What was your major/field of study during your time at Stockton, and when did you graduate? 1998 Psychology
Tell us about the type of work you are doing now and how that aligns with your career aspirations. I am a Plaintiff’s Personal Injury attorney and I also assist parents with special education law issues. I always wanted to help people and while I am not a Psychologist, I use the knowledge I gained from the Psychology classes I took at Stockton on a daily basis working with families and individuals in crisis. When you are injured because of someone’s negligence, it’s like being robbed. No matter how hard my clients work to get better there is a piece of their lives that has been stolen that they will never get back.
What are some of your favorite Stockton memories—such as a favorite class, professor, spot on campus, or social event? I worked in my father’s personal injury law office since I was 14 years old as a filing clerk and secretary so I had some concept of the law going into college. I was fortunate to have Professor Alan Arcuri as my political science professor. He was an amazing inspiration and his wealth of knowledge and passion for the subjects he was teaching inspired me to love learning about the law. I took a music class my senior year thinking it would be one of the easier classes on my schedule. Wow, was I wrong. Professor Vaughn gave us a test every week. I will never forget her enthusiasm for all things music. It was contagious and I truly believe I have an appreciation for many genres of music thanks to her.
How has attending Stockton influenced your life? I grew up in Longport and then moved to Linwood for eighth grade and attended Mainland Regional High School after that. I have always loved this area and always knew I wanted to raise a family here. Not all people can say that they have an internationally recognized University in their backyard. Stockton allowed me to continue to firm up my local roots while giving me a path to success that I will always be grateful for.
What advice would you offer to current Stockton students and other recent graduates? Look beyond your classes. It’s so easy to wake up every day and just go to class. There is so much more to offer at Stockton and in our area. The opportunities for personal growth and building a successful resume abound in South Jersey. You have outstanding professors and staff at Stockton who would be thrilled to show you all this area has to offer and get you involved in the community. Take advantage of their wisdom.
On a personal note, what is your favorite thing to do on your days off? My husband and 1998 graduate of Stockton, Alexander J. Barrera, Esquire, and our three children, Paul (8), Massimo (7) and Rocco (5) are my favorite people to hang out with. Whether we’re going to basketball, playing outside, going to Fresh Start Church or snuggling by the fire, we try to spend every weekend together.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share? Thanks for the opportunity! Love Stockton!