Who was your inspiration throughout your academic career?
“The motivating and encouraging Pace University professors and staff were my greatest inspiration for my academic career. I was extremely fortunate in both my undergraduate and graduate years to have had great mentors who believed in me, even when I doubted myself. Interim Director of the Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) Heather Novak's mentorship had the greatest impact in my decision to pursue an MPA. She introduced me to the Westchester Children's Association, where I completed my capstone research project. I strongly believe in giving back and serving my community, traits which are embodied by numerous professors and faculty guidance.”
What on- or off-campus activities were you involved with as a student?
“I was involved with the Urban Male Initiative, which as a group, had powerful and thought-provoking conversations, and shared collaborative ideas on how young men of color can better themselves and learn career and life concepts. I also participated in CCAR events, including the mobile food drive program andI volunteered with the Pace Food Drive preparing and distributing meals to Pace students and faculty. Lastly, I participated in Pace Makes a Difference Day and worked as a student aid for Pace’s Document Services under the supervision of its director, Winston Vera, who was a great mentor. ”
What are you most proud of about your journey at Pace? What challenges did you face and overcome?
“My most meaningful takeaway is to never give up, and to remember that you can almost certainly push yourself further than you thought possible. I am proud of completing my MPA, considering I had not planned on pursuing a graduate degree. It is because of Pace faculty who believed in me, along with the unwavering support from fellow classmates and faculty, that I was able to complete the program with such success. Remote learning presented unique challenges, and my final semester at Pace was undoubtedly my most demanding. I was tackling multiple courses, while simultaneously working on my master’s thesis research paper, which I completed, thanks to the guidance and support of my excellent advisor, Professor Gina Scutelnicu.”
What are your aspirations for the future/what is next for you?
“I hope to work in government either for an elected official or on the bureaucratic civil service side. I completed my MPA (government track) and it is my intention to work in a capacity that allows me to serve constituents and be a part of helping communities to grow and thrive.”
What advice do you have for current students?
“I advise current students to work hard, not be afraid to take risks, and develop relationships with other students, faculty, and staff on both an academic and personal level. I would tell them to take advantage of everything Pace offers, such as conferences, workshops, and programs that have guest speakers, get involved in school activities, do as many internships as possible, and never be afraid to ask for help. ”