- What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate?
Business Administration. I graduated from the MBA program in 2011.
- Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations.
I currently serve as the Director of the Child Welfare Education Institute (CWEI) at Stockton University and manage three statewide programs–the Baccalaureate Child Welfare Education Program (BCWEP), Masters Child Welfare Education Program (MCWEP), and New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership-Southern Region (NJCWTP-SR). Each of these programs works very closely with the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency and improving the public child welfare workforce. Additionally, I teach Beginning Spanish and a Freshman Seminar course each year.
As the daughter of a carpenter, I’ve grown up with the exposure of watching things get built and I think that’s something that has stuck with me as I really enjoy being able to participate in the building and construction of new programs. Being able to shape something from the beginning is a very unique and rewarding experience. The MBA program assisted in strengthening already developing skills and further defined my ability to manage. Also, spending time in the classroom has provided an equally rewarding experience as I love being able to connect with the students I am teaching. Teaching my first freshman seminar course was great because I got to work with a group in the very beginning of their college careers and provided them with as many tools as possible to help navigate the intimidating world of higher education.
- What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event?
There are two faculty in particular that stand out to me – Frank Thomas and Evonne Kruger. I’ve always been one of those odd individuals who enjoyed doing her own taxes and wanted to learn more about the process, so I willingly chose to take Prof. Thomas’ Individual Taxation course. It was probably one of the hardest ones I encountered but it filled me with admiration of a man who was this amazing tax law machine. I had two different courses with Prof. Kruger that really pushed me to develop myself as a manager and to recognize that there is more to being just a leader. Our capstone course in particular was one for the books as we navigated our final project and is something I won’t forget. Also, through support of the Graduate Student Association, I also had the opportunity to present at an international conference with a classmate. I thought it was great to have the support of such an institution that encouraged us to explore opportunities to share our knowledge.
- How has attending Stockton influenced your life?
Attending as well as working here has influenced my life greatly because it has allowed me the ability to grow personally and professionally. There are so many amazing people here that have been supportive of my continued educational endeavors as well as gave me the push that I needed to get started. I don’t think you can find another group of faculty and even some administrators who are as invested in the success and growth of their students as those who work here. As a result of what I experienced as a student and employee, I have chosen to adopt that same practice and am fully invested in the success of those students who I have had the pleasure of teaching. My connection with them extends much further than just a semester worth of classes.
- What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates?
Get out, see the world, study abroad if you can. There’s so much more than the area where we live. Also, connect with people and maintain those connections – faculty, field instructors, advisors, colleagues, etc. Those connections can have a lasting impact. Also, send old fashioned thank you notes. That has become a dying art and is a welcomed changed from the harried world of emails and will set you apart from the rest.
- On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off?
Travel! The grass does not grow for long beneath my feet. I’m always packing a bag to go somewhere. In addition to traveling, I love a good run and obstacle course race and hope to achieve my first Spartan Trifecta this year.
- Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
When the time comes, and you’re in a good place, don’t be afraid to donate to causes that matter. As someone who has completed 4 degrees, I understand the financial pressures that come with trying to better ourselves and that there is a severe lack of scholarships for graduate schooling. I never thought that I would be someone who consistently donated to a cause but I’ve chosen to contribute to establishing an endowed scholarship for the MSW program here because even graduate students deserve some assistance. If I can help one person catch a tiny break as they try to better themselves in this tumultuous world, then I’ve done a good thing.
I also have an EdD from Drexel University and a MA in Bilingual and Bicultural Studies in Spanish and Certificate of Translation from La Salle University.