The Class of 2015: In Their Own Words

As they turn their tassels, members of Manhattan College’s Class of 2015 reflect on the last four years and what it really means to be a Jasper.

Andrew Baumgartner

Major: Mathematics & Physics

MC Activities: Scatterbomb, Manhattan Magazine, Manhattan Scientist, Society of Physics Students, Manhattan Undergraduate Mathematcs Club, Jasper Summer Scholars, Summer Fellows Program

Manhattan College has done a lot for me these past four years. I entered knowing I wanted to go to graduate school for physics, so when I told my adviser, he did everything in his power to help me achieve my goal. Read More [+]

The small class sizes helped my professors tailor the material to my needs, and the interaction I had with my professors helped expand my knowledge of physics and of academia. Now, four years later, I have been accepted to University of Washington to pursue my dream of becoming a physicist, and I owe it all to Manhattan College and the opportunities it has given me.

The School of Science summer research grant, as well as the Jasper Summer Scholars and Jasper Summer Fellows programs have provided me with the funds to support my undergraduate research, which is the most important part of the application process for graduate programs. Without their support, I surely would not have been admitted to any of the schools to which I applied.


Caitlin Bricketto

Major: Marketing

MC Activities: President of Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), Captain of the Tennis Team, Marketing Club and Management Club Member

Manhattan has made me a leader. Throughout the last four years, the College has pushed me to discover my full potential. I grew here. Having this community and this family behind me has helped me grow into the person that I am now: I am a Jasper. Read More [+]

I’m going to pursue an MBA from Manhattan College and be a graduate assistant for the marketing department of Athletics. I feel ready to step into a bigger role as an adult, not just a student.

Graduating will be bittersweet. Although I'll be staying at Manhattan, it feels like the end of an era because everyone I know is moving on and everything is changing. While it changes from year to year, you're still surrounded by the same people for the most part. I'll be sad to see this era go, but I'll also be happy because I know that I've accomplished a lot and I'm ready to graduate and take on the challenges ahead.


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Kelly Cousins

Education: Sociology & Peace Studies

MC Activities: Arches program, Film Society, JustPeace, Logos Editor-in-Chief, Players, Sociology Society

Manhattan College gave me the freedom to learn more about myself, what I like and what I don’t like, and what I want to do with my life. I know that I am in control of what I can and can’t do. Read More [+]

When I first came to Manhattan College, I was incredibly shy. But the Manhattan community was so supportive. Manhattan College made me feel welcomed, and it gave me the confidence to explore what I wanted to do.

It wasn’t just my fellow students who made me feel welcomed. The faculty and staff, who were always ready to answer my questions, or guide me if I needed direction, constantly created in me a desire to learn. Their enthusiasm made me interested in topics I had never considered before, topics like urban anthropology, colonial literature, and nutrition. Every single one of my professors here at Manhattan College has shown me why they love what they do, and it has made me love it too.

As a result of my time here at Manhattan College, I now know the most amazing people. I am fiercely passionate about my majors, and I still spent a huge amount of time in extracurricular clubs and activities.


William Gerard

Major: Accounting & Business Analytics

MC Activities: Men’s Lacrosse Team Captain, Lasallian Leaders, Beta Alpha Psi, Omicron Delta Epsilon, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), 2014 New York College Fed Challenge Team

When you say that you’re a Manhattan College graduate, people recognize that you went to a challenging school and have what it takes to succeed. That recognition goes a long way especially in the competitive environment of New York City, and it definitely helped me get my job with KPMG. Read More [+]

I attended Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, N.J., so I was accustomed to the Christian Brothers and the Lasallian tradition. I immediately felt a sense of brotherhood, especially being involved in a sports team here.

Graduating from Manhattan College, I feel well prepared for the journey ahead and a sense of pride from what has brought me to this point. If I could do it all over again, I would 100%.

For me, Manhattan College was the perfect fit. I knew what I was getting by being so close to midtown Manhattan. The opportunity to play a Division I sport, work multiple internships and succeed in the classroom was bar none. It was the perfect amalgamation of a college experience.


Donovan Kates

Major: Communications

Minor: Marketing

MC Activities: Men's Basketball Team

The highlight of my time here would definitely be winning two back-to-back MAAC Championships. I met a lot of nice people who will be lifelong friends and I got a top-notch education. Read More [+]

Basketball brought me to Manhattan, and over the years Coach Masiello and I have become really close — he recruited me. Everyone at the school has been really nice and I liked the fact that it is a small college. It gave me the opportunity to focus on athletics and my academics. I had an amazing experience. 

The reason I picked communications is because I was always into sports broadcasting. It is always something I can see myself doing. But for now, I’m figuring out whether or not I want to stay in basketball by playing overseas professionally or make my way into the professional working world. I love basketball, so I'm probably going to keep playing for as long as I can. I want to travel the world. 

As I approach graduation, I think I'll be feeling pretty nervous, but happy too, because I finally earned my degree. The only other person in my family to graduate from college is my sister. I think it's a big accomplishment. I'm excited to share the day with my mother — she's really happy about it.


Kyle Kennedy

Major: Civil Engineering

Minor: Environmental Engineering

MC Activities: Catholic Relief Services Ambassador, Green Club, Gunn Medal Nominee, Lasallian Collegians, JustPeace, Singers board member, Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) Haiti, Pen and Sword Honor Society, Sustainability Committee, Water Bottle Committee

If it were not for the opportunities and the experiences I was able to have at Manhattan College, I do not know if I would have ever realized my passion. The faculty and the students I have had the pleasure of working and interacting with helped me become the person I am today. Read More [+]

I have come to realize that my involvement on campus has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my college experience over the past four years. In JustPeace, I became involved with Charity: Water, a nonprofit organization that uses 100% of public donations to fund clean water projects all over the world. I was then given the opportunity to apply for the Catholic Relief Services Ambassador Program and was chosen for the Water and Sanitation Committee. Through CRS, we hosted activist events on campus and ultimately held an International United Nations Conference centered on water.

Participating in the L.O.V.E. Haiti program at the end of my junior year was an amazing experience and took me out of my comfort zone. As a group, we worked at a school, at an orphanage, helped take down a structure in a former tent city, and met with individuals in the community to hear their stories. We went there to help the people and didn’t know we would be the ones being helped. I co-led the L.O.V.E. Haiti trip during my senior year, which helped me become a better leader, grow as a person, and solidified my newfound life goal: the world water issue. I will pursue a master’s degree in the Environmental Engineering program next fall.


Olivia Mason

Major: Chemical Engineering

MC Activities: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, ChemE Car, Co-Ed Intramural Soccer, Green Club, Human Resources Student Worker, International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE), Mock Trial, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) President

Over the last four years, I've been lucky to enjoy an extremely holistic learning experience at Manhattan College. I learned the importance of working with a team and have acquired an extensive toolbox of technical. I’ve also become an active role model to encourage women to pursue engineering. Read More [+]

The Chemical Engineering department has been the highlight of my college experience. Being a part of a small class — 32 in all — we’ve taken all of the same classes since sophomore year and become so close knit.  There are so many different personalities within the classroom, but we’ve learned to interact with every single one. We learned to study in groups so that no one got left behind. We are more than classmates and peers. We’re a family. 

It's been great to be so involved with lots of volunteering and outreach. With SWE, I got involved with the Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts. I also volunteered at the Salvadori Center to teach young students STEM principles at inner city schools. It was a great learning experience for me and I ended up interning for them during the summer of 2014.

Research I conducted with Dr. Maffia, Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering, has also been very meaningful to me. My freshman year, I had an idea to combat date rape drugs by finding an indicator that allows one to easily observe if a drink has been tampered with. This past year, I have been actively researching matrices of collagen nanofibrils for this project and am very excited that it is finally coming to fruition. I have been awarded with a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at Manhattan College while continuing to conduct this research.

Being a Jasper means giving back to our community and having respect for every person around you. It means you spend your time wisely with those that make you great. A Jasper is constantly inspired to be the best that they can be and never settles for less.


Caitlin Palumbo

Major: Dual Education & Special Education

MC Activities: Kappa Delta Pi honor society

At Manhattan, I was given the opportunity to grow, explore, transform and progress into the person I am today. I am thankful for the College and all my professors and mentors in the School of Education and Health for giving me the knowledge and skills to confidently start my teaching career, and the opportunity to do what I love, be who I am, and to experience college fully. Read More [+]

I chose Manhattan College for its highly regarded School of Education and Health, its location, size and vibe. I had a passion to be a teacher since I was young, and when I arrived on campus I had an intangible feeling that it was my destiny.

I became further convinced when I realized the feast day of Saint John Baptist de La Salle is celebrated on my birthday. This Saint who shares my special day and whose teachings substantially influence the College’s mission is actually the patron saint of teachers, credited with founding the first ever teacher-training school and influencing school systems around the world. When I saw that poster and learned about the life, scholarship, innovations and values of this amazing man, it seemed destined that I would be an education major here —  at a school founded by Lasallian Christian Brothers. I was where I belonged.

With graduation just around the corner, I have come to realize that being a Jasper isn’t just about the pep rallies, Locke’s chocolate chip cookies or home basketball games in Draddy. A Jasper is someone who will always have an unbelievable support system of professors and friends — a community that will always be there.

As I go from one side of the classroom to the other, I will teach my first class confidently and Jasper proud.


Kimsy Tor

Major: Mathematics

Minor: Computer Science

MC Activities: L.O.V.E. Arizona, Tae Kwon Do

Manhattan has given me many opportunities to grow and to mature as a person. I am grateful to the College for instilling in me a great passion of helping others and of giving back and serving the communities. I hope to serve those in need and to inspire others to do the same. Read More [+]

Four years ago, I left Cambodia and I am proud to have called Manhattan College my second home. At Manhattan, I found my lifelong passion in mathematics and learned to appreciate other disciplines.

What I love best about the Mathematics department is the interaction between faculty and the students. I know all of the professors and the professors know me. They inspired me and encouraged me to further explore mathematics, which I now know is a very diverse field. My professors introduced me to research very early in my freshman year, which, unlike a homework problem, is like walking in darkness; with each step, we light our way.

I discovered many new disciplines at Manhattan, including computer programming, which I decided to pursue as a minor. I tried to learn from my professors different ways that a philosopher, a chemist, a historian or a musician think. This liberal arts foundation has prepared me to communicate with people outside my field, which will serve me well as I continue to do research with collaborators from many different disciplines.

At Manhattan College, I also have learned a lot about the value of giving back, from professors, students and alumni alike. I was fortunate to have participated in L.O.V.E. Arizona and the E3MC – Engaging, Educating, Empowering Mean Change program at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York City. These experiences taught me that each of us can help make a difference. One of my professors advised me: “from the person to whom much is given, much is expected.” I was fortunate to be given much. As my journey goes on, I will keep helping others as much as I can.

MC Staff