"I researched several schools and
The College of New Rochelle's program impressed me the most.
Additionally, when I went to visit The College of New Rochelle, I was
quite taken with the beauty of the campus and the warm feeling I
received from the staff and students."
The College of New Rochelle
tell us something about yourself.
I grew up and still
live in Mahopac, a village within the town of Carmel, New York and on
the border of Putnam and Westchester Counties. Mahopac is best known
for its beautiful lake and reputable school systems. In the summer the
lake sparkles in the sunshine and is filled with people on boats and
jet skis. My family consists of five people: my mom, dad, two sisters
and myself. My mom is a kindergarten teacher and my dad is in
sales. I am the youngest of the three daughters. My oldest sister
Rebecca is finishing her PhD in Clinical Psychology and my other
sister, Tami, is a 3rd grade teacher. I am extremely close with my
family; my sisters are two of my best
Where did you go to college for your
I actually attended three undergraduate
institutions. When I graduated from high school, I really did not know
what I wanted to major in so I started taking required liberal arts
classes at SUNY Cortland. I stayed at Cortland for two semesters, but
realized it wasn't the school for me. Instead of moving directly to
another four year school without knowing what I wanted to major in, I
decided to take some classes at Westchester Community College in hopes
of determining what path I was going to choose. I always loved art, but
it was at Westchester Community College that I also found an interest
in psychology. I then was granted the presidential scholarship to
attend Marymount College of Fordham University. While attending
Marymount I had a double majored in Psychology and Studio Art, I found
the school that felt like home.
had high expectations of the Graduate School. This is my first semester
and already my expectations have been met and surpassed. I find the
faculty knowledgeable and the classes challenging. The students in my
classes automatically seem to have formed a bond.
Why did you decide to attend The College of
After I graduated from Marymount of Fordham, I got a job
in the Human Resources Department at Nine West Footwear Corporation in
White Plains. I worked in Human Resources for two years and while I
grew tremendously as a professional and a person, I knew it was not the
life-long career I was meant to have. I love working with people and I
thought back to my undergraduate days of when I was an academic tutor
for students attending Marymount and the satisfaction I received from
helping other students learn. Combining that thought with my love of
art and strong belief in the importance of art education, I decided I
wanted to go back to school to obtain my masters. Once I made this
decision, I researched several schools and The College of New
Rochelle's program impressed me the most. Additionally, when I went to
visit The College of New Rochelle, I was quite taken with the beauty of
the campus and the warm feeling I received from the staff and
What is your major?
I am getting my masters in Art Education.
Why did you select teaching as your career?
Do you like the age level of students, or teaching allows you to also
I have decided to become an art teacher
because of several reasons. One in particular is the strong belief I
have that art education is extremely important in every child's
education. Another reason is I like working with people, young children
and adolescents especially. Additionally, I truly enjoy just being
around the creative process, whether I am creating or if I am
motivating students to create. I am observing this semester in an
elementary art classroom, and I love watching the students create--each
one produces something so unique.
If someone is going for a career that involves art
in any way, I think
it is important to experiment with as many different types of mediums
and techniques as possible. This gives the artist/art teacher a broader
range to work in and/or to pass on to their students. It may not be
their favorite medium, but it may turn out to be one of their students.
Could you explain, Melissa, that type of
art that you do. Do you paint? Do you work in clay?
I double majored as an undergraduate in Studio Art and
Psychology. The Studio Art major required that I take a variety of
studio classes experimenting with all different types of media. I have
had experience in drawing, painting, ceramic sculpture, ceramics on the
wheel, and collage. I enjoy each medium for the unique experience it
gives me during the process of making art. Since I do not have access
to a kiln or a wheel in my house, unless I am taking a class in it,
ceramics is the medium I practice the least with. However, I am
currently taking ceramics this semester and I find working with clay to
be very therapeutic. Most of the experience I have had is in drawing
and painting and since I can draw and paint in my own home, those are
the techniques I use most frequently. If someone is going for a career
that involves art in any way, I think it is important to experiment
with as many different types of mediums and techniques as possible.
This gives the artist/art teacher a broader range to work in and/or to
pass on to their students. It may not be their favorite medium, but it
may turn out to be one of their students. I hope to broaden my range by
taking photography and jewelry making
Where do you attend classes?
Most of my classes are in the Mooney
Center on the main campus because that is where the art
education/studio art/art therapy classes are held.
Do you have any favorite teachers?
I truly enjoy all of my professors as
each one brings something unique to my educational experience. One
professor that stands out for me this semester is Elizabeth
Thompson-Colleary. Beth is my History of Contemporary Art professor and
has really broadened my perspective on the art world. She has given me
the tools to help establish my personal definition of art. She has
given assignments which require students to visit the museums and
galleries in New York which I really appreciate. After all, it is a
contemporary art history class and New York is the art capital of the
I had to compare The College of New Rochelle to any of the schools I
previously attended, it would have to be Marymount of Fordham
University. There was a strong feeling of community at
Marymount, and I sense that same feeling about The College of New
What has surprised you the most about the
I haven't really been surprised by the
Graduate School. Based on my research and my encounters with staff and
students during my visit, I had high expectations of the Graduate
School. This is my first semester and already my expectations have been
met and surpassed. I find the faculty knowledgeable and the classes
challenging. The students in my classes automatically seem to have
formed a bond.
Do you have a job on campus?
I am fortunate
enough to be a graduate assistant in the Graduate Enrollment office. I
work approximately 15 hours per week and in return I am paid a stipend
and 30 of my tuition credits are paid for. I couldn't have asked for a
better situation. I truly feel lucky.
When do you expect to graduate?
I expect to graduate in December 2006 or
What are your career plans?
I hope to obtain an art teaching
position. As this is only my first semester in the Art Education
program, so far I have only observed in elementary schools. Next
semester I will observe in a high school and a middle school setting,
and I believe after I have observed in all three settings, I will be
able to determine what age range I would like to teach.
You have had a variety of college
experiences so it would be interesting to see what you think makes a
good campus and school. If you could, compare CNR to the other schools
that you attended.
If I had to compare The College of New
Rochelle to any of the schools I previously attended, it would have to
be Marymount of Fordham University. I attended Marymount before
the collaboration between Marymount and Fordham took place and I was
still there when the two schools combined. Marymount was the
third school I attended and it was the one that felt most like home to
me. Class size was small and the professors knew the students by name.
I was challenged and pushed to grow as a student and a person. I was
involved with the school. I worked with professors on their personal
research and became an academic tutor on campus. There was a strong
feeling of community at Marymount, and I sense that same feeling about
The College of New Rochelle.
find out if CNR is the right choice for you, please contact:
of the Dean
The College of New Rochelle
29 Castle Place
New Rochelle, NY 10805