Spring 2011 Honors Student Showcases
The Honors College is full of students who star in the classroom as well as athletics. One of the most exceptional is Callie Grace. This senior from Dalton, Massachusetts, has been a successful member of the Pace swim team while achieving scholastic excellence.
Currently busy with her swimming season, Callie and her teammates are putting together quite the record. She will be competing in the championships coming up soon and is planning to take home some medals. Last year, Callie placed in the top three in both the 100 breaststroke and the 100 freestyle, earning two medals. She intends to place even higher this year!
When not competing herself, Callie finds ways to remain at the pool by lifeguarding on campus. She also gives swimming lessons and is a coach for a club team that uses the facilities here at Pace.
When not at the pool, Callie achieves exemplary marks in the classroom. The Applied Psychology major not only executes her skills in school and in the water, but applies her knowledge to help younger children through her internship. Callie is currently interning with Gang Prevention Services under the Family Services of Westchester, which is an affiliate to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Callie helps partner children with members of the community to help guide them.
Given her passion for helping children, it is no surprise that her favorite aspect of the Honors College is the community service opportunities it provides to its students. Every year Callie looks forward to the Wrapping Gifts for Underprivileged Children event during the holiday season.
The Honors College holds a special place in Callie's memories of Pace. When asked about her greatest accomplishment at Pace, Callie says, "Being accepted into the Honors College my first semester." This achievement recognized Callie's abilities in the classroom and meant a great deal to her. Callie intends to attend graduate school to earn a MS in Counseling, hopefully at East Carolina University. After that, she hopes to begin a career as a middle school guidance counselor.
Callie encourages students to obtain internships and seek jobs, especially on campus. She says, "Without having my job and internship, I would not be in the position I am today." Callie's future is bright and she is sure to achieve great things considering her dedication to everything that she does.
Most Education majors have a busy schedule with student teaching and their classes. Imagine playing a collegiate sport while handling the already heavy workload associated with this major. Honors College student Jacki Munson does just that.
The Adolescent Education and Mathematics major is a part of the combined degree program here at Pace. Upon her completion of the program, she will have earned two Bachelor's degrees, one in Adolescent Education and one in Mathematics, and a Master's in Special Education.
The 22-year-old has played for the team all four years of her college career without missing a beat. If playing soccer, going to school, and student teaching was not enough, Jacki also works on campus as a part of Ed Media where she displays her technical know-how.
Jacki does all of this while continuing to meet all the requirements of the Honors College, including the mandatory attendance at two Honors College events. Jacki does not mind this, though, because she feels the best aspect of the Honors College is the events that are held every semester. Her favorite event is the Decorating the Pleasantville Cottage School for the Holidays.
Jacki decided to attend Pace for several reasons. One was because she wanted to continue her passion for soccer; being able to play in college was an important factor when choosing schools. She was also well aware of the strong academics that Pace University offers. The fact that Pace was not too far from her hometown of Cornwall, New York, also persuaded her to attend.
Completing her four years of eligibility in soccer while maintaining her scholastic excellence is Jacki's proudest accomplishment here at Pace. She states, "Being able to play my sport and do well in school was really important for me."
Jacki attributes her success to allowing herself to enjoy all of her commitments. She offers the advice, "Have fun with what you are doing." It is difficult to perform at a high level if you are not participating in things you truly care about.
After leaving Pace, Jacki plans to be a middle school teacher of Mathematics, ideally in the Westchester or Orange County areas.
Joseph Graboff is a Cornwall, NY native who excels in anything he does. Whether it is in the classroom, on the football field, or in the community, Joe's determination is unmatched.
A typical college student seeks to earn their degree in four years, maybe even longer, but Joe was able to finish his undergraduate requirements in just three years. The reason he has not graduated is because he is actually taking part in the five-year BBA/MBA Public Accounting program. Even that program will be finished early as Joe will be completing it next Fall.
Being that immersed in school work, one would think that Joe may not have much time for extracurriculars. As a matter of fact, Joe was a member of the Pace football team for three years. What is even more impressive is that his first two seasons were injury-ridden, but Joe was able to come back from those injuries to play a full season in his third year. Not only did he play, but he excelled.
Joe's efforts also extend into his life as a member of Colleges Against Cancer. This organization is responsible for bringing Relay for Life to the Pace community, as well as other fundraising activities including "Paint the Campus Purple," annual Dodgeball and Volleyball events, and the upcoming Auction Night. All of these events have raised thousands of dollars, and Joe is a major reason why.
Joe helps to promote all of these events by designing and posting flyers, making recommendations for future events, and visiting local establishments for donations. Many of the items for the Auction Night have been donated as a result of Joe's work with these local restaurants and stores. It is not always work and no play with Joe, in fact the Honors College allows time for Joe to enjoy himself. He always makes time for the events hosted by the Honors College and loves the sense of community that it helps promote among students. His favorite event was the visit to MTV's TRL where he met Will Smith. Joe states, "That was a life experience."
Pace and the Honors College have allowed Joe to grow as a person and understand the impact of his actions. Joe says, "Pace is a great place to learn about yourself." He extends the advice, "Be involved with the professors and advisors on campus because they can help you immensely." Given Joe's accomplishments, any advice he offers should be highly considered.
Joe will begin a career with the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper once he graduates, and hopes to own his own business someday.
If you ask any Greek on campus, they can probably tell you a little something about Matthew Pellegrine. They might start by saying he is in Alpha Phi Delta National Fraternity, or if they really know him, they will tell you much more.
This Elmwood Park, New Jersey, native has been involved heavily in Pace's Greek Life, as well as the Pace community in general. Matt has been the President and New Member Educator of Alpha Phi Delta, President of the Inter-Fraternity Council, Student Association Executive Vice President, and the Site Manager for VOX.
Many students may have first met Matthew while he was an Orientation Leader as he has been a part of the Orientation program for three years now. This experience has allowed Matthew to share some of the reasons why he chose Pace with incoming students. He tells them, "It is such a beautiful campus, and it's small enough for you to get to know almost everyone."
The Business Management major has enjoyed the opportunities the Honors College has presented to him. He notes that the challenging classes are his favorite aspect of being a member. He also enjoys working with the Pleasantville Cottage School children at Honors College events. His favorite memory is from the Halloween Party for the PCS during his first year.
Matthew is thankful for getting so involved with Pace and its Greek life. Joining Alpha Phi Delta and becoming part of the Orientation program have been Matt's favorite experiences. Such activities have provided Matthew with high honors. His proudest moment came in 2009 when he was President of Alpha Phi Delta. He was recognized as President of the Year and Alpha Phi Delta won Organization of the Year! Matt remarks, "Winning Organization of the Year was great because the competition was not just among Greek organizations, but Student Association ones as well."
All of this almost never happened for Matthew as he contemplated transferring after his first semester. Luckily, Matthew found activities about which he was passionate. This is why he advises students by saying, "Find something you love and pursue it, get involved and have a great experience."
After Pace, Matthew plans to attend Law School and hopes to be a Judge Advocate General for the United States Navy.
In recent years, the population's focus has been to "Go Green," and find ways to become more environmentally friendly. Pace has joined that initiative and with help from its diligent students, has made great strides in this effort. Robyn Mery is one of those students who has led the charge in making an impact on the environment's behalf.
This Environmental Studies major is currently a Faculty Assistant to Professor Angelo Spillo and his "Think Globally, Act Locally" environmental class. The course is designed to educate students as well as have them implement community service projects with an environmental focus. Robyn is assigned the task of assisting each group with contacting local organizations and inspiring intellectual thought.
Robyn's environmental efforts inside and outside the classroom have earned her recognition within the Pace community. Just recently Robyn was the recipient of the Green Pace and Aldo Leopold Awards. These honors are given to a student for their dedication to promoting and educating others about sustainable practices around campus.
The environment is not the only beneficiary of Robyn's constant need to make a difference, as she is the Philanthropy Chair for her sorority, Nu Zeta Phi. Robyn is in charge of organizing community service events for her chapter. Some of her very successful initiatives include gift wrapping for underprivileged children in Ossining and "Small Steps to a Big Cure," an annual breast cancer walk. The walk is open to the Pace community, as well as the Briarcliff and Pleasantville communities.
Community service is a theme of Robyn's life as her favorite part about being in the Honors College is the events that are focused around civic engagement. Not only do these events allow Robyn to continue to make a difference, but she appreciates how they keep her involved in the Honors College and the campus.
Despite all that she has done for others, Robyn is still able to maintain a superb GPA. In fact, she considers her ability to achieve exemplary marks while earning her prestigious awards to be her greatest accomplishment here at Pace.
Along with continuing her environmental and community service efforts, Robyn plans to study Environmental Law, hopefully at Pace.
It is difficult not to know who Vincent Birkenmeyer is considering everything he has done at Pace, but just in case, it is time to learn about the Poughkeepsie, New York, native.
Since day one of his arrival at Pace, Vinnie demonstrated his desire to become an instrumental part of the Pace community, and since then has done just that. From his immediate beginnings as a member of Hall Council to becoming Student Association President for this year, Vinnie is readily recognized and highly respected among his peers.
In between his first year and now, Vinnie has accumulated an impressive resume including practically everything there is to do here at Pace. This born leader was a Resident Assistant, an Orientation Leader, a Peer Leader and Student Coordinator for UNV 101, President of Lambda Sigma National Honor Society, President of Gamma Sigma Alpha National Academic Greek Honor Society, President of Alpha Phi Delta National Fraternity, and the Treasurer of Alpha Chi National Honor Society. As impressive as that list is, it is only the short version of the many things that Vinnie has done here at Pace. The diversity that Pace offers and the campus life it promotes are reasons that persuaded Vinnie to attend. When visiting the Univerisity, Vinnie states, "I loved the campus and the fact that you could live on Pleasantville and still take classes in the city."
Vinnie's success in the classroom garnered him admittance into the Honors College after his first year and has enhanced his college experience as well. The History major enjoys the small classes and their interesting topics. His favorite course was the INT 198E Economic, Political, and Social Dimensions of Immigration.
Given all of Vinnie's success, one would think that he comes from a long line of family members who have done the same. The reality is that Vinnie is the first of his family to attend a four-year college. He considers this, along with making his family proud, to be his greatest accomplishment. Vinnie says his best experience at Pace has been through pledging Alpha Phi Delta and getting involved in Student Government. He highly recommends these avenues for other students who seek to make a difference at Pace.
Vinnie will pursue his Masters in Public Administration at Pace and plans to attend Law School in the future. Among his dreams for the future is to work for the United Nations.