On a very cold winter day in December, a really special email from Dean Cheryl Wilson warmed the hearts of all the Psychology faculty.
Dean Wilson forwarded an email from Luke Mastrangeli, a Psychology graduate from ’18. Many of the faculty remember Luke as an outstanding student (e.g., Luke received the President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement, a highly prestigious University award, at his graduation). Luke is currently pursuing a dual Master’s degree program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Higher Education Administration and Public Policy & Administration. This coming summer, Luke will be working as a Graduate Staff member for the Pre-College program at Brown University.
Below is an excerpt of the letter that he wrote:
As I finish up my last assignment of my first semester in Graduate School, I have been very reflective on the interactions and situations that gave me the ability to be where I am today.
I wanted to share these with you because as a Dean, I know you pride yourself in making sure your students are becoming successful after graduation but as an educator you realize the value of even the smallest of interactions and how that can play into the lives of students.
As a first-generation college student, I had no support other than the information I was given. No one to talk to (so I thought), nowhere to go, and a long road ahead of me. It was not until I became familiar with the faculty in the Psychology Department that I realized the good hands I was in.
Fast forward a year and I fell in love with research and statistics, specifically the ability to use Qualitative Research to understand human behavior and learning. That experience would have never happened had I not been exposed to the research methods sequence that the Psychology Department utilizes. I can assure you that as a first-semester graduate student in a M.Ed program I am in excellent shape with research compared to my peers.
Aside from my experience in Student Affairs that prompted me to enter this journey into Higher Education, it was the support and unconditional positive regard that I received from department faculty in and out of my major.
You are so lucky to be the head of a school that sees students as successful despite everything stacked up against them. I appreciate every single attempt a faculty member has made to give me insight, advice, and the courage to continue my academics.
I thought I would share this with you not only because it is relevant to see students succeed after graduation but I know with 100% certainty that I would not be attending a Research 1 Institution on a full-tuition assistantship without the support given to me during my 4 years at Stevenson.
Hope all is well and I wish you a wonderful winter season.
Class of 2018
Thank you for this wonderful letter Luke. As faculty we work hard to meet students where they are and help them achieve their fullest potential. This is exactly why we invest so much in our students. What you said means so much to us.