a state grant through the CSTEP program.

When we decided to attend this conference, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us in order to raise the funds to support our journey. From having bake and apparel sales to hosting a bowling fundraiser to creating a GoFundMe page, we had a fun time reaching our end goal. It is my hope and aspiration to further inspire other underclassmen to get pumped about research and immerse themselves in all the endless possibilities Molloy has to offer them. I am sad that my time at Molloy is quickly coming to an end. However, I am extremely fortunate and grateful for this wonderful experience, including the memories and friendships that I have made along the way.

Christie Catterson, senior Biology major with a double minor in Chemistry and Psychology on the pre-medical track.

biology students in front of poster

Images courtesy of Anthony Ricigliano and Christie Catterson. 

Making Magical Moments: My Disney College Program Experience

jackie bassey pooh characters

By Jacqueline Bassey

I have always had a set plan in life: finish school as fast as possible at the top of my class so I could start being successful young. I was focused on getting internships, going to every networking event I could find, and making connections. Taking a semester off to work at Disney was never in my plan. One day I saw an advertisement online for the Disney College Program, and I decided to apply for fun. I had heard it was extremely competitive, and people I knew who applied waited weeks or even months to hear back from the recruiters. I went through all three interview stages in two weeks, and was accepted. My parents had never heard of the program and thought I was going to drop out of school for good and ride Space Mountain all day. After conducting a lot of research and convincing my parents and myself that this was a good idea, I made the decision to enroll in the Disney College Program this fall.

Everyone gets a role in the program. Because I am a Marketing major, my first choice was to work in sales and merchandise. I was accepted into this field but I did not know where I was going to work until a week before the program began. I am located in the Emporium on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom; specifically, the Emporium is on the left side of Main Street and is that gigantic strip of stores that are all connected. My costume is very familiar to me. I wear a plaid skirt, which was my uniform in Catholic school from kindergarten through 12th grade. I did have to adjust to a new schedule. My location is the last place that closes in Magic Kingdom, so getting home at 4:30 am is now normal for me.

The second part of the program is the school. I take two classes: “Organizational Leadership” and “Creativity and Innovation.” The course load for the four-hour classes is time consuming, since I also work 45 hours a week. However, my classes are very interactive, and I get excited to go each week. My teachers have had several different management roles throughout Disney with years of experience. The best part is the field work: I get to go into areas of Disney and observe how businesses run and the different consumer behavior styles that guests exhibit. I am learning leadership skills that can only be taught by leaders of a Fortune 500 company with excellent guest service.

The final component of the program is the fun! I have made friends from all over the world. I have a roommate from Puerto Rico, one from Texas, and one from the one and only Long Island. When we are not working, we go to the parks as much as we can. We also have opportunities to attend special events. We got a backstage tour of Fantasmic and sat in the front row for the taping of the holiday parade.

My absolute favorite part of the program is making magical moments for guests. I have been part of proposals and birthday celebrations, and I make little girls become princesses for a day. It does not matter how old a guest is; they came to Disney for the magic, and it is my job (with the help of my boss, Mickey) to create homemade magic with a little pixie dust. In the words of Walt Disney, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.”

From College Student to TV Industry Professional: How I Made It to Hollywood

By Ronnie Amato (’17)

In 2013 I started my journey at Molloy College as an undeclared freshman not quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. Four years later, I am a college graduate living in California and starting my career in television. I couldn’t have done it without Molloy.

Over the last four years, the professors and faculty at Molloy have gone above and beyond for me. Not only did they help me find my passion, but they also challenged me and allowed me to develop and perfect my craft.

During my senior year, I was inspired by my professors James Cohen and Thomas Kenny to apply for an Emmy internship with the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences. Both Jamie and Tom are members of the Academy, and they recognized I had what it takes to get the internship. Out of the 1,500 people that applied, I was one of only 50 to be accepted into the program. I was selected to work at Bunim/Murray Productions in Glendale, California. Bunim/Murray Productions is credited with creating the reality TV genre and is known for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Real World, Project Runway, and The Challenge. This year alone, Bunim/Murray Productions is up for 12 Emmy nominations.

For eight weeks, I was exposed to all areas of post-production: digitizing, assistant editing, shadowing editors, offline editing, online editing, audio, and music. At the end of my internship, I was hired as a digitizer at Bunim/Murray. I am responsible for the ingest of media for all of their shows. I will also be training to take my AE test so I can become an assistant editor.

I am so excited to start my career, and I know none of this would have been possible without Molloy. The Communications and New Media departments have done a phenomenal job of making sure I was not just a number in a classroom. They provided me with so many great mentors and alumni inside and outside of the classroom who have years of experience in the industry. I had classes as early as freshmen and sophomore year where I was exposed to the same equipment and software used by professionals. These hands-on experiences gave me a competitive edge when looking for internships and jobs.

I always tell people I didn’t choose Molloy; Molloy chose me. I wasn’t the same person four years ago that I am today. The College helped me build the foundation of knowledge and experience I needed to start my career. Molloy made me realize anything is possible as long as you put in the hard work.

Images courtesy of Ronnie Amato.

From Classroom Assignment to the Final Draft: How I Became a Published Writer

By Christopher Giovinco 

Christopher was recently published in Newsday. Here, he writes about his experience.

Coming Up With the Topic

As I was finishing my Introduction to Newswriting course at Molloy this summer, my professor, Richard Conway, asked me to write a column. “This column can be about anything,” he stressed to me. I thought to myself: What better topic to write about than out-of-control Little League parents and coaches? Not only was this topic fresh in my mind because I had recently attended a Little League game, I knew it was something relatable to most people. So, for my final summer assignment, I handed in a first draft of what many people have now read in Newsday.

Why Did I Submit My Article to Newsday?

After reading and grading my article, Professor Conway had only compliments and constructive criticism for me. He absolutely loved my piece and quickly mentioned that it had the potential to be published in Newsday. He brought me a copy of the previous Sunday’s paper and highlighted the Expressway section for me. Expressway is a short column that is published every Sunday in Newsday. This section is unique because its content is written and submitted by readers. After Mr. Conway explained this to me,  I was immediately on board to submit my Little League piece.

Transferring From the Classroom to Newsday

The process necessary to see yourself published in the Expressway section of Sunday’s paper is less tedious than one would expect. My only obligation was to send them a copy of my written draft that I had handed into my professor already. After that, I waited. But I didn’t have to wait too long, because within just a few short days they got back to me. The Newsday news opinion editor informed me that he enjoyed my article and that if I was willing to make a few quick changes in formatting,  he would help edit and size down the piece and I would be on my way to publication. I moved a few things around with the help of the Newsday staff, and I was ecstatic to hear that my piece would be published in the next available Expressway section.

Seeing My Article in the Paper

Needless to say, it felt great to be a part of this unique and eye-opening opportunity. Not only did I receive recognition and congratulations from much of my family, friends, and peers, I had an indescribable feeling of self-accomplishment. I can now add this to my resume as extra writing experience, and I learned a lot about the editing and publication processes in the meantime. It was both an honor and a privilege to be given this opportunity, and I hope to be able to be part of something like it again soon.

Top image via Flickr, right image courtesy of Christopher Giovinco. 

Euroweek: The Opportunity of a Lifetime

From May first through fifth, eight Molloy students and two Business faculty, Meryl Rosenblatt and Kisha Chandler, attended the 2017 Euroweek Conference & Competition in Coimbria, Portugal. We asked some students to share their experiences from the conference.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been in a more diverse, welcoming, or fun environment than the Euroweek conference. We started back in January when we met our international teammates, and we were assigned our project topics. From there we worked together with our colleagues from other countries to compose research papers and a presentation that we delivered at the actual conference.

Aside from all of the aspects of business that I had to study up on for this trip, I learned a lot about working with people from other countries. We had to be respectful of each other’s cultures, and learn from each other’s differences and experiences. We learned to how to laugh at our own quirks and habits. And we made connections that I know will last a lifetime. Because of Euroweek, I have friends throughout the globe. And I’m proud to say that, so far, I’ve been keeping in contact with them and staying close!

I think Euroweek is one of the most unique experiences available to students, and I highly encourage anyone who wants to travel to experience different cultures to go on this trip. It is truly special.

Chloe Chappa, sophomore Molloy/CAP21 Theatre Arts major from Oxford, Conn.

Euroweek is an incredible undertaking, bringing students together from many countries throughout Europe. I was honored to represent Molloy College, the only American college present, with my classmates. Preparing for Euroweek, I was amazed, thinking about the possibilities that my development team’s business project could have. I was fascinated by how the team’s different academic disciplines united to create something truly amazing. Upon arriving in Portugal, my classmates and I were greeted by cool breezes, sweeping hills, and celebrating university students, which made for a beautiful setting to begin a new journey together. At one point, a student let me try on his long black cloak, allowing me to partake in praxe or university tradition. I was excited to meet my team partners for the first time in person after working with them over Skype for many weeks. We supported each other throughout the conference, and my final “Cheers” with them to celebrate our time together is still vivid in my mind. Euroweek inspired me to think about industry, innovation, and creativity in new ways, and the friendships that I made during these days are everlasting. One memory that I will continue to cherish is dancing in traditional Greek style at Global Village, an international buffet followed by a party, with new friends. The remarkable food and the welcoming atmosphere were just what I needed. At the conference’s conclusion, I felt blessed to win “Best Business Idea” to the cheers of the assembly and leave Portugal with expanded horizons.

John D. Cronin, senior Business major from Bellmore, New York

Along with students from Belgium and Italy, John Cronin and I won the “Best Business Idea” award at Euroweek. Our project was a collaborative effort by students from three different countries to provide affordable 3D printed prosthetic arms to African children in the ECOWAS region of Western Africa. The research and business model we proposed allows for an affordable, high quality alternative of the traditional prosthetic limb to be made available in the target countries.

By attending this conference and formulating this project with peers from other countries, I learned the positive and negatives associated with teamwork. It was more difficult collaborating through different time zones with individuals of varying cultural backgrounds. Moreover, the entirety was done in English, which is a secondary language at best for every country in attendance. In our project, this led to miscommunications as well as a need for an extensive editing process. On the positive side, we had key access to alternative resources, as well as differing points of view in research. This allowed us to have a more complete paper and have the greater potential for success in our start-up.

The conference was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to meet peers from countries across Europe and establish contacts that will last me a lifetime. In my opinion, attending Euroweek is an essential aspect of the college experience and the opportunity to study abroad should be taken advantage of by as many students as possible.

Gabe D’Orsi, sophomore Biology major from Massapequa, New York

Euroweek was a life-changing experience that one could only begin to describe through the emotions I felt that week. From the excitement, stress, and determination that followed me and my team throughout the competition, I found a drive in me that I did not know existed. I never would have imagined a business conference would change my life the way that it did. I was emerged in the culture of Portugal while meeting people from across Europe who had one goal in mind: Innovation. I learned from the experiences of students from Austria to Finland that this was not a competition but a cultivation of ideas yearning to be spilled out into the world. Not only getting to know the students in a professional manner but also relating to them outside of the work we did made Euroweek an intimate yet competitive atmosphere that pushed everyone to succeed. Through the countless number of sleepless nights, Euroweek created a family and a sense of unity with an extremely diverse group of people I could never have imagined possible. While those nights were stressful, I would re-live them a thousand times over.

Marsha Verghese, freshman Business major from Floral Park, New York

Breaking Borders: My Experience Discussing Immigration With High School Students

By Gardenia Molina 

On March 31, Long Island high school students from the Student Voices Project joined Molloy College Social Work students to share their feelings on immigration. The event, which took place at Molloy, was hosted in collaboration with ERASE Racism, an organization that promotes racial equity in housing, public schools, and communities.

I was privileged to have the opportunity to attend the discussion. Immigration is a sensitive topic in this political climate for many; however, I met mature and respectful high school students from Elmont, Syosset, and Freeport that were open to speaking about the challenges that immigrants face.  The students led the discussion with well-developed questions based on the systemic oppression that immigrants face, while leaving their families, home country, and culture behind in search for a better life. The atmosphere was very comfortable for others to share their personal experiences. The students were mindful of others’ ideas and feelings about undocumented immigrants. As a junior in the Social Work program, I was blown away and incredibly impressed with the knowledge and critical thinking that the students expressed throughout our discussion.

This experience was very inspirational for me. I learned that immigration is a human rights issue. Immigrants come to this country in search for a better life to survive. It is a basic human right to have access to safety, education, and overall freedom. Coming together as a community is powerful. I realized the impact we can make together on social issues, such as immigration. The power is in our hands to bring these issues to light and stand as allies with undocumented immigrants. This can begin with starting a simple conversation and making others’ aware of the systemic barriers against immigrants. It is inhumane that immigrants live in constant fear for their lives. Change for immigrants begins through our voices and the first step is to unite as community.

Finding Myself at Molloy

By Sarah Moughal

When I started my freshman year, I wasn’t sure if Molloy was for me. I chose Molloy at the last minute because it was close by and offered a great Business program. I am a junior now and have fallen in love with all that the school offers during my years here. Molloy is ideal for someone who wants to make the most of her college years. The College makes it possible for me to take the classes I want, be involved on campus, and intern.

I love that Molloy doesn’t constrict me to one field of study. I am majoring in Accounting and minoring in Art History. I am happy that I can pursue my Business degree and take classes in the Art department. I also like that I can sign up for elective classes. For example, I got the chance to take an American Sign Language class, which was awesome!

The faculty is always available to help and provide extra assistance. My professors work one-on-one with me to help me understand the course material. Having a very open, friendly relationship with my professors allows me to build my network and gain support and confidence in my studies and career aspirations. My Corporate Finance professor always pushed me to try harder – he frequently stayed after class to help me and encouraged me throughout the class to stay focused and made sure I understood the course. My Art professor saw the passion I had for art history and offered me free tickets to MOMA and a personal tour conducted by her. I am so grateful for the relationships I’ve made with professors at Molloy.

Outside of class, I am president of a club called Circle K International. This club is part of an international service organization, which means we interact with various schools in New York State, as well as internationally. Through my club, I am able to work with other clubs on campus to brainstorm new projects and host events. Student Affairs is always welcoming new proposals and ideas to add to campus life. This year, I have focused on mental health awareness and am in the process of hosting a “Let It Go” event. I am collaborating with a project coordinator at Molloy who is a professional on speaking for suicide awareness. We are proposing a bonfire on campus where students, faculty, and staff can throw in a written note with insecurities, issues, or fears and just let them burn and let them go. Molloy allows me to share my voice on such a strong topic – I am constantly motivated by my school to express my voice and help others.

I am exposed to many cultures at Molloy. Many of my classmates and club members were born in different countries or have parents who were born outside of the U.S. Molloy is huge on studying abroad and expanding cultural exposure. I have been inspired by my school’s diversity to use my club and voice as a platform to work with Student Affairs on getting international flags hung up at Molloy.

At Molloy, we are fortunate to be able to take part in many networking events, which is how I landed my internship this semester. I am a production design intern at Lifetime Brands, which is a huge international houseware production company. I get to research new patents and prints while working with people overseas to make samples and prototypes for various tabletop products. I am grateful that I can commute to my internship and then back to class. This allows me to gain experience in the field of my study as well as guide me into what I want to do with my career.

Molloy College offers me the chance to utilize my time to the fullest. I am able to juggle so much while getting a quality education. I can run my club, participate in other clubs, throw campus events, and engage in networking and cultural events. I can be the well-rounded and ambitious student that I want to be.

Founding a Microfinance Project: My Incredible Experience in Uganda

By Christopher Martin

Uganda Microfinance Team

On the morning of New Year’s Day 2017, as most people were still sleeping in, Dr. Peter Garrity of the Division of Business and I headed to JFK International Airport ready to embark on our second trip in six months to Masese, Uganda. There were two purposes of our trip: we were going to work at H.E.L.P. Primary School, which is a free school that Dr. Garrity and his wife Delia helped start seven years ago, and finalize our microfinance nonprofit project. With the support of the International Education office and the Molloy Honors Program, I have been lucky enough create a project that I am deeply passionate about and to visit a country that I have learned to love so much.

The village of Masese is an impoverished village located directly east of the Nile River and right on Lake Victoria. Masese has a population of 30,000 people who are mostly refugees displaced from South Sudan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, as well as from the Lord’s Resistance Army who terrorized Northern Uganda.

Uganda Kids

During our time in Masese, I had the opportunity to help paint the wall around the school with the help of some of the students.  I taught the students how to paint, and, while we were painting, we got caught up in a dust devil (which is similar to a small tornado). At the end of the day, it was incredibly rewarding to see the new vibrant wall that we painted together.

The microfinance project that Dr. Garrity and I have founded will give small business loans to women in Masese. These loans will help women start businesses and give them the chance to help themselves climb out of severe poverty. This is a long-term, sustainable approach, and our goal is to empower women in our village.

Uganda Peter and Chris

I walked around the village and met many of the people who were loan applicants. Walking through Masese was truly a humbling experience, and it made me appreciate how fortunate I am to live on Long Island. The village is comprised of piles of garbage that animals eat from and children play in. I noticed the large number of children who do not attend school. It is quite difficult to explain what this experience is like because, although the United States has areas of the less fortunate and poor, we have absolutely nothing that compares to this kind of abject poverty.

After my walk through Masese, I only had one thought in my mind: There is a solution to this. Under the harsh exterior of Masese, there is this strong level of beauty that is unmatched. Ugandans are the most selfless, positive, hopeful, and generous people I have ever met in my life, and their devotion to God is like no other. My interactions with the people of Masese have given me the drive to do my best to help them receive a chance to climb out of extreme poverty. I would also like to bring my experience in Uganda back to Molloy and get more students involved in our project. I am working towards starting a new club at Molloy called the Molloy-Masese Partnership that will work on the microfinance project, as well as make students aware about other cultures in developing nations. I am truly grateful for the opportunities that Molloy has given me and am optimistic for the future of Masese.