Professors responsible for undesirable nostalgia

Nostalgia seems to be my illness of choice these days. I can’t walk through a hallway without thinking that it may be my last time seeing these classrooms, offices or faces that have kept me company for the last four years.

No matter how little time I have to study or prepare for my thesis, I seem to have plenty of time to look back and reflect upon what I’ve done in my college career.

I got to play Tilly in “The Melancholy Play,” probably the first role that really made me uncomfortable and made me try new things. Under the guidance of professor Frank Garland, I wrote a couple of decent articles. One op-ed piece won second place in the journalism contest, which I take as certifiable proof that people care what I have to say. With copious help from Sean Morphy, director of media in the School of Communication and the Arts, I made a video that got 1,500 views. It didn’t go viral by any means, but that’s 1,499 more views than my YouTube videos get.

Those people who say, “You get out of college, what you put into it” – they’re right. But I’m getting a whole lot out of the work I put in because of people at Gannon. When I think about it, every aspect of myself that I’m proud of, I owe to my professors and teachers.

You wouldn’t know it, but I came to Gannon in 2011 as a mousey, shy freshman. And while I’ve gained that infamous 15 pounds and a keen taste for microbrewery beverages, I’ve gained a few valuable things, too.

I’m no longer the timid, soft-spoken girl who walked into Electronic Media Programming. AJ Miceli, director of the School of Communication and the Arts, taught me and the rest of my class that we are the leaders and managers of the world.

We had the gumption to come to college and we will continue to have the drive that sets us apart from mediocre others. AJ  taught me that I am a leader.

Through MC Gensheimer’s classes, I’ve learned that it’s OK to let your creative side run free. She is the person who illustrated that you can be more than just Type A or Type B – more than just smart or just artsy – you can be both. MC made me see one of my biggest strengths is that I can be organized and creative, which has led me to pursue my path toward arts management.

My first class with Anne O’Neill was Public Relations. The lesson that stuck with me beyond the final is that an image is a fragile thing to uphold.

In the communication department, I’m surrounded and challenged by extremely competent professionals. We’re driven by deadlines, expect nothing but quality results, must be well-rounded and at the same time dedicated to our craft. Brent Sleasman, Ph.D., has taught me that you can be as smart as you make yourself. Don’t know something? Look for it.

Paula Barrett taught me to believe in myself. Maybe I’m not the best, but we don’t live in a world of only opposites. There is more than just best and worst, and maybe you’re not the best now, but by working at it and believing that you have potential, you can one day become pretty darn close to perfection.

The Rev. Shawn Clerkin never stops. He teaches, preaches and gives long speeches.  Affectionately known as Shawn ValShawn, this is the person who wants to do it all and does it. The only limitations there are, are the ones you put on yourself.

Thank you to all of the people who have unintentionally and so very adequately prepared me for the rest of my life.



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