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A Word of Advice

News Story

From striking up a conversation with a stranger to taking a class not in their major, we asked faculty and staff to share their insights with the Class of 2020 and here's what they had to say.

In the spirit of this year’s Westchester Common Reader This I Believe: Life Lessons, a collection of extraordinary essays filled with life lessons of people from all walks of life, we asked faculty and staff to share their insights with the Class of 2020. Here's what they had to share with Pace's incoming Class of 2020:

“My advice? Start a conversation. It's been 20+ years since I was a freshman. I wish I could go back to college and have more amazing conversations and meet more people. Who knows what adventures I would have had or what more I could have learned. Don’t be afraid to meet new people. Every day set a goal to start a conversation with someone you never talked to. Pace’s Pleasantville Campus is the best place to do just that! PLV staff is the friendliest group I have ever worked with. Every semester, Career Services brings companies on campus for you to talk to. We have a team of career counselors with lots of life lessons to share. Meet them all on September 7 in Kessel at our kick-off event.”
—Bless Vaidian
Director, Career Counseling
Career Services

"Being in college is a great time to meet as many people as possible and to develop lifetime friendships. In order to cultivate this process, I suggest that each term students should sit with different people in class. Many times we gravitate to those we already know, but in the end it will be more worthwhile to look at each term as an opportunity to meet someone new."
—Lisa Bardill-Moscaritolo, PhD
Dean for Students, Pleasantville Campus

“Get involved in the political process either on- or off-campus. Go to a Student Government meeting, stop by a Pace Press (NYC) or Pace Chronicle (PLV) meeting, or volunteer for a local political campaign. These clubs and activities are a great way to meet new people who have similar interests and get involved at a grassroots level to be a part of a campaign or issue that moves you.”
—Vanessa J. Herman
Assistant Vice President, Government and Community Relations
UNV 101 Professor, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences


“Come in rested, ready, and excited to get your tech on!”
—Jonathan Hill, DPS
Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems


“Here’s my advice to any incoming first-year students: Dive into campus and community involvement with an open mind! Sign up for clubs, attend every event you can on-campus, and volunteer off-campus. Own the four years you have here! If there is an experience you want and it isn’t available, then create that experience for yourself. Visit your professor’s office hours. Schedule an appointment before dropping in and inform them if you cancel. Study abroad! You’ll get an amazing social, educational, and personal experience—and it’s cheaper than you think! Don’t procrastinate and pull all-nighters. You will have a more enjoyable college experience and science says you’ll learn more too!”
—Tyler Kalahar
Program Coordinator
Center for Community Action and Research at Dyson College


“Don’t be afraid to ask a librarian for help. We are nice people, honest!”
—Sarah Burns Feyl
Assistant University Librarian for Instructional Services

“Work hard, play hard, nap hard, and be open to new adventures and experiences! This is your time so make the most of it, do what makes you happy, and most importantly, be open and flexible to things that deviate from your 'plan'!”
Caitlin Grand
Program Coordinator
Government and Community Relations


“Don’t be afraid to step into the unknown—you may take a class and discover a new passion!”
—Matt Ganis, DPS
Professor of Computer Science and Astronomy
Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems


“Inspiration often comes from being in the wrong place at the right time. Try a variety of classes and events; find your passion.”
—Bruce Bachenheimer
Clinical Professor of Management and
Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab
Lubin School of Business


“Don't ‘take’ the class; MAKE the class. We don't consume knowledge; we create it. Create the knowledge YOU need!”
—Barry Morris, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences