Faculty and Students Sustain Bonds Beyond Classroom Doors

Students speak on the valuable connections they maintain after the semester is over or in some cases, after graduation.

Lisa Rizopoulos with students in classroomAt Manhattan College, students develop strong bonds with professors throughout the semester. But what happens once the semester is over, the final grade is turned in, and new classes get underway?

In the School of Education and Health, students continue to seek out their professors for advice and mentorship well after the semester ends, and in some cases, even after graduation.

When education students are asked who their favorite or most impactful professor would be, they all have different answers. Each education professor provides insight and offers meaningful advice. For some, it’s simply the encouragement to keep going.

For Michael Carway ’19, the first person that comes to mind is Sister Mary Ann Jacobs, SCC, Ed.D., associate professor of adolescent education. When he was doubting himself and second-guessing his career path, Sr. Mary Ann was there to boost his spirits and offer encouragement.

“Despite all my second thoughts and fears of not being a good teacher, Sister always reassured me of my goal to positively impact people's lives, and what better way to do that than teach the future generations of our society?” Carway said.

Carway has started student teaching this semester at a local high school and has already seen Sr. Mary Ann’s lessons come to fruition in his own classroom, which is exactly what she sets out to do for each of her students.

“I try to model what I would hope they will be able to take into their own classrooms … No matter how great we think we are in teaching within the walls of Manhattan College, the real world is in the classrooms and beyond,” she said.

She has heard from many former students, who praise her for her teaching and credit her mentorship for their successes. But she humbly downplays her influence, instead crediting the work of teaching itself for revealing hard-won truths.

“I think the greatest impact is the realization on their part of the immense grace it is to be a teacher. And if they, each semester, can come to a greater realization of the idea that ‘I teach, I touch the future and I touch the future eternally,’ it can’t get any better than that,” she said.

Faculty's Impact Stays with Jasper Alumni

Older alumni and recent graduates clearly see the gifts they have been given by Manhattan College faculty, including Katie Lupo ’18.

Her list of influential professors is a long one, with each as inspiring and important to her as the last.

“They taught me the importance of constructivist teaching, teaching through the Lasallian values, and reflection, which have shaped me as a teacher,” said Lupo.

She looks back on professors such as Peter McCarthy, Ed.D. and Alyssa Katz, Ed.D., as her role models. Each of them has helped her set attainable goals and reach her aspiration of becoming the best educator she can be.

One of the reasons education professors have such great influence on their students is because they make themselves readily available.

This is something Erin Keating ’19 noticed quickly throughout her four years. She always stopped to chat with professors after class and enjoyed seeing their relationship continue beyond the doors of the classroom. She also noted that their office doors are always open for help with resumes, assignments, or even to talk if she or her peers are having a bad day.

Carway, Lupo and Keating all agree that their Manhattan professors care about making them successful instructors for the next generation.

Long after graduation, their lessons will always remain, which is something Keating believes has greatly benefitted her. “It’s funny, sometimes when I am in the field, if something is happening and I’m unsure of what to do, one of my professors’ voices will often pop into my head,” she said.

“The professors do a great job of preparing you for things that you can and will see in the classroom. They also give you plenty of opportunities to reflect on mistakes you made, in order to grow and become the teacher you want to be.”

–Taylor Brethauer '19

By MC Staff