On March 26, 2019, New Britain High School visited the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) as part of their Educator’s Rising (EdRising) partnership. Hosted by USJ’s departments of Education and Biology, the University held a variety of sessions to welcome students to campus. When they were on campus, they met key faculty who shared their stories and exposed students to opportunities, such as the National Science Foundation CATALYST Program, which allowed students to discover the expert faculty and comprehensive programs offered at USJ.
“Opportunities for on-campus outreach to future educators, especially in the area of STEM, is critical to motivate young students into the field. Bringing the high school students on campus was ideal to expose them to our campus community and to excite and encourage them to think about the next steps in their professional career,” said Melissa Marcucci, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of Biology.
One faculty panel session, called “Why Being a Teacher is Amazing,” included Jessica Vialva, Ed.D., assistant professor of Education, andEileen González, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of Education. This topic explored the benefits of becoming a teacher, research opportunities, and described each professor’s background in the field. Dr. Vialva’s professional background includes over nine years of teaching experience in Mathematics and Dr. González’s specialty is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
“Many of the students will be first-generation college students and opportunities like the EdRising event allow students to see first-hand, and perhaps for the first time, that higher education is a place for them. Seeing the campus, meeting professors, and participating in activities, are all ways that help students visualize themselves as future students at USJ. I loved meeting the students and their teachers,” said Dr. Gonzalez.
The second faculty session entitled, “Biology and Education: A Great Combination,” included Dr. Marcucci and Kirsten Martin, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology. These professors discussed their roles at the University and the science programs offered at USJ. Dr. Marcucci explained how her love of teaching Biology came from her graduate work, while Dr. Martin shared how she includes her students in her environmental and conservation science projects.
Lastly, Victoria Maringola ’19, McKenna Driscoll ’20, and Juliette Homicki ’19 hosted the panel session entitled, “What College is Really Like and Why I Chose Education.” They talked about their positive experience at USJ, balancing a social and academic life, accessibility to faculty, and making the most of their time at USJ. This session gave students a realistic view about attending college.
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