Tagged: myfirstyear

12 Mar

Comments Off on My First Year: Challenges and Triumphs

My First Year: Challenges and Triumphs

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For the Office of Student Success, freshman student Erin Gokey shares her experiences changing her major and commuting on the blog today!

While applying to colleges, I knew I did not want to go away to school. I chose to commute, so I applied only to schools within a 45 minute radius from my house. Needless to say, the first and only college I visited was Mount Saint Mary College. From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that this was the place that I wanted to be. Everyone was so nice and accepting, and there was so much for students to do, even as a commuter.

Choosing a major was not hard for me at all. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, and being in the education program means to focus in on a subject area for your major. I decided to major in General Science. That was not for me, however. For the first semester, I was working two jobs and enrolled in 17 credits for the semester. It was a lot: I got pre-occupied really quickly and did not manage my time at all. Because of this,  I did not do great at all in my classes, and that was such a letdown.

Finally, I decided to talk to my academic coach about what I could do differently. I decided to change my major from General Science to English, and then get tutoring for the rest of the semester. It was pretty late in the semester when I decided to go and get help though, so unfortunately I was placed on Academic Probation for the second semester. With this, you are limited to the amount of credits you can take during the semester. This was terrible news for me; I was extremely upset. I did know that it was probably the best option for me, but it still is not the best thing to hear. While having to limit myself with the amount of classes to take for the semester did help me get back on track, I wish I had asked for help sooner in the semester, instead of being stubborn and thinking I didn’t need the help. My advice to you: Do not be afraid to ask for help, especially when it comes to your grades. Communicating with your academic coach or your advisor is the most beneficial thing you can do: they know all of the answers and will help you figure out what you can do, regardless of the situation.

Deciding to attend the Mount was by far the best decision I think I have ever made. Yeah, commuting is hard. Especially when you wake up late and the mountain is closed… but to come here, it’s totally worth it. Challenge yourself and manage your time properly. Time management is the key to success.

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25 Nov

Comments Off on MFY Faculty Flashback: Christina Alvey

MFY Faculty Flashback: Christina Alvey

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Every other week, the My First Year blog will be sharing stories of faculty so that our freshman students can get to know their professors a bit better and hear some of their advice for new students.

Christina Alvey, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

As an undergraduate I attended North Central College, a small liberal arts school close to home in Illinois. While I was able to graduate in only three years due to the large number of credits I earned while in high school, I took advantage of so many opportunities during this time, including a semester-long study abroad experience in Moscow, Russia. I also worked with some of my professors on research projects that ultimately inspired me to pursue graduate school in mathematics and become a professor myself. After earning a PhD in mathematics at Purdue University, I am now entering my fourth year at Mount Saint Mary College as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and couldn’t be happier! When I am not teaching, I enjoy playing cooperative board games and video games. I am also a member of a local square dance club, and wrote my undergraduate honors thesis on the mathematics of square dancing, something that most students probably don’t know about me! Continue Reading

16 Nov

Comments Off on MFY Faculty Flashback: James Phillips

MFY Faculty Flashback: James Phillips

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Every other week, the My First Year blog will be sharing stories of faculty so that our freshman students can get to know their professors a bit better and hear some of their advice for new students.

James Phillips, Associate Professor of Theatre

Years at the Mount: 10

What was your college experience like? I was busy. I took classes in the morning, worked in the theatre shop in the afternoon, and went to rehearsals at night. That started my first week on campus and continued for almost every week I was in college. I quickly learned how to work and how to budget my time.

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do outside of work? I’m the father of an Irish dancer, so my main hobby is spending money on her dance supplies. I play video games, mostly strategy as I’m past the age when my hand/eye coordination allows me to play fast twitch games. I’m humbled by my inability to garden well.

What is one thing most students don’t know about you? I sang in a cover band while in high school. Continue Reading

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02 Nov

Comments Off on MFY Faculty Flashback: Sarah Uzelac

MFY Faculty Flashback: Sarah Uzelac

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Every other week, the My First Year blog will be sharing stories of faculty so that our freshman students can get to know their professors a bit better and hear some of their advice for new students.

Sarah Uzelac, Professor of Psychology, Division Chair

Years at the Mount: 13

What was your college experience like? Fantastic – I loved college so much I never want to leave!

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do outside of work? I’m a big reader, so if I’m not grading exams or papers, I’m usually reading for pleasure. I also like gardening and cooking. We travel as a family a lot. And I’m a horseback rider – I keep my horse at a barn in Wappingers Falls and try to ride a few times a week.

What is one thing most students don’t know about you? I married my high school sweetheart!

What does a successful student look like in your class? A successful student in my classes is one who comes prepared, shows their interest, and asks questions during our class meetings.

How do you break the ice with or begin building a relationship with your professor during the first few weeks of class? We spend a big part of our first class meeting introducing ourselves to each other and I try to use humor and personal anecdotes to help students feel comfortable in my classes. Continue Reading

21 Oct

Comments Off on MFY Faculty Flashback: Mike Daven

MFY Faculty Flashback: Mike Daven

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Every other week, the My First Year blog will be sharing stories of faculty so that our freshman students can get to know their professors a bit better and hear some of their advice for new students.

Mike Daven, Professor of Mathematics

Years at the Mount: 20 years

Where did you go to college? I graduated from Villanova University (undergraduate) and Auburn University (PhD).

What are your hobbies/what do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy hiking, wandering the many trails we have in the Hudson Valley. Mount Beacon is a quick and rewarding climb, Storm King has some interesting trails with a variety of great views, and Breakneck Ridge is my absolute favorite hike! The website https://hikethehudsonvalley.com is like a to-do list of great trails in our area.

What is one thing most students don’t know about you? As an undergraduate, I earned degrees in mathematics and philosophy. I started as a math major then added philosophy as a second major after taking an “Introduction to Philosophy” class. This wasn’t a big leap since I already enjoy the abstractness of mathematics. In my philosophy courses, I became aware of how much I love learning new perspectives and thinking about thinking! Continue Reading