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Jacqueline Merlos-Pacheco

B.A. in History and Legal Studies

Minor in Political Science

"My parents made the difficult decision to leave El Salvador and Ecuador to come to the United States and pursue the American dream," says Jacqueline Merlos-Pacheco, '20. "And my graduating from college was part of that dream."

Throughout her childhood, Jacqueline's parents both worked at least two jobs each to support their family. Their determination to provide her with a better future made Jacqueline feel a personal responsibility to prove that their struggles were not in vain.

This led Jacqueline to double down on her education and pursue a bachelor's degree in history, an individualized major in legal studies and a minor in political science.

Read Jacqueline's Story


Armenian Azerbaijan War Observed by a Young History Major

In this video, an SEU history major who prefers to remain anonymous shares her opinion of the Armenian Azerbaijan War.


Frank Rossi

B.A. in Criminal Justice and History

Frank Rossi, '22, is a double major in criminal justice and history. While earning his degree, Frank works six to eight hours a day at ShopRite, ensuring that shoppers have a safe and easy time obtaining their food.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Frank never considered just how integral his job was to the functioning of society. However, the virus highlighted the significance of a steady, robust food supply more than ever. "I feel like I'm doing a service for my community," says Frank. "I love helping people and giving groceries to people who need it feels really good."

Since Frank's professors understood the stress he was under as an essential worker, they accommodated his schedule by being flexible about due dates. Their kindness allowed Frank to support his community while not falling behind in his education.

Read Frank's Story


Cristina Aldana

B.A. in Criminal Justice and M.A. in Justice Administration and Public Service

"As a first-generation Guatemalan American, I grew up speaking both Spanish and English at home,” says Cristina Aldana. “However, both languages were spoken poorly as my parents didn't speak or read in English. And the Spanish they spoke was informal. I felt that at Saint Elizabeth's I had the opportunity to learn and grow so much- not only in regard to language but also concerning Spanish and Latin American cultures. SEU helped me understand the power of history and self-confidence. SEU made me feel seen and valued."⁠

Currently, Cristina works at Merck in Kenilworth in Human Resources for Latin America. When asked about her work, she said, "My team consists of the Latin American HR Directors for each of the countries in the region. I collaborate to help my team accomplish projects and initiatives they may have going on involving a variety of HR areas. My favorite part is connecting with my team – they're from all different backgrounds, speak different versions of Spanish, and give great insight on what is going on in each of their countries."⁠

Read Cristina's Story


Brianna Dalrymple

B.A. in History

Brianna Dalrymple, '19, lives by the saying, "those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." As a history major, she has a unique insight into centuries of societal shortcomings and a profound respect for the development of diverse cultures.

While at SEU, Brianna further expanded her historical knowledge by traveling to Rome through SEU's study away program. She spent several weeks immersing herself in Italian culture, testing her familiarity with the language and exploring ancient cities.

"Travel is important because it allows you to experience other cultures and recognize their similarities and differences," says Brianna, who was able to physically delve into Rome's rich architectural, mythological and artistic history. "I love learning about how other people lived their lives because it explains how it ultimately shaped their culture."

Read Brianna's Story


Geralda Vastey

B.A. in Global Studies

Geralda Vastey '10, has always admired the way SEU's classes cultivate life-long learners. "The classes at Saint Elizabeth University stimulated my curiosity to learn about subjects that were beyond my interest. SEU encouraged me to learn about different cultures and people. I studied the Holocaust because I became so passionate about its delicate history. I studied philosophy and religion because I needed to understand how we all got here and what our purpose was in the world," explains Geralda. "I got obsessed with languages and international studies because, for the first time in my life, I was living with women from all over the world with different socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures."

As a graduate of SEU's global studies program, formerly called international studies and foreign languages, Geralda used her interest in other cultures and passion for languages to work as a translator for many years.

Read Geralda's Story


Melissa Sarsten

B.A. in History

Melissa Sarsten, '18, originally had no interest in attending college. Her dream was to become an actress but, after working in the field for a few years, she decided to earn her degree at SEU in 2002. Just a short time into her studies, however, Melissa and her husband discovered they were expecting their first child! As a result, Melissa paused her degree to focus on raising her growing family and running her Pilates/Personal Training business.

As her children got older, Melissa realized she wanted to set an example for them: finish what you start. This led her to return to SEU four years ago. "If you're thinking about going back to school or starting school then SEU is a great option," says Melissa. "Everyone really worked with me, my finances and my schedule to help me finish my degree in a timely manner."

Despite already being a business owner, recent college graduate and mother of two, Melissa started studying law. She feels blessed to have gotten a second chance at earning her bachelor's degree in history and ultimately plans to practice family law to help struggling families get a second chance as well.

Read Melissa's Story


Brianna Winning

B.A. in American Studies and Elementary Education

Minors in Special Education and Political Science

Brianna Winning, '14, made the most of her time at SEU by double majoring in American studies and elementary education with minors in both special education and political science. Currently, she's studying law at Pace Law School with a concentration in Environmental Law and Corporate Law with a speciality in Financial Compliance.

"The professors I had at Saint Elizabeth's were motivating, inspiring and supportive of my education," explains Brianna. "I keep in touch with a few of my mentors even now."

Read Brianna's Story


Chinyere Anyanaso

B.A. in Criminal Justice

Minor in Political Science

Chinyere Anyanaso, '13, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Justice Studies and a minor in Political Science. She just recently graduated with a Master's degree from Rutgers University School of Social Work and is currently going after her dream of becoming a school social worker.

Chinyere says the part she loved the most about SEU was that it provided a safe haven for students who grew up in environments filled with drugs and gang violence. She also thanks the college for giving her a solid foundation to further her career. The guidance of professors and staff stood as a support system in her time as an undergrad.

Read Chinyere's Story