• Pictured from left are John Salerno, Micaela Pozo Castro, Samantha Balsamo and Devonne Tourre.

May 28, 2022

2nd Lt. John Salerno stands with his father and stepfather. 2nd Lt. John Salerno stands with his father and stepfather.2nd Lt. John Salerno Reporting for Duty

Ever since John Salerno was a boy, he aspired to a career in the military. That dream is about to become a reality with Salerno’s commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

The Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, native will serve as an active-duty field artillery officer stationed at Fort Drum, New York, with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

“It was a goal of mine to serve our country and in my opinion, the best way to do that was to become an officer in the U.S. Army,” Salerno said. “I want to give back to a country that has given so much to my family, my friends and myself.”

Salerno’s responsibilities will include leading the field artillery branch and soldiers under his command. His position requires him to be an expert in tactics, techniques and procedures for the employment of fire support systems.

“Field artillery was my No. 1 preferred pick, and I was fortunate enough to get the job I wanted due to the amount of work I put into my ROTC training, at Susquehanna and the support of my superior officers over these past four years,” Salerno said. “For the next four years I will — with utmost enthusiasm — fulfill my active-duty commitment to the United States Army.”

Salerno, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications, has not yet decided if he will remain with the military after his four-year commitment is up, but he is considering it.

“If I am able to make a career out of this opportunity, I plan on maximizing what I can learn and how I can usefully contribute by attending all the specialty training I can absorb,” he said. “I hope that one day, I will be fortunate enough to be a company commander, in charge of my own specific unit.”

Salerno said he would also consider a career in law enforcement or in medical service as he has served on his local EMS squad and as a lifeguard. He credits Susquehanna and the activities he’s been active in here — men’s rugby and Tau Kappa Epsilon, for which he served on the executive board — for instilling him with the leadership skills he will rely on in the U.S. Army.

“SU has challenged me to constantly work harder and harder. I owe Susquehanna, my friends at SU and my family the most thanks for my success. Now, I am fully confident in my skills and that I can support, advise and guide the soldiers for whom I am responsible to the best of my ability,” Salerno said. “I believe I will be the leader that the Army and America needs me to be, but even more importantly, be the leader I have been trained to be and one they can rely on, trust and respect.”

Micaela Pozo Castro stands with her cooperating teacher, Ryan McHale, at Shikellamy High School. Micaela Pozo Castro stands with her cooperating teacher, Ryan McHale, at Shikellamy High School.Math Major Looking Forward to Teaching Career

Micaela Pozo Castro will begin her teaching career at Maritime Academy Charter School in Philadelphia — hopefully making math fun for her students.

“I know math is complicated for a lot of people so I want to make it easier and enjoyable for them,” said Pozo Castro, who earned a degree in mathematics with a focus in secondary education. Pozo Castro also completed a minor in Spanish studies.

As a recipient of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship, Pozo Castro, of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, is required to complete two years of teaching in a high-need district for each year of grant support she received. Located not far from the Port of Philadelphia on the Delaware River, Maritime Academy Charter School is a public charter school where students learn maritime content such as nautical science and maritime business in addition to English, mathematics, science, social studies and the arts.

Pozo Castro was introduced to Maritime when she and Valerie Allison, associate professor of education, visited another SU Noyce alumna, Caroline Stead ’20, a science teacher there.

“I want to teach at MACS because of all the support they will give me as a first-year teacher,” Pozo Castro said. “One thing that is different and that I really like is the small class sizes. This will help me develop my teaching and classroom-management skills even more.”

In addition to math skills, Pozo Castro has other hopes for her future students.

“I want to help my students to become well-rounded, kind people,” she said.

Samantha Balsamo ?22 Samantha Balsamo ’22Double Major Tackling Work, MBA

Samantha Balsamo will keep her hands in academic while heading into the workforce.

The sports media and advertising and marketing double major is one of 28 students who earned two bachelor’s degrees. She will pursue her Master of Business Administration in management from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey, while tackling her new job as a sales associate at CBS/Paramount in New York City.

As a sales associate, Balsamo will support account executives in their work with advertising agencies in the Network Sales department.

“Not only will I be able to learn how to manage relationships with my coworkers, managers and other teammates in the future, I will also continue to educate myself on the ins and outs of the business world,” Balsamo said. “This knowledge can be used immediately and help me further my career.”

This is why Balsamo, of East Brunswick, New Jersey, has chosen to enter the workforce and pursue her MBA simultaneously. Balsamo’s professional trajectory is in step with her students internships, which included two with NBC Universal — one of which had her working remotely with NBC’s sports media division during the Tokyo Olympics.

“Susquehanna has given me an opportunity to follow my dreams without limitations. The professors and mentors I have gained are unimaginable and they constantly pushed me to reach new heights,” Balsamo said. “Susquehanna has not only made me a stronger individual, student and professional, but has also provided me with friends who supported me from start to finish.”

Devonne Tourre ?22 Devonne Tourre ’22Creative Writing Grad Stays on at SU

Devonne Tourre won’t need to go far to begin his professional career — he’ll be staying at Susquehanna as an operations coordinator to assist Facilities Management and Residence Life with projects that directly help students live more comfortably in their residence halls.

Tourre said he will handle anything from installing furniture or appliances in residence hall common areas to arranging for the painting of rooms, hallways and common areas across campus. He will also handle Residence Life communications to students, which he already gained experience doing as a student employee.

“Using the skills that I’ve acquired over the past three years I’ve been involved with Residence Life, I will be able to add more to their conversations having gone through the ‘student experience’ and being able to relate to that in a unique way,” Tourre said.

Tourre will also continue to coordinate the Operations Assistants Program, which he established as a student at SU.

“I describe the Operations Assistants Program as a welcoming task force meant to act as helping hands to many different departments and staff on campus,” Tourre explained. “The OAs are there to help!”

Simply put, Tourre said he wants to continue supporting the community he came to love.

“I love how I’ve truly been able to call SU home, and I love all of the faculty, staff and students that I’ve interacted with,” he said.

Tourre hopes to one day pursue a master’s degree and write a book.

Click below to see more job and graduate school placement for the Class of 2022. 

2022 Graduate Outcomes