Student Profiles

Student Profiles

Natalie Kowalczyk

Natalie Kowalczyk ’14

Nazareth, Pa. | Nazareth Area High School
Major: Early Childhood Education

Club/activities: Crew Team, Kappa Delta Pi (secretary), Saturday Science coordinator

Post-graduation plans:
Teach in an inner city school

Most exciting thing about studying education at Susquehanna:
The most exciting thing is the relationship that you get to build with your class while student teaching. At Susquehanna, we find out who our student teaching co-op is during our junior year. This allows us to get to know our co-op over the summer. We’re able to go into our student teaching classroom during the first week of school and during the first semester. I am thankful for this opportunity because I have been able to get to know my students before I start teaching them! I had a great relationship with my co-op and students by October of my senior year!

Biggest academic challenge:
Thus far, my biggest academic challenge has been balancing a crazy schedule. My busiest semester had me taking 22 credits, observing in my classroom, working and rowing. That experience forced me to plan for assignments way in advance. I start assignments as soon as they are assigned so that I have ample time to complete them. Thankfully teaching requires planning ahead so I will benefit from my planning skills!

Gabrielle Van Nest

Gabrielle Van Nest ’15

Western Springs, Ill. | Lyons Township High School
Major: Early Childhood Education
Minor: Biology

Clubs/activities: Kappa Delta social sorority, Study Buddy, Resident Assistant

Post-graduation plans: Teaching elementary school in Chicago

Meaningful connection with faculty member:
I have made very meaningful connections with two faculty members in particular, Dr. Reeves and Professor Nailor. Both faculty members reassure me that education is the field for me. Professor Nailor taught my Instructional Design class, so he taught me about primary reasoning, which I feel I could use while teaching someday. He was always there to help me when I was unsure of my answers and give me feedback to improve my work.

Though I have never had Dr. Reeves as a teacher, she has been one of the most beneficial people in my educational experience at Susquehanna. I really don’t know how I would be functioning without having her as my advisor. She is always there to help me, whether with questions about my schedule, the externship, or anything relating to the education program.

Both of these faculty members are extremely bright and have extensive experience in the field that anyone who has the pleasure of working with either Dr. Reeves or Mr. Nailor, I think, is considered lucky.

Most exciting thing about studying education at Susquehanna:
The most exciting part about studying education at Susquehanna would be the amount of time we get to be in a classroom. During both semesters my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to observe in a classroom in local elementary schools. I find this really exciting because I’m actually able to experience the education field and I am also given the chance to talk about any changes that are currently going on in the classroom. It also lets me see how my courses and education will be applied to the classroom and makes sense of any topics I may not be so comfortable with. The out of class experiences in the field are the most exciting part of studying education at Susquehanna. 

Samantha Meringolo

Samantha Meringolo ’14

Martinsville, N.J. | Bridgewater-Raritan High School
Major: Early Childhood Education

Clubs/activities: Women's Swim Team captain, president of SAAC, Kappa Delta Pi education honor society (historian), Student Athlete mentor, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, University tour guide

Post-graduation plans:
To teach at an elementary school

Favorite class:
Literacy 356 and 366 were my favorite classes because I learned so much in such a short period of time. Before starting these classes, I was a young sophomore who had no idea how to teach. After these classes were over I felt so prepared to teach anything literacy related to students—from what was a "dipthong" to how to create a well written lesson plan. Plus, my class was a looping class, so I had the opportunity to be with the same teacher and peers for two semesters in a row. The class had such a bond by the end with not only each other but with the teacher as well. At the end of the first class, we went out to dinner to a nearby restaurant that was owned by the family of a girl in the class.

Biggest academic challenge:
My biggest challenge is balancing academics, swim team, many activities and a social life. I am a very social person and love to be involved in many things. It has been challenging balancing a full plate but it has taught me how to manage my time to the fullest. I would have never imagined before starting at Susquehanna being able to balance so many activities, but I am so grateful that I am now able to.

Lauren FitzgeraldLauren Fitzgerald ’14

Randolph, N.J. | Randolph High School
Major: Early Childhood Education

Club/activities: captain of the Women’s Golf team, vice president of SU Slam Poetry, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Student Athlete Advisory Committee member, Kappa Delta Pi education honors sorority, Education Honors Society, Aramark catering

Post-graduation plans:
Teach at an elementary school in the New York or New Jersey area, masters in Education, coaching women's golf


Meaningful connection with faculty member:
Throughout my education classes I have taken thus far, I had the opportunity take a few classes with Martha Smith. Martha is a kindergarten teacher at the local elementary school. She always came to class with a smile and many stories to share about her classroom. Her stories and strategies were always geared toward benefitting our future. Martha made my experience as an education major very rewarding because she displayed how all teachers should be approachable, understanding, and dedicated to making learning meaningful for students.

Internship experience:
As an early childhood education major, I was required to complete an externship. I spent 40 hours in a kindergarten classroom near my home town. My time was spent helping the kindergarten teacher and the students with anything they needed throughout the day. It was a good way for me to get acclimated to many different things that happen in the classroom.

Study-abroad experience:
I studied abroad on the GO: Arts of Italy trip. It was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to be submerged in a completely different culture. I was able to meet new people and make new connections. On the trip, we saw beautiful architecture in many churches, took a photography class, saw an Italian opera, and ate the most delicious food. I also had the opportunity to stay with a family for one week out of the trip. I taught my "host" family English phrases and customs. In turn, they taught me about Italian words, sayings, and food. My abroad experience was amazing and I would love to go back to Italy some day.

Anne Larkin

Anne Larkin ’14

Wilton, Conn. | Wilton High School
Major: Elementary Education

Club/activities: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Alpha Phi Omega, Fall Orientation Team leader, LeaderShape ’12, Charlie’s Coffeehouse assistant manager

Post-graduation plans: Work with children who live in vulnerable or underprivileged environments

Most exciting thing about studying Education at Susquehanna:
I have always enjoyed the time that I have spent in a wide variety of classrooms throughout my time at Susquehanna. Through these experiences, I have learned a lot from observing the teachers and listening to their advice. I have also benefited from interacting with a range of students.

My GO experience:
This past summer I went with a team to Hyderabad, India, for two weeks with an organization the works with orphan care. Every day was its own surreal and incredible adventure. In the future I intend to pursue this kind of work; therefore, I greatly benefitted from gaining experience working with orphans. I also greatly appreciated being able to speak with and learn from their care givers.

Course Catalog

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