A Small Salute

Pace student and veteran Ashley Small ’14 talks about her big transition from the military to a marketing major. >>Read More

Pace student Ashley Small ’14 has something most people in the Pace Community don’t have—top secret clearance.

While many undergraduate students come to Pace straight from high school, Small anchored here a very different way.

After graduating from high school, she began attending college and found that it was hard to afford. Trying to find a way to go to school and pay for it at the same time, Small joined the U.S. Navy.

When she first met her recruiter, she had to take a basic understanding test—comprising divisions in mechanics, common sense, electronics, and engineering—to determine which jobs she qualified for. Small scored a 96.

After attending bootcamp, which she recalls “was easy after living with my overprotective parents,” Small boarded the U.S.S. Truman.

“I was on a 5,000-man aircraft carrier,” she says. “An aircraft carrier has two missions: to launch and to recover aircrafts. I was the person who recovered the pilot and centered them to land on the ship.”

In addition to landing planes, Small found time to work on a variety of projects during her five years with the Navy. She was responsible for the upkeep and upgrading of the IFLOLS system, a $874,000 improved Fresnel lens optical landing system which she needed a top secret clearance to record confidential footage, training new electricians on the operation of shipboard fiber optic cables, lasers, and interior electronics, and supervising 12 team members, among other tasks—all while traveling around the world from Greece to Italy to Bahrain to Dubai.

“They break up shifts, 12 on and 12 off,” Small says. “It’s a self-sustaining community, so if the place catches fire, we’re the fire department.”

During her 12 hours off, she found herself taking cameras apart and putting them back together, and her passion for photography—which goes hand-in-hand with her career in marketing—flourished.

“Growing up, my parents didn’t allow us to have cable and we lived a sort of sheltered childhood because my parents were from Jamaica and didn’t know American society,” Small says. “One day I got home a little early and my brother’s Rolling Stone was there. And that’s where I discovered girls could pierce their ears, hair gel, everything. I fell in love with marketing. It changed everything for me.”

After two deployments, where she also completed her first two years of college on board the ship, Small returned stateside and began attending the University of North Carolina. During her first year, her military roommate moved to New York in search of a good nursing school. Helping her with research, Small came across Pace.

“I fell in love with Pace,” she says. “UNC only gives its first 10 veterans full aid and then covers 20% of the cost of attendance. Pace gives 100%.”

Selected by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School for 2014, an honor awarded to only 15% of all colleges, universities, and trade schools nationwide, Pace’s commitment to veteran education is evident. In addition to need-based financial aid and benefits offered by the G.I. Bill, Pace provides financial assistance through the Veterans Scholarship, which can cover half of undergraduate and graduate students’ tuition, as well as the Yellow Ribbon Program, which offers full tuition coverage.

Since arriving at Pace, Small has turned her passion into a likely profession. The Lubin BBA in Advertising student is not only excelling academically, but professionally and socially, serving as the Public Relations Officer for the Pace Student Veterans of America, participating in Ascend business organization and the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Shades Initiative, and being inducted into Sigma Iota Epsilon, the premier honorary and professional fraternal organization in management.

She also finds time to visit the No Veteran Alone-VA Hospital in Brooklyn, where she reads, plays music and cards, and serves as a companion for terminally ill veterans, something that stemmed from an injury of her own.

“I got knocked off the flight deck and got hurt and was going to physical therapy every Friday and acupuncture,” she says. “When I was in the hospital, there were a lot of people who weren’t going to leave and were by themselves. I didn’t go there with the intention to volunteer, but it worked out.”

While her connection to the military will always remain, Small’s future is in advertising. She hopes to hit it big in fashion marketing and possibly work for one of her favorite clothing companies, like Zara. “I want to hit someone the way Rolling Stone has hit me,” she says.

IT’s All Worth It

Seidenberg IT student Kevin Cheng ’15 might be booked solid with his full-time internship and class, but says IT’s all worth it.

“To a certain degree, I’m losing a lot of sleep,” admits Seidenberg student Kevin Cheng ’15. For the past year and a half, this Information Technology major has been balancing an 18-credit course load, a more-than-full-time internship at McGraw Hill Financial’s Standard & Poor’s (S&P), and a Dean’s List GPA on top of it all. Sleep deprivation is nothing new to this super intern.

As a junior systems engineer, Cheng works around the clock resolving IT help tickets submitted by any of S&P’s thousands of employees. He describes himself as a jack of all trades, solving hundreds of tech troubles like crashed hard drives, faulty servers, and explaining new software to employees. But that’s all in a day’s—and night’s—work for Cheng.

“I have to pay attention to my e-mail a lot, because sometimes problems don’t happen between 9 to 5. Problems can happen any time,” he says. Cheng recalls leaving the S&P offices after midnight on a few occasions during the summer and working through the weekends to take care of some persistent problems. “It’s a pretty crazy internship,” he says excitedly.

While his busy schedule may force him to eat dinner in class sometimes, Cheng says it’s all worth it. “I’m passionate about IT. Honestly, that’s the easiest way I can put it. I enjoy what I do. I’m being pushed to my limits every day, learning new things, and having new experiences. Every day is different.”

Cheng landed his dream internship in 2012, but his career started as soon as he arrived on campus. As a freshman, Cheng remembers sitting in one of his first business classes when the professor asked the students if they wanted to be successful. “The class was unanimous, we said ‘yeah, of course.’” The professor then encouraged the students to take advantage of Pace’s Career Services. “He said ‘I’m telling you this, but I can’t make you go. It’s ultimately up to you.’”

Cheng wasted no time. He and a friend headed to Career Services, only to discover that first-semester freshmen aren’t eligible for internships. So instead, Cheng did the next best thing and attended Career Services’ workshops until he could begin applying for internships in the spring. It wasn’t long before he found himself in the hot seat at his first interview. But Cheng was ready for it.

“I got a packet from Career Services that had sample questions. They were really great with helping me,” he says. Before the interview, he met with his career counselor for advice, enlisted the help of his friends to practice interviewing, and did some research on his own about interviewing techniques. “I even read an article about the best colors to wear to an interview, that’s how far I went,” he says.

All the preparation paid off and Cheng was offered the internship at Endeavor Global, a nonprofit that helps start-ups become more successful. He says going through the process—from start to finish—of his first internship was what helped him land his current internship. “That internship gave me the experience that led me to McGraw-Hill. I was more confident after that internship,” he says.

And confidence was crucial when Cheng interviewed at S&P. He says they asked challenging questions designed to demonstrate his thought process. “It was a rigorous interview, but I prepared for it just like I did for Endeavor,” he says. “I didn’t even know if I answered them correctly, but it turned out, a week later, they called me back and said that they would love to have me.”

Since then, Cheng has been rounding out his education with real-world experience and seeing the principles he’s learning in class first-hand. For example, understanding what’s expected in corporate cultures not only prepares him every day for his internship, but Cheng says it also gave him a leg up in his interview when it came to answering those tricky questions.

He encourages his classmates to go after the internships they really want and to use Pace’s resources, like the eRecruiting website, to find them. “It might be a little discouraging for some people, but just be persistent. You’ve got nothing to lose by applying. So keep at it and certainly go to the Career Center because they’re more than helpful.”

Get connected with Career Services by visiting www.pace.edu/careers. Interested in sharing your success story? E-mail us! 

A Pace Dream Team

A BBA/MBA in public accounting student meets a public speaking professor and what it all adds up to is a race for the cure. >>Read More

Most people dread the required public speaking college course. But for Lubin BBA/MBA in public accounting student Elissa Casa ’14, the class she took her freshman year on the Westchester Campus was the introduction to her mentor, Dyson Professor Ellen Mandel, PhD, and the empowering world of community service.

Mandel, who helped start a breast cancer awareness day in Rockland County and worked with the Rockland County legislative breast cancer task force to bring mobile mammogram services to the Hasidic community, has been involved with Komen for more than 20 years, and was on the board of directors for the NYC chapter of Komen. In 1992, she brought Komen and Pace together for the annual Race for the Cure and has been inspiring the next generation of Ellen Mandels around campus.

Using her public speaking class as one of her many marketing tactics, Mandel has been able to recruit starting right in her classroom.

“Because one in eight women will unfortunately get breast cancer, there is hardly a person who I ask in my class who doesn’t know someone who’s suffered from this, either lost a battle or has been lucky enough to survive,” Mandel says. “Elissa said she’d like to help so I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.”

For Casa, it wasn’t a personal experience with breast cancer that inspired her to join, but it was the sense of community, teamwork, and mentoring that has kept her involved for the last four years. What started out as creating fliers and sending out recruitment e-mails has expanded into coordinating all of the day-of-event details, getting the 100+ team members together, and acting as co-captain with Mandel.

“It’s people like Elissa, who are the extraordinary,” says Mandel. “She’s an unsung hero.”

And the gushing goes both ways.

“Dr. Mandel is such an incredible person, professor, mentor, and friend,” says Casa. “She’s one of a kind.”

Something she wasn’t necessarily expecting to gain from the race and work with Mandel, Casa says, was a level of confidence, work ethic, and networking skills, which helped her land her dream internship with KPMG. And she even tapped into her experience with Komen, coordinating fundraisers for local libraries with fellow interns. “Employers want to see you engaging,” she adds.

Casa was offered a full-time position with KPMG beginning in October 2014.

“Pace in general has really fostered a lot of work ethic and career opportunities for me that I don’t know if I would have had at other schools. I’m finally starting to see my high school dreams come true. I owe a lot to Dr. Mandel,” she says.

“She’s no longer my student, but she’ll always be my friend. I expect great things from her,” Mandel says.

A group shot from Race for the Cure 2013

This September, their race success continued, as Pace brought together both campuses, including Greek organizations, sports teams, and executive administration, and won the award for largest university team, an honor they’ve achieved every year but one.

“If you’re looking for something that is a true joint effort, this is it. It shows that Pace is not only an academic institution, but it has a big heart collectively and gives back to the community,” says Mandel, who was also awarded NYC Race for the Cure’s Volunteer of the Year.

“For me, it’s a motivator to continue, continue, continue. I’ve had students come up to me and thank me because their mothers or grandmothers are survivors and this gave them feelings of empowerment other than just sitting there and holding their hands. That’s a gift,” she says. “The award is wonderful because everyone loves recognition, but what it means is that we’re moving and doing and hopefully, within the not-too-distant future, we can talk about not having a race at all and finding a cure.”

For Casa, it was emotional to see her mentor recognized. “To see her get up there and hear people say such wonderful things about her, I was so proud for her and it made me feel really happy that I’m able to help her like I can,” she says. “It felt as if something really great happened to someone in my family.”

Casa, who will graduate in 2014, is looking to help find her protégé, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be abandoning the Pace team.

“As a Pace alumna, I will stay loyal to the Pace team,” she says. And as for Dr. Mandel, “I’m stuck with her for life,” she laughs.

Interested in getting involved with next year’s Race for the Cure? E-mail Elissa Casa or Ellen Mandel

A CHANGE of Pace

While many of us were enjoying the sun this summer, Pace student Diana Mendez ’15 juggled poverty, hunger, injustice, access for Latino youth to attend college, and a study abroad program in Italy.

“Women cocoa farmers in West Africa were not getting fair wages and their living conditions were horrible and they worked for companies like Nestle and Mars,” says Diana Mendez ’15. “So what Oxfam did, because the companies are located here, Oxfam advocated for the cocoa farmers, and took thousands of Crunch bars, M&Ms, and Oreos and rewrapped them in their own slogan and gave them out for free. We as consumers have so much power. We’re trying to say that we bought them all and gave them to you for free so you have this knowledge.”

This summer, the Business Management and Sociology double major put her classroom knowledge to use through the Oxfam America CHANGE Initiative, which empowers a select group of college students around the country to become engaged with the organization’s work and shape a new generation of global citizens at their own universities. Working outside of the U.S., Oxfam America develops long-term solutions to poverty, campaigns for social justice, and, ultimately saves lives.

“What I love about Oxfam America is they have headquarters around the world and each Oxfam aids other countries,” Mendez says. “We empower people all over the world by presenting them the information about company or government policies, resources, and materials they need. When people think of helping people in poverty, you don’t have to change their culture—just give them their human rights. That’s something a lot of people can relate to.”

And Mendez was no exception. This summer, she participated in a study abroad trip to Italy to learn more about the world that she wants to change. There, she met with the director of Oxfam Italia, who had spent seven years doing missionary work in Santo Domingo, where Mendez found an interesting connection.

“He helped fertilize soil of cocoa beans and he was able to feed 7,000 families in Santo Domingo. That helped the community where my mom was born and grew up. That’s how I want students to see it—you make a connection with the work you’re doing,” she says.

Through a rigorous training and leadership program, Diana was empowered to create CHANGE…and she’s starting right here at Pace, finding passionate students to join her new student organization—Oxfam America at Pace University.

And while Mendez has created her own change, she credits several Pace mentors for helping along the way.

“Sue Maxam has forever changed my life,” she says, of the University’s Interim Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Education, who mentored Mendez throughout the Oxfam application process. “There was no way I could have done the work without the people who have helped me and believed in me.”

Through Maxam, Mendez met the Wilson Center’s Program Coordinator Lisa Heisman and found Latino U College Access at a Pace Career Services Fair. The organization’s founder and executive director, Pace alumna Shirley Buontempo, was speaking to a man about empowering Hispanic youth, which drew Mendez’s attention.

“She was talking about how passionate the Hispanic culture is, how much they care about work and education, how hard they need to work, and how important it is to empower them,” she says, prompting a fist-bump between Mendez and Buontempo as well as a unique connection. “I e-mailed her to say I would love to get together to talk about possibilities and opportunities, and how we and Sue could use our energy and passion to help the community, not to get a special edge to the internship.”

Buontempo saw Mendez’s passion and she was awarded a Wilson Center-funded internship at Latino U, where she used her experience and struggles as a first generation college student to help students with their college admission process and also helped secure Latino U an office right on Pace’s White Plains Campus.

All that, and she still had time to attend the International Young leaders Assembly at the UN this summer.

“I work hard doing what I like to do, which is helping people and communities. If you’re passionate about something, you should go for it… The best thing about being a Pace student is when you work hard, it all pays off. It’s kind of like Hogwarts—when you ask for help, help is given to you,” she said.

If you want to help Diana and the people around the world working with Oxfam America, e-mail her at dm69779n@pace.edu.

Interested in sharing your success story for The Pulse and Pace website? E-mail tlopes@pace.edu

Inspiring the Next Generation

This week, our success story is recent School of Education graduate Evelisse Mercado ’13, who had always known she wanted to be a teacher, but it was her experience at Pace that helped her envision just what kind of educator she wanted to become. >>Read More

Evelisse Mercado, who graduated in May 2013 from the School of Education’s combined degree program with a BA in Childhood Education (and a concentration in English) and a MSEd in Special Education, has always been on the path to stand in front of a classroom. As a high school student, she was active in Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers, a non-profit career development organization that supports and mentors culturally diverse high school students as they progress through college to become teachers and leaders in their community. It was in TSTT that Mercado learned about the Pace University School of Education and knew she found her perfect match.

The early college fieldwork experience at Pace helped this new educator know that she was on the right professional path. “After learning that Pace ‘throws us into the fire’ early in our college career, I knew I had to jump into this opportunity,” she said. “Many of my friends who studied education at other universities did not start [fieldwork or] student teaching until their junior or senior year.”

Mercado found the School of Education program to be “rigorous, challenging, and rewarding.” Time management and organization were crucial to her academic success and balance. “Prioritizing and organizing are key skills that need to be applied accordingly in the field of education and in our lives!” she shares. In addition, “the coursework was evidently relevant and it was gratifying to apply the knowledge I learned from my professors into my student teaching placement.”

Throughout her years of study at Pace, Mercado’s personal educational philosophy and vision has matured. She wants to do more than “make a difference.”

“My educational philosophy has evolved into believing that I can perpetuate knowledge and inspire learning,” she says. “I truly believe that every student is capable of tasting the extreme passion I have for education by becoming collaborators in the exploration of new discoveries.”

“Every student has unique and creative capabilities that can be shared with others in the classroom, if given the appropriate support,” Mercado says.

SOE professors Sister M. St. John and Ainsley Adams had a great impact on Mercado, and she credits both with opening the door to new opportunities to grow as a student and educator. Sr. St. John mentored Mercado as a tutor at the Center for Literacy Enrichment and in her role as secretary of Pi Lambda Theta. Additionally, Mercado was one of six School of Education students to travel to Guatemala in February 2013 with Professor Adams, to present at a literacy conference in Guatemala City and interact with local schools there in a culturally immersive experience.

She credits both professors as life-changing, challenging her to participate in “experiences [that] were truly eye opening.”

“I’ve gained an immense amount of knowledge from these two amazing people,” Mercado reflects. “It is truly a blessing to have them in my life.”

Mercado credits the high value placed on education by her family as guiding her into teaching. The importance of education she was raised with is a tenet she hopes to share with the students she will be working with at PS 35 Franz Siegel Elementary School, in the Bronx this fall. She will be the general education teacher in a third grade ICT (inclusion) class.

“Being educated is an important gift that will follow you forever and it will never be taken away from you,” she says. “I want to help children discover their true value in society, even if they have been told otherwise.”

Mercado is looking at the experience as one of continual reflection and personal development as an educator and leader. “I am excited for the end of the year, just so I can sit back and reflect on how much I’ve positively changed since the very beginning,” she said in August, just before the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

As a new graduate about to enter the classroom, she was happy to share words of advice with School of Education candidates who might be anxious about the future.

“Be extremely patient, with everything!” she says. “Finding a job is less than half the battle, in that we now have to be patient with our colleagues, parents, the education system, our students, and ourselves.”

“We must always remember to stay true to our creative teaching ways,” she continues. “Also, it is always great to read at least one professional book a year, [so] we can continuously be inspired. Always remember that there are students out there waiting for you. Just give it time.”

To read more SOE success stories, visit www.pace.edu/soe. Interested in sharing your story about academic success, internships, community services, etc.? E-mail us!

Becoming Your Dream

Pace student, intern-extraordinaire, super volunteer, and Huffington Post blogger Opal Vadhan ’15 is living her dream. And now she’s sharing her experiences with you. >>Read More

Dyson Communications student Opal Vadhan ’15 has accomplished more in just a few years at Pace than many professionals do in a decade of work.

When she’s not juggling being a full-time student, resident advisor, and student speaker for Pace Admissions, Opal is putting it all to practice with internships at Sony Music Entertainment and The Rachael Ray Show, work with High School Music star Monique Coleman’s GimmeMo.com, and deciding between internships this fall.

She was also the recipient of the 2013 New York Women in Communications We TV scholarship, is a member of Seventeen Social Club and the Teen Vogue IT Girls, serves as a panelist for a new web series, The 7 Sisters Project, and has been featured on Microsoft Education VP Anthony Salcito’s website.

In addition, she “took a summer off” this year to do what makes her happiest—helping others. A summer in Kingston, Jamaica, wasn’t sandy beaches and resorts for Opal, who spent a month with the Marist Mission Sisters volunteering with unprivileged children who called her “Aunty Opal.”

And she’s also a blogger for the Huffington Post. So far, Opal has had three pieces published, including two on her summer volunteer trip to Jamaica. The first, Becoming Your Dream, tackles five key points that continue to help her live her dream.

Becoming Your Dream
By Opal Vadhan

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”—Harriet Tubman

I’m an avid lover of quotes, and the quote by Harriet Tubman is one that I am constantly telling those around me.

Every day I wake up, and cannot believe that I am living my dream. It wasn’t easy to get here, and it still isn’t easy being here, but there is nothing else I want to do. I want to help you all, become your dream and this is what helped me get to where I am today.

1. Find Your PassionI know you probably hear this a lot, but try everything you can, and you will eventually find what you like. Join different clubs in high school, try out for the sports team, and get involved. Reach out to organizations that interest you and see how you can volunteer or intern. The sooner you find what you love doing, the easier it is to do it for the rest of your life.

2. Reach OutAt 13 years old I loved television and would sneakily watch TRL every day after school. My 8th grade English teacher had us do an assignment of a place we would like to work and contact them. I dreamed of working at MTV, and I somehow found an email to one of the producers of TRL and I sent a blind email. The producer allowed me to spend a day behind the scenes at TRL and from that moment I knew I wanted to work in television. This is your moment to reach out to people who have your dream career. Do your research, send an email — the worst that can happen is that you don’t get an answer. But don’t let that stop you: reach out to others in that field. People are willing to help those get started because at one time, someone helped them.

3. Build Your ResumeIt is true what they say: Interning is the first thing to get your foot in the door. But people ask me all the time “how do you get an internship with no experience?” Start early with little jobs, I started tutoring little kids at 11 years old. Then I moved onto waitressing, volunteering, and at 16 I got a job as a sales associate at Lacoste. None of those were my dream jobs but they helped me add to my resume. I then reached out to internships in high school and I landed one in the nonprofit industry. That lead me to my next internship at Sony Music Entertainment, which wasn’t TV but still in entertainment and all of that helped me to intern in the television industry where I just finished interning at The Rachael Ray Show.

4. NetworkWherever you work be sure to get to know as many people as you can. You never know who you will meet and who can help you. Interning at one of the nonprofits lead me to meet my boss at Sony Music who was looking for an intern. It also allows you to learn about career journeys and what steps to take in your career path. You may also find some incredible mentors out there who want to help you.

5. Persistence Is KeyNever lose hope. If you don’t get one job, there is always another job out there waiting for you. Apply to as many places as you can, take each interview you get, and then you decide which feels right for you. Always go into an interview prepared and think to yourself, you are meant for this position. Remember these companies are looking for bright, talented, driven students like you.

This is what helped me achieve my dreams, and I still use these tips today to keep working on my dreams. It does take hard work, but trust meit does pay off. I hope that you get something out of this and I would love to hear how you all are going after your dreams.

So how do you live your dream? Share your story with us! And stay tuned for next week as we share another student who’s making an impact around the world. 

My Pace Path

Find out how Pace student and summer MarComm intern Ashley Vetrano ’14 got involved on campus which led to countless internships and opportunities.

Written by Ashley Vetrano ‘14

This fall I will embark on my final academic year at Pace University, and I cannot help but reflect on all I have accomplished and experienced. As a freshman, I learned about the Pace Advertising Club through their stimulating fliers posted around campus. I was really drawn in by the real world professionals that came to speak about the marketing and advertising industry. Ad Club provided me with the opportunity to work on marketing campaigns for real clients including The New York Times, Elcock Funeral Home, and Effin’ Textbooks. I started to make friends and formed relationships with the Ad Club advisers, Lubin Professors Larry Chiagouris, PhD, and Conrad Nankin, both of whom provided me with guidance and mentorship. I had started to take a couple of marketing classes at Pace and knew I had a real talent for it, so it became a natural progression.

My sophomore year, I became the Creative Director of Ad Club, where I contributed in developing commercial storyboards, radio advertisements, print and digital advertisements, and web pages for clients and event promotion. During my junior year, I was elected Vice President of the Advertising Club where I worked with the other leaders to create, budget, promote, and lead weekly events on campus. Through the Advertising Club I heard about the Pace Ad Team, which operates like an advertising agency and helps students develop an advertising campaign to present in front of a professional jury at the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. I was recently accepted and will be competing next spring.

Pace University has a strong practice-based learning structure that helps its students prepare for their future after graduation while they are still taking classes. Because of my involvement in so many activities, I was inspired to become a leader and, in turn, gain plenty of experience outside of the classroom. I have interned at several companies including Tribune Broadcasting (PIX11), Tractenberg & Co, and even the Marketing Division of University Relations right here at Pace, where my knowledge of marketing has flourished.

I can’t help but reflect on how well Pace has prepared me for the workforce. My advice to other students at Pace would be to get involved in everything they can during their undergraduate years. Pace provided me with the appropriate tools to enhance my skills as a marketing major and valuable knowledge about the business industry that eventually will enable me to become more successful in my career when I get my degree in the spring.

Tutus and Tiaras

Dyson Commercial Dance student Madison Embrey was nine years old when she met Rhonda Miller, who would eventually launch Pace’s Commercial Dance Program. Fast forward a decade to performances, pageants, and her dreams coming true. >>Read More

If you ask Dyson BFA Commercial Dance student Madison Embrey ’14 what brought her to Pace, she’ll tell you all about her meeting with renowned choreographer and Commercial Dance Program Director Rhonda Miller…when she was just nine years old.

“I took my first dance class with Rhonda Miller when I was nine. Then when I was 16 or 17, I ran into her again. She told me Pace had a dance minor and that she was starting a dance major at Pace, had written the program but it wasn’t in place yet. She asked if I would like to be the student to help get the program started,” recalls Embrey. “I was planning on going to Fordham for either pre-law or political science, but the opportunity to not only be at a university in the city, but to be at the forefront of a program I believe so strongly in, I couldn’t say no.”

And it looks like things paid off for Embrey, who has thrived at Pace, both academically as a Pforzheimer Honors College student and in her field, performing in the Dance Out Loud showcase and alongside six Broadway stars in Carnegie Hall Community Sing, all in one week, which she cheerfully called her “second week of Christmas.”

“I don’t think it gets any more ‘real world experience’ than right here,” she says.

Additionally, through a connection with her music theory teacher and musical director for the Broadway show Chicago Leslie Stifelman, who worked with Carnegie Hall to start the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange, Embrey has served a student ambassador to the program, which connects artists to young musicians (ages 13-25) to share their performances and compositions and provide feedback. She’s also taken on a role in the Performing Arts department in recruiting, giving tours to prospective students, and bringing in nearly 25 new students to the program.

Inspired by the impact Rhonda Miller had on her, Embrey also returns to her home state of Michigan each summer to give back to middle school age students, teaching, giving private lessons and workshops, choreographing, even helping out with national dance conventions.

And now, she’s taken it to a national level, inspiring youth through her pageant platform for Miss New York. In March 2013, Embrey was crowned Miss Southern New York, the official preliminary to Miss New York and Miss America, and she will compete for Miss New York on July 13. Her platform “Pursue Your Passion” is meant to encourage people, especially middle school and high school age youth, to find what they love and pursue it.

“So many people want to give, give, give, and few give to themselves,” she says. “For younger people, it’s about finding something you’re passionate about. Whenever I was stressed out about something, I had dance to go to. I wanted to find a platform that was important to everyone and to encourage everyone to find that something they love. I was so fortunate to have so many amazing mentors in my life and I want to become one of those mentors for the next generation.”

All this success and Embrey has managed to stay grounded, just not literally. After graduation, though she has not crossed off getting her master’s degree or pursuing law school, she’s going to keep dancing.

“My plan is to pursue a professional performance career. Coming to Pace and working with professionals in the industry, it feels like a really tangible goal,” she says. “Because the faculty at Pace is amazing and they’re working in the industry, it doesn’t feel like there’s a glass wall between myself and a professional career in the performing arts. If I keep putting in the hard work and making connections, it’s going to happen.”

Interested in seeing Embrey in action? Check out some of her 2012 Dance Out Loud performances here and here and watch her perform “Oh the Places You’ll Go” at the American Dance Awards Nationals here. Make sure to stay tuned for more about her journey to the Miss New York crown.

Secret Agent Man

Can you keep a secret? So can Seidenberg student Douglas Kandl ’13, ’14, who was recently awarded a prestigious Department of Defense Information Assurance scholarship to work on security for the…well, his secret is safe with us. >>Read More

When you ask students why they chose Pace, you’ll hear a lot of great answers: from the location to the internships to the small classroom experience. But for Seidenberg student Douglas Kandl ’13, ’14 what drew him to Pace was a matter of national security: the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Information Assurance Program, a program that only select universities designated as National Centers of Academic Excellence have access to. Pace is one of them.

“When I was a high school student and touring the Pleasantville Campus, the Seidenberg academic adviser told me about the program and Pace’s affiliation with the DoD. I came to Pace because of the program and the scholarships it offers,” Kandl says.

It was a smart choice for Kandl, who last fall was selected for the highly-coveted Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) to prepare for a career in cybersecurity. Kandl, who is majoring in Information Technology with a concentration in Security and a focus on Art, will also pursue his master’s in Information Systems as part of the program. In addition to a full scholarship and a generous stipend, the program guarantees internships and full-time employment after graduation. His first internship will begin in summer 2014 with a prominent organization—we’d tell you more, but it’s on a need-to-know basis only.

“Doug is an outstanding student, an entrepreneur, and a leader dedicated to the community, just to name some of his merits. All in all, he is a terrific individual and I know everyone will be pleased to work with him,” says Director of Assessment and Co-Director of the scholarship program, Andreea Cotoranu, who guided Kandl through the comprehensive application process.

While it may be the most top-secret, this isn’t Kandl’s only internship experience. He’s already landed four others including: Alloy Media + Marketing, providing technical and web support to the rights holders of shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies; Standard & Poor’s, where he helped lead a multimillion dollar throughput increase and worked on ratings with a team from around the world; and PSE&G, where he currently works on IT enterprise architecture: “I work on a team that does strategic planning. We decide what technology gets implemented in the enterprise,” he says. This summer, Kandl will be interning for Checkmarx, an application security company, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

With all this, Kandl still finds time for campus activities. When he arrived at Pace in fall 2010, he began working on Hillel, Pace’s then-inactive Jewish student organization. As Co-President of the organization along with Nicole Benzimra, Kandl has helped Pace Hillel grow into a vibrant and inclusive student group responsible for some of Pace’s most unique events like T-Bone’s Bark Mitzvah, Sushi in the Sukkah, Friday Night Lights: Musical Shabbat, and Hillel Idol. Kandl has also written op-eds and been featured in a variety of publications, including The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Week, Cleveland Jewish News, The New Jersey Jewish News, and Chicago Jewish News and helped launch the Hillels of NYC Council and worked with UJA-Federation of New York’s Bridging the Gap to bring together students from all of the Hillels in the area in order to bridge the divide between Jewish students of varying cultures. For his leadership, Kandl received the 2012 Philip H. Cohen and Susan Rudd Cohen International Hillel Exemplar Award at the Jewish Federations of North American Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

If you have an interest in cybersecurity and would like to know more about the Department of Defense’s Information Assurance Scholarship Program, please visit http://seidenberg.pace.edu/ia.

Lessons Taught and Learned

School of Education student Amanda Akdemir, BA/MSEd ’13, has found new and exciting ways to make a real difference in the lives of others–both at home and overseas. >>Read More

For Amanda Akdemir, her personal mission has always been clear: make a difference in the lives of others. Throughout her time at the Pace University School of Education, she has found new and exciting ways to make a real difference in the lives of others.

Akdemir transferred to Pace after completing an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Rockland Community College. After taking a few education courses there, she was hooked. “I applied to Pace University because I was advised that the School of Education was fabulous and had a great relationship with RCC and that my credits would transfer over very smoothly,” she says. “I can say with great confidence that I am happy I made the decision to come to Pace.”

Akdemir is a candidate in our five-year combined degree program, set to graduate in May 2013 with a BA in Childhood education and an MS in Educational Technology. She is the Vice President of Pi Lambda Theta, an education honor society and professional organization.

One of the key highlights, she says, is getting into local schools so early in the program. “It has allowed for me not only to create relationships amongst districts and their communities, but also to gain such a vast range of insights that I have been able to build upon through my courses and experience,” Akdemir says.

Akdemir is currently a student intern and substitute teacher in a unique school environment, the Mount Pleasant Blythedale School District, a K-12 school for children with special medical needs at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla New York. “It has given me a good handle on several different situations from both the elementary and secondary standpoints,” she says.

Akdemir has previously student-taught classes in the second and fourth grade in another Westchester district. “I love being in the classroom and it is absolutely true that this is where most of your learning takes place,” she says.

As part of her Educational Technology degree program, she has engaged in a wide variety of projects, including website development, applying for technology grants, and implementing the broad use of an interactive multimedia iPad app for Blythedale’s special needs students, along with professional development for faculty. Her experience is one that has definitely opened her eyes to the challenges in education—meeting the needs of all students.

“Especially in my current environment, simultaneously adapting to the needs of such diverse learners is definitely not an easy task,” she says. But, she continues, “I think that the greatest reward comes when those needs are met. The satisfaction that comes along [with that] is an unmatched feeling that makes every effort worthwhile.”

Akdemir has also had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, internationally. She was one of six students who traveled to Guatemala for a week in February 2013 to present at the 9th International Literacy Conference in Guatemala City. In addition to scholarly pursuits, the students also visited three local schools to interact with teachers and students, and experienced day-to-day life in Central America. “It was an overall wonderful experience that I will cherish always,” she says. The trip, she says, put a lot of things in perspective.

“There is so much that we take for granted here,” she says. “We are provided with more than we can imagine to make a difference in the lives of children, and we should be making use of every tool and opportunity we are given to the best of our ability.”

Read more SOE success stories on their website at www.pace.edu/soe

A Model Setter

Three internships in her field, volunteering in Sandy relief efforts, leading Pace’s award-winning Model UN team—Pace student Katie James ‘14 is on her way to her dream job at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. >>Read More

Katie James ‘14 has already gained invaluable experience throughout her time at Pace, interning with renowned organizations and working tirelessly on and off campus, to make her dream of one day working at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and as an attorney aiding in the protection of civil rights, a reality.

Majoring in political science and minoring in history and peace and justice studies, Katie’s time at Pace has been spent putting her classroom experience to work, interning with several politically-conscious organizations like GOAL, a non-governmental agency that works to alleviate poverty. Her second internship as a summer fellow for Organizing for America gave her the opportunity to coordinate volunteers to aide in President Obama’s reelection efforts.

Her third internship with Control Arms, a global coalition that works with Member States of the UN and organizations such as Oxfam International to promote a bullet proof Arms Trade Treaty, was introduced to her by Dyson Political Science Professor Matthew Bolton, PhD, who encouraged her to apply and to whom she credits with guiding and inspiring her during her time at Pace. In addition to Professor Bolton, Katie praises professors Meghana Nayak, PhD, and Emily Welty, PhD, for the passion they exhibit in their fields.

“So far, I have been so lucky to have profoundly inspiring and intelligent professors. I cannot think of one person in particular, but rather three professors who have definitely shaped me into the student and person I am today,” she says.

Katie also points out New York City as the ideal location for all her career endeavors and chose Pace for its generous financial aid package.

“I have been lucky to have such great experiences at Pace,” she says. “It is a school that allows for personal mobility in both the school, and in your field of study.”

In addition to balancing her internship work, her full class load, and working as a Resident Adviser at the Fulton Street dorm, Katie has been volunteering in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and is the Head Delegate of Pace University’s award-winning Model UN team, which travels across the country and world to compete with other universities.

During her sophomore year, Katie was president of the Lambda Sigma National Honor Society for second year students, whose focus was community service and civic responsibility. She is fluent in American Sign Language and plans to study abroad during the summer of 2013. All of her duties during her time at Pace have made her a standout candidate in her field, sure to impress any employer.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

A Paramount Success

Find out how Pace student Sean Green ’14 turned hardships into internships and countless opportunities.

Every day, Pace students are taking advantage of the endless opportunities the city has to offer. Sean Green ’14, who’s pursuing a degree in communication studies with a minor in film studies,  is utilizing Pace’s location along with the awesome skills he’s gained while in college to reach his full potential. Sean is definitely a success story, and while Pace helped him get there, his motivation is what has propelled him to a promising future.

But his time at the university hasn’t always been simple. Weeks before his scheduled arrival to the University, Sean’s family suffered a tremendous loss—the passing of his sister. While it would have been acceptable for him to take a semester or year off to deal with his grief, Sean chose to move into Maria’s Tower and begin his freshman year of college on time. This dedication has translated into his time here at Pace.

Sean credits two professors with his success thus far and helping him work through this rough first semester of college: Communications Professor and academic adviser Emilie Zaslow, PhD, and Economics Professor Mark Weinstock. As his adviser, Professor Zaslow helped him through his difficult few months at Pace and assisted in his adjustment to university life.

Sean explained, “She was so incredibly helpful in my particular situation and getting me to not only adjust to being a college student, but my new life. She was always there for me when I wanted to ask a question or just wanted to talk.”

Sean has also found guidance from Professor Weinstock, who expressed his support and pride in Sean’s decision to come to Pace regardless of the hardships he faced. With Professor Weinstock’s encouragement, Sean worked more diligently and has maintained a stellar GPA.

After his sister’s death, Sean founded the KG Foundation to keep his sister’s name alive.  Every year he helps run and organize fundraisers that have been attended by 250 people. The KG foundation raised $10,000 in their last outing in March of 2011. Sean also aided in establishing the “Kristin Green: Apple of my Eye” program, which has given fifth graders in his school district on Long Island Mac computers.

Between all the roles Sean has filled, he has also been successful in balancing a part-time job at Urban Outfitters, 18 credits worth of classes, and his current internship with Paramount Pictures. Sean heard about this internship through E-recruiting with the University’s Career Services. Many students struggle to find internships in their chosen field, but with help from Career Services, Sean was on his way to a dream internship in no time. “I worked with [Career Services] on my resume and cover letter, which I really do think helped me get the job!” he says.

At Paramount, Sean interns with the Field Marketing and Publicity Department. With each Paramount film that is released, he and his fellow interns complete “college directives” to promote the films. He has been assigned to promote the films in young adult markets and organizes events throughout the semester. He performs tasks like creating a “campus snow day” for the film Rise of the Guardians, and has a “Jobs in Aviation” event to promote the film Flight. Though he is not 100 percent sure of what he wants to pursue after college, Sean knows these opportunities have helped guide and prepare him for success after graduation.

“These experiences have greatly influenced my future career plans because I learned that I do not want to be just ‘a number’ in a corporation but I want to matter in the output of the company that I work for,” Sean says.

This spring, Sean will be taking advantage of another exciting opportunity–spending a semester abroad studying at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Whether on the Eastern Seaboard or amid the Indian Pacific, Sean undoubtedly will continue to be a Pace success story well into his future.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

Interested in sharing your Pace Success Story? E-mail pulse@pace.edu and let us know what you’ve been up to at Pace!

A Success Story at Sea

Pace student Breanna Romaine-Giuliano ’13 has embarked on many adventures since arriving at Pace three years ago. This summer, it was a voyage around Latin America that changed her life.

Pace student Breanna Romaine-Giuliano ’13 has embarked on many adventures since arriving at Pace three years ago. This summer, it was a voyage around Latin America that changed her life.

A Pforzheimer Honors College and Dyson Political Science major with minors in Criminal Justice, Peace and Justice Studies, and Sociology/Anthropology, and member of Pace’s award-winning Model United Nations team, Breanna is no stranger to engaging in global issues and policy. But for the aspiring international human rights lawyer, it was her short-term Semester at Sea voyage which took her around Latin America in 25 days that not only changed her life, but, she hopes, will help her change the lives of others.

“Before the voyage I knew I wanted to be a human rights lawyer but I wasn’t necessarily sure what that meant. Now my eyes are open to all different types of career tracks that need human rights lawyers, or people working to secure these covenants in all countries,” she writes on her ePortfolio blog.

The ship, which served as both a floating campus with classrooms and as a form of transportation to explore coursework and cultures, focused on the United Nations Millennium Development goals and provided Breanna a unique opportunity to see first-hand how Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru, have begun to implement them.

“I read treaties, went to the ministries in these countries, met with diplomats in Peru, got a connection to the UN. You can’t describe how it helped me,” she says. “It gave me a huge understanding of how the west interacts with east, north, and south. It’s everything I wanted to do and more.”

And for those wary about the cost to attend an international program: “Memories over money,” was Breanna’s motto and her motivation. “Don’t let money be an issue. Apply to every scholarship. I didn’t have the money to go, but I wrote a 45-page appeal letter for a scholarship. I spent hours and I got it. If you want something, go get it,” she adds. “And bring your Pace shirt.”

And now, after barely having readjusted to life on land, she’s already looking to continue making a difference overseas. In addition to finishing up her last year at Pace, serving as Executive Vice President for Student Government Association and the editor of the Honors College newsletter, interning at Skadden law firm, chairing the student board of GOAL USA, and running a $10,000 fundraiser, among many other activities, Breanna is preparing her application for a prestigious Fulbright grant ,that offers fully funded opportunities to research, study, and teach around the world.

“I want to go to Kenya and understand the connection between FGM—female genital gender mutation—and colonialism,” she says of the research she began her sophomore year. “I’m a supporter of under developed countries—helping globally. Everyone’s a human and we’re all in this together.”

After that, it’s law school, where she plans to study human rights law. “I need the education—and then I’ll change the world,” she says.

But It Is Our Business

Pace student Daniel Hollis is one of the activists at the helm of Pace’s campaign for a sustainable environment, navigating the tricky waters of environmental business regulations and practices so we can all live in a better, cleaner, greener world. He is working to make everyone see that the environmental issues the world faces are in fact, our business as well.

By Pace student Helen Arase ’14

“I think most people in the Pace Community are already concerned about the environment and we all know the reasons why,” says Pace student Dan Hollis. “We all know that we depend on the environment for our own sustenance.  I’d say the vast majority of us agree that we need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean lands on which to build our homes and grow our food.  The next step is for Pace students to start asking ‘What can I do?’”

Hollis came to Pace for the School of Law, which is one of the top three schools in the nation for environmental law and has a fantastic JD/MBA program. To him, Pace offered the opportunity to learn about environmentally conscious and socially responsible business strategies. Pace is known for its concentration on protecting the environment, and Hollis has taken full benefit of what we have to offer. He is receiving his JD with certificates in Environmental Law and International Law as well as an MBA with a dual concentration in Accounting and Strategic Management in 2013.

After graduation, Hollis’ plans may include working within a company or working outside a company as a consultant or activist. But before we look too far into the future, let’s look at his impressive resume now:

  • He has interned at the Pace University Institute of International Commercial Law at the Law School, where he worked as part of a team of three students investigating current trends in international contracting regarding the development and increased use of sustainability clauses in international supplier agreements.
  • He has also worked with the National Council for Science and the Environment. There, he wrote articles on various laws and government agencies whose support includes environmental issues.
  • Hollis is also part of the GreenPace Committee, a team committed to advancing sustainability at Pace. If you’re interested in anything from energy and water usage, to transportation and dining services, Hollis encourages you to join GreenPace and help Pace save the world, one step at a time.

Student By Day, Crime-Fighting Activist Beauty Queen By Night

Pace student Kristi Hey is doing it all. In between IT classes and winning pageants, this beauty queen is busting bad guys and raising awareness about the #1 killer of teens—motor vehicle accidents. >>Read More

Kristi Hey is not your average college student, unless your average college student is a crime-fighting, crown-wearing activist.

After having earned her BS in Criminal Justice from Pace in 2010, Kristi is finishing up her MS in Internet Technology concentrating on security assurance this May. When she’s not taking classes, you may find her putting her classroom learning to good use at the U.S. Probation Office for the Southern District of New York, where she monitors the computer activity of federally convicted sex offenders and hopes to one day work with the FBI cyber division or the  Department of Homeland Security.

For the past few years, Kristi has competed in the Miss America Organization local pageants. But in August 2011, she became ineligible to compete in the Miss category when she married her college sweetheart and fellow Pace alumnus and student, John Hey. This didn’t stop her.

Kristi began competing as a Mrs. Contestant and won the Mrs. Bristol 2012 crown. On February 4, 2012, she will compete in the Mrs. Connecticut America Pageant, the official preliminary to the Mrs. America Pageant, held at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Each contestant chooses a cause in which they dedicate their year of service to as Mrs. CT America 2012. Kristi, whose platform during the Miss competitions was “Teens Against Destructive Driving,” has slightly adapted her cause but will continue the fight for safe driving awareness, choosing “Families Against Dangerous Driving Decisions.”

“This is more than just a cause to me,” says Kristi, whose close friend was killed in a car accident along with three other teens in 2007. “I am hoping that if I become Mrs. CT America 2012, I will then be able to meet with the governor of CT Dannel P. Malloy to discuss driving rules and regulations for teen drivers in CT.”

“I don’t want other people to hurt like everyone who knew all of the teens lost that night. I want change to happen!” says Kristi.

Passionate about her cause, she created a charity 5k race to bring awareness to safe driving and the need to eliminate motor vehicle accident fatalities, which is the number one killer of teenagers. The race, 3.1 Miles of Memories, will take place at 10:00 a.m. on March 24 in Terryville, CT, and includes walking and running events, a kids run, and a safe driving expo, where local groups and businesses will have safe driving information, food, games, prizes, etc. Proceeds will be donated to the Mourning Parents ACT (!MPACT), a nonprofit organization whose members travel around the state to educate teens and families on the dangers of distracted driving and how just a moment can change families lives.

And she needs all the Pace help she can get!

“I would love and encourage the Pace Community to consider coming out to this event. I know that motor vehicle accidents do hit home in the Pace Community after the tragic loss of DJ Henry,” Kristi says.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends can visit the 3.1 Miles of Memories website to register for the race. The first 200 pre-registered participants will receive a free race t-shirt!

Are you a Pace student with a cool internship, hobby, part-time job, or passion? Know someone that fits the bill? E-mail us and share your story with other students, faculty, and staff!

Student By Day, Fashionista By Night

Communications major Maria Alexa Gee ’12 may not hold a golden ticket to New York Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a front-row seat to all the couture and catwalks.

Last week, the New York Daily News stopped by Maria Alexa Gee’s NYC dorm room for a photo shoot for an article they ran in Sunday’s paper. You know, just an average day for this Pace student.

The topic at-hand: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And they definitely chose the right person to talk to.

Maria, whose blog Student Style: NYC is a little Vogue meets Page Six meets E!’s Fashion Police, not only covers the runway’s finest, she roams the halls of One Pace Plaza looking for students.

“I take pictures of Pace students that I think are well-dressed,” she said. “I’ll compare them to higher fashion or even a fashion icon I think they resemble.”

And the students are catching on to her fashion fury.

“People see me walking around with a camera and they’re like ‘omg, are you the fashion blogger?'”

Aside from picking out Pace’s best dressed folks, Maria covers fashion trends and shows all over the world and shares them with her blog and Facebook followers. And, like many other fashionistas, she’s following the exclusive New York Fashion Week happening now.

“It’s like the Greek myth about the guy [Tantalus] who is always hungry, but he can’t reach the fruit,” she told the Daily News. “It’s right uptown, but I can’t get into it.”

When she’s not studying or blogging, Maria’s working toward her dream job in entertainment or fashion as an intern at The Food Network. There she works with the international branch to help distribute The Food Network around the globe, including South Africa, as well as working with mobile applications, Facebook, and Twitter.

Make sure to check out the Pace University Fashion Blog on Facebook!

Student by Day, Rock Star by Night

Pace student Jessica Calamera is a rock star. And that’s not just a figure of speech. The School of Education student is a professional musician with a reality TV show and now she wants YOU to face the music.

When Math and Adolescent Education major Jessica Calamera ’12 isn’t in class, chances are you may find the Honors College student in the recording studio or performing with her two bands. One band, A Few 2 Many, has just shot a pilot to be the center of a new reality television show. Her second band Over the Top, a local wedding band comprised of Jessica’s family, is one of Westchester’s top party bands and they’re looking for you to show them what you’ve got! 

Beginning September 9 and running through November, they will host an American Idol-style competition at Ciro’s Restaurant just a few minutes from the PLV Campus, and they’re looking for you to rock their socks off.  There will be a large cash prize, second, and third place prizes, and food discounts will be offered to Pace students at the restaurant. Register now through September 9 to be the next Ciro’s Idol.