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Laura Winters, Ph.D.
Chairperson

Santa Maria Hall 10A

Phone: (973) 290-4317
lwinters@steu.edu

Success Stories

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Stephanie Mitarotonda

SEU English Alumni Stephanie MitarotondaStephanie Mitarotonda, '21, has always had an interest in literature and writing. When she came to SEU, she decided to major in English because that was her passion in high school.

"The English program helped me with my writing and critical thinking skills which is very important," says Stephanie, "I also love reading books so taking literature classes helped open up my interests in different genres."

Stephanie has been a part of the volleyball team during her four years here at the university and has fond memories of her time with her classmates and professors.

"One memory I have is going to see William Shakespeare's play "King Lear" in New York with some of the English professors," says Stephanie, "It was an amazing experience."

Read Stephanie's Story


Margo Ursitti

Margo Ursitti, '23, enjoys reading all genres of literature and writing pieces of poetry an/d analytical essays. Her passion in her work made it a great choice for her to choose the English program as her studies at SEU.

A member of the Honors Program, Margo gives credits to her classes for challenging her and helping her improve her reading and writing skills. She also feels passionate about the professors in the English department.

"The professors in the English department are all very nice, helpful, and encouraging" says Margo. "I have noticed that I have become confident and eager to speak up and share my thoughts and ideas in class."

Upon graduating, Margo looks forward to beginning a career in publishing and editing. Through her studies, Margo believes she is prepared for her future in that department.

"SEU's English program has helped me refine my writing and editing skills, which are important in the publishing industry," says Margo.

Read Margo's Story


Sarai Santiago

SEU English student Sarai SantiagoSarai Santiago, '22, has wanted to be a writer ever since she was in fifth grade.

"Writing is a way to express myself in ways that I may not be able to vocally," explains Sarai, an English major with a writing studies minor. "It's something that I am very passionate about."

Upon graduating from SEU, Sarai hopes to earn a master's degree, dabble in the world of journalism and eventually publish a book of her own. Her determination to succeed has been stoked by the University's English department.

"This program is pretty rigorous and allows you to push yourself to limits you never knew you had," says Sarai.

Read Sarai's Story


Jasmine Poole

SEU English alumni Jasmine Poole"I didn't know how to read until I was 12 years old," says Jasmine Poole, '18. "I was born prematurely and, because of that, had a few learning disabilities that made reading extremely difficult."⁠

⁠ When Jasmine came to SEU, she found it difficult to settle on a major. That's when her retention coordinator, Jane Bourhill, suggested a new path.⁠

⁠ "Jane said, 'why don't you pick English?' and I responded, 'if you knew my background, you would not be asking me to do that," recalls Jasmine. "Then I paused for a second and thought, 'Stop being so scared, think like an athlete. Pray, practice and study."⁠

Read Jasmine's Story


Ashley Mazzarella

SEU marketing alumni Ashley MazzarellaWhile attending the University, Ashley (Bouwense) Mazzarella, '16, took a position as a student worker for the University's communication and marketing department. Since the University underwent a rebranding initiative during Ashley's junior and senior years, she was able to sit in on meetings with SEU's branding agency, Second Melody.

This gave her firsthand insight into the world of marketing and, upon earning her master's degree, Ashley actually began working for Second Melody as a brand strategist herself. She kept in touch with the company throughout her master's program and even interned with them the summer before earning her graduate degree. They were so impressed with her potential that they hired her immediately.

An English major with minors in communication and art, gave Ashley the perfect skill set to thrive in her new role. In fact, Ashley even helped create the University's newest "All In" advertising campaign.

Read Ashley's Story


Ava Pesante

SEU Early Childhood Education and English student Ava PesanteEver since she was born, Ava Pesante, '22, has had many medical challenges to overcome. With the help of her family, friends and doctors, these obstacles have never stopped Ava from achieving her dreams. A double major in Early Childhood Education and English with a minor in Special Education, Ava plans on beginning a career in teaching.

"Saint Elizabeth's is known as a teaching school," explains Ava, who works at a daycare and has always loved working with children. "The University put me into the classroom freshman year just so they could see if I really wanted to continue teaching. Other schools put their students in the classroom far too late."

Ava has managed to make the most of her time at Saint Elizabeth's by becoming a Student Ambassador, Orientation Leader and a member of the E-Board for the Elizabethan Education Association.

"Victims are constantly re-victimized by the court systems," explains Heather. "Using this app could have proven my story; it would not have been my word against his."

Read Ava's Story


Jennifer Rose

SEU English alumni Jennifer RoseJennifer Rose, '18, an English major and author of "It's Not a Perfect World but I'll Take It: 50 Life Lessons for Teens Like Me Who Are Kind of (You Know) Autistic," hosted a book signing for her fellow classmates, faculty and staff.

In addition to reading an excerpt from her book, Jennifer candidly answered questions from the audience. Her deeply personal descriptions of both her struggles and achievements offered a unique glimpse into the nature of autism.

Jennifer hopes her book will normalize people with autism and serve as a reference for assisting others in navigating its complexities. Ultimately, she just wants to help other people.

Read Jennifer's Story


Quawntashea Bailey

SEU English student Quawntashea BaileyQuawntashea Bailey, affectionately known as "Q," is our second student spotlight for Black History Month because of her incredible strength and devotion to service. In just a few short months, she will become the first person in her family to graduate from college. She's dedicating this impressive accomplishment to her mother, grandmother and great grandmother because they were never even given the chance to attend college.

"Having the ability to take them out of the struggle ... is a great opportunity," explains Q, who intends on working for a nonprofit organization.

Read Q's Story