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Pforzheimer Honors College

Spring 2012 Honors Student Showcases

James Gisondi

Valhalla, New York native, James Gisondi, is a senior and management major with a concentration in Human Resources Management. After graduation, James plans to pursue a Masters degree in Human Resources Management at Pace Graduate School. He is also considering a law degree at some point during his education. James is one of the student managers of the Pace Perk Café on the Briarcliff campus and has worked there since its opening in April of 2010.

James' favorite Pace memory was organizing a Haiti benefit concert for my Civic Engagement class in March of 2010. James played in the concert with his band and was joined by other talents. "It was really nice to organize and participate in something that turned out to be very successful," he says, "We raised over 500 dollars to donate to the Salvation Army after the earthquake in Haiti."

James also recognized that being a member of the Honors College has truly enhanced his Pace experience. "Honors has kept me working hard to maintain my GPA, not just because it was required, but because I realized that I was getting a much better learning experience when I took my classes more seriously." His hard work has made him apply for graduate school at Pace and is looking forward to making a good future for himself with the help of "the awesome faculty and Honors College" that has helped him thus far.

James has participated in many Honors College events including the ASPCA Presentation, the Honors College Open Meetings, the Honors Writing Contest, the Trip to the United Nations, the Hunger Banquet, and the Wrapping Gifts for Underprivileged Children event.

His advice to first-year Honors students is that college continues to get better through time spent in Honors. Having a community of faculty and students to turn to and the combination of Pace and Honors College services will keep students from being overwhelmed. James also recommends taking classes outside of your major study and concentration I order to gain a well-rounded academic experience. Absorbing more than a limited field of study will even help you learn more about yourself.

Kathryn Olsen

Honors College senior, Kathryn Olsen is an Applied Psychology and Human Relations major and Art minor. She is currently in Pace's combined degree Master's program, pursuing her MS in Counseling. During her time in Pleasantville, Kathyrn has become a prominent member of campus life and is involved in many organizations and activities. She has been part of the Honors College since her first-year and later joined Alpha Lambda Sigma sorority, of which she is currently Vice President and Scholarship Chair. Kathryn also became involved in ASPIRE, and has worked as a Welcome Center Tour Guide and now, a Student Assistant.

During her sophomore, junior, and senior years, she acted as a Peer Leader for first-year students in the University 101 program, helping them assimilate to campus and classroom life. Kathryn is a member of many honor societies, including Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society; Gamma Sigma Alpha National Academic Greek Honor Society; and Golden Key International Honor Society. She also works with her classmates to improve campus events by participating in the Senior Week Planning Committee and the Townhouse Day Committee.

Kathryn identifies her entire first-year living in the Honors College floor of Dow Hall as her favorite Pace memory. The Montreal trip, joining her sorority, and meeting amazing fellow students made her freshman year so irreplaceable. Honors events have enhanced her Pace experience and made her closer with the Honors student community. Honors also helped her decide what career path to take in a college setting and notes that Honors advisor Professor Walther's help was invaluable to her, answering all of her questions and concerns.

Kathryn recommends taking courses with Dr. Keegan for his straight-forward and knowledgeable teaching, which helped her learn a great deal in the four classes that she has taken with him, and Dr. Pointek's very interesting "Abnormal Psychology" course. She advises first-year students to maintain a balance between work and play and become involved on campus. "Be committed to your school work," she notes, "but take advantage of the many opportunities at Pace by finding what interests you. College is about the experience (almost) as much as the education so make the most of your four years!"

Kelly Povero

Kelly Ann Povero is a Political Science major and Italian Studies minor graduating in May. From Odessa, New York, Kelly has enjoyed her beautiful hometown's waterfalls, parks, and the view of Seneca Lake. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for Peace Studies and International Development. While she has not decided where she will be studying, she has applied to American University, UCLA, and European schools like European Peace University in Austria and the University of Manchester in the UK. Kelly aspires to work with an international organization like the United Nations in the future, as she loves world affairs, peace, and security issues. "After I get through all of that," she says, "I would eventually like to become a professor."

Kelly is a highly active student on campus. She is the current President of Nu Zeta Phi sorority and the Executive Administrator for the Pace Westchester Model United Nations team, participating in eight conferences representing various countries. This semester she will represent Ghana in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

"I can't choose just one memory of my time at Pace," Kelly notes, "I suppose that the greatest thing I'm taking away from this experience is the people I've met along the way. These people have impacted me every single day, every decision I've ever made. From my sorority sisters to professors and simple acquaintances that say 'hello' on their way to class, they've all made my college career that much more enjoyable."

Like many of our Showcased Students, Kelly advises first-year students to become as involved as possible on campus. While she recognizes that college is primarily an academic experience, Kelly reminds students that it is also an opportunity for individual growth. She recommends taking part in many of the Honors College events from trips to presentations that provide insight on many interesting topics. Volunteering and participating in community service work with other campus organizations will also benefit students in the future. Kelly highlights the professors of the Political Science department for their dedication to enhancing her learning experience at Pace, "It's an honor to have them teach you," she explains. She gives a special thanks to her mentor and advisor, Dr. Greg Julian, who continually teaches students about solving world issues and how to make life better for future generations. She also highly recommends Professor George Picoulas, whose interesting insights and exciting debates, makes classes both fun valuable and enjoyable.

As a graduating senior, Kelly is grateful for the immediate recognition that the Honors College provides her with when applying for jobs and to graduate schools. Being a member of the Honors College proves that a student is responsible, diligent, and good with time management, all skills that Kelly has developed during her four years at Pace. Attending a number of Honors events per semester also exhibits the ability to balance schoolwork with campus involvement.

Martin Totland

Martin Totland was born and raised in Bergan, Norway and is a senior, majoring in Media and Communication Arts. After graduation, he plans to return to Norway and prepare graduate school applications, while possibly spending some time in the Navy. He hopes to become a film maker/writer and to return to New York for Master's degree studies.

Martin has been an active member of campus life since joining the Pace community. He is one of the founding brothers of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity and has held several positions in this organization since his first year, including President. Martin has also held the title of Opinion Editor for The Pace Chroniclesince the beginning of this school year.

"My favorite Pace memory has got to be traveling to Argentina with fellow students during spring break in 2009," Martin remembers. This travel was part of an Argentine History and Culture course, and he and his classmates spent eleven days exploring the country. "I love traveling," Martin continued, "and Argentina is an incredibly rich and diverse country, offering something for every traveler." Students should try their best to plan a study abroad venture during their undergraduate education and use Martin's positive experience as an example to follow.

He reminds first-year Honors students to take advantage of the many Honors College events offered on campus, within and outside of your interest areas. He also recommends keeping track of the number of Honors College courses students are enrolled in to meet their requirements. Martin acknowledges that college life is far different from high school and as Honors College students, first-year members will have more expected of them academically. "Take charge," he advises, "and get your work done, but have fun."

As an avid student, Martin identified key courses and professors to study with during a student's time at Pace. He suggests enrolling in courses with Professor Michael DeRario and Professor Howard Weishaus. Martin appreciated Professor DeRario's enthusiastic and knowledgeable approach to film production and to helping develop his students' understanding of this subject. For students with majors outside of the Communications department, he recommends taking very worthwhile courses with a popular professor among students, Professor Weishaus. "He is a great teacher and really nice guy who knows what he's talking about," Martin notes.

Like many Honors College students, Martin has had the opportunity to attend many interesting and informative speeches and presentations, as well as Honors College trips and events. Some of the many events Martin has attended include the Make-A-Wish Foundation Presentation, the Wolf Conservation Center Presentation, the Honors College Six Flags trip, and the Honors College United Nations Trip. He notes that these experiences made a difference in his Pace experience and encourages first-year students to participate in all of the events, presentations and trips that Honors offers to them.