STAC Students experience the full Good Morning America Experience!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last Friday, April 13th 2018, a group of STAC Students had the opportunity to go to a live show of Good Morning America.  Students got a tour and a behind the scenes look at how much work and collaboration goes into the two hour show we see on our screens every morning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Students were included as a part of the live audience and got to experience what it feels like to be on TV!  The whole experience was surreal, especially if you have never been on TV  before.  As a student who attended the trip, I was astonished at how much work and communication goes into a show like GMA.  There is not one person who does not have a job and everyone involved, including the TV anchors are genuine people who love what they do.  This was a once in a lifetime experience and a lot of fun, nonetheless!


A special thank you to Eddie Luisi, Stage Manager of GMA for showing us the ins, and outs of this fabulous show.  We appreciate all of your hard work and for taking us along with you!  The Career Development Office at St. Thomas Aquinas College, and all of the students involved, would like to send a big thank you to Elizabeth Luisi, professor at STAC for accompanying and directing us on this trip, as well as Maureen Mulhern Director of Career Development, Linda Hayden, Office Assistant, and Norman Huling, Associate Dean for Student Development.  Thank you!!


My Spartan Success with Jeffrey Garcia!

image copy
1. When did you (plan to) graduate and what was/is your major?
I graduated from STAC December 2017, with a major in communications.
2. How did you hear about your current job?
I heard of the job opportunity with Spectrum NY 1 because I interned for them over the summer. The supervisor for my position, Jason Palladino and I stood in contact after my internship. When I graduated, he recommended to me that I apply.
3. Can you tell me a little about this position?
I work in the Master Control room as Technical Operator, which means I work with the cameras, sound mixer, and the teleprompter. My position also required me to do setups for different shows and segments.
4. Can you explain the Interview Process?
The interviewing process is very professional, well dressed with a resume always in hand. The interviewing process was not bad because I already knew since I interned for them over the summer.  They knew what I have done before and my work ethic.
5. Did you have an internship before this position and how useful was the internship?
I interned with Spectrum NY 1 before and that allowed me to gain hands on experience. The internship allowed me to make mistakes and grow from them.
6. Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?
STAC helped me in many ways, especially with Dr. Durney, Professor Winship, and Professor Prior. Their classes and their willingness to help me outside of class made this possible for me.
7. Can you tell us about some of your current responsibilities / roles?
Camera Operator- I make sure the anchors are at a medium shot and make sure they are center in all the cameras. If needed, I would adjust the shots during or after the segments.
Sound Mixer- I control the mic level from the anchors that are in studio or outside on the field. As well as changing the levels on clips and music during the program.
Floor Manager- I’m on set and I cue the host and guest by counting them down when we are going on air.
Setups- I switch the monitors and cameras when we are switching from one show to another.
Teleprompter- Have the script ready on the teleprompter for the host/ anchor.
8. What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?
My favorite aspect of this position is that the news changes every day, so the stories change and it’s not the same.
My favorite experience so far was when I was doing the sound and camera while being live on TV. It was exciting because all the pressure is on you and you really can’t mess up at that moment.  When I finished, they told me how good did.  It just gave me all the confidence in the world that I know I can do this well.
9. What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for a job or internship?
First, make sure you have a resume and be prepared for the job you are applying for. Don’t be afraid to get turned down, just use that as motivation. Know everything about the company and if you end up doing an internship, work harder then everyone.  When you least expect, someone is always looking at you and that shows them that you cared about the job. Always ask a question, that shows that you are interested and that you want to get better.

Now, it’s her turn! Erin Albin on her Student Teaching thus far…


1.     When did you (plan to) graduate and what was/is your major?

I will be graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Education in May of 2018. I studied Childhood Education 1-6 and received a Middle School Extension to extend my certification up through ninth grade. I am also apart of the Five Year Dual Degree program in which I will also obtain my Masters of Science in Special Education in May 2019.

2.     How did you hear about your current job?

I am currently Student Teaching and through the support of the local school districts, our amazing School of Education, and Clinical Experience Director, I was able to get a placement in the schools I went to as a child.

3.     Can you tell me a little about this position?

Student Teaching has been the ultimate learning experience. It has allowed me to put what I have learned at STAC from classroom work to fieldwork, into action. Working side by side with cooperating teachers I have begun to flourish and have watched myself grow as a teacher. After this it is my hope to further my teaching experience and my relationships in local districts by applying to be a daily or long term substitute or even a full time teacher if the opportunity arises, while I complete graduate school and move towards a lifetime teaching career.

4.     Can you explain the Interview Process?

The student teaching interview process is unique. It varies from school to school, district to district. The School of Education and the Clinical Experience director support you 100% and make sure you are prepared. Checklists and check ins are a big part of the lead up to the final submission of you Student Teaching paperwork. I was grateful to have so much support.

5.     Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?

Career Development is a huge asset to our campus. Prior to submitting my student teaching paperwork I had Maureen and her wonderful staff look over my resume and help me build and appropriate cover letter to send along with my papers to the district. The support from the entire STAC community especially the School of Education and all their staff was comforting and much appreciated.

7.     Can you tell us about some of your current responsibilities / roles?

Student teaching has been an amazing journey thus far. I have been able to plan and execute lessons in different subjects, attend meetings with the grade level team and meetings with the faculty, interact with students, and so much more.

8.     What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?

So far, my favorite thing about student teaching has been watching the growth of the students and figuring out how to accommodate multiple learners. Its amazing to see in action how kids learn and how differently they learn and then being able to go back to the drawing board and say “Okay, that worked for this child but not so much for that one, what am I going to do about that?”

9.     What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for a job or internship/student teaching?

Use your resources! Talk to Maureen, get out in the community, look for opportunities, go to the career fair! Specifically for  School of Education students, follow the Student Teaching checklist, get your Professional Developments done early, take your certification exams.

10. What surprised you the most about student teaching?

What surprised me the most about student teaching is truly how much I felt prepared. I shouldn’t say it surprised me, I knew I would be prepared because STAC has an excellent reputation and I know my curriculum classes and professors extended so much knowledge that I was going to be just fine. But getting in the classroom, putting it all together. I felt confident, not a moment of doubt or nervousness like I expected to have embarking on a new journey, I was comfortable and I was able to feel that way because of the amazing preparation I had.

11. Where are you student teaching and what grades? 

I am student teaching in SOCSD and am currently in my first placement with 2nd graders and in March will move to my second placement with 4th graders.

#MySpartanSuccess with Alexandra Vippolis!

fullsizeoutput_1bd4.jpegWhat is your name and year here at STAC?

My name is Alexandra Vippolis and I am a third-year undergrad (junior) here at STAC.

Describe your overall experience at STAC.  What are you involved in here?  Are you an athlete?  Major? Clubs/activities? The grade you will teach? Etc.

My major is English with an Adolescent Certification and I am in the Education program here at STAC. I am also a member of Sigma Tau Delta, an English Honor Society. I aspire to be an English Secondary teacher to high school students. I am a student-athlete and am apart of the Field Hockey team here at STAC. Being a member of the Field Hockey team is the greatest decision I have made thus far in my collegiate years. Being a member of the Field Hockey program has been a great experience and makes me an active member of the community through the engagement of volunteer work.

What is one thing people don’t know about you?

One thing people may not know about me is that I make it a goal to always give a smile to those I encounter in hopes to get a smile in return and brighten someone’s day.

How did you know teaching was the profession for you?

I knew teaching was the profession for me when I realized how important it is to me to make a difference in people’s lives. I discovered I wanted to be a teacher when I realized that each mind is unique and extraordinary in their own individual way. It is a privilege to be able to work with these young minds, encourage their intellectual thought, and be able to help them develop skills that they can use for the rest of their life.

When will you be student teaching and where?

I will be student teaching in Spring of 2019, most likely at North Rockland High School where I graduated high school from.

What are some of your favorite things about STAC?

Some of my favorite things about STAC include the people at STAC and the size of the school. There are a lot of great people that I have met at STAC and see around campus a lot. However, I am still able to constantly meet new people as well which is a great mix. I appreciate the small size of each class and the opportunity to form relationships with my professors and peers.

Did the Career Development Office at STAC help you in any way?

The Career Development Office at STAC continues to be very helpful to me. The Career Development Office has helped me build and improve my resume. The Career Development Office also informs me of interesting newsletters and tools that help me find job opportunities as well.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to others following in your footsteps?

The best piece of advice that I can offer to those following in my footsteps is that it is never too early to gain experience in the field and to prepare yourself for your career. I highly recommend engaging in fieldwork to get a feel for the teaching profession as soon as possible. Also, I recommend to introduce yourself to your community to get your name out there and form new relations. Lastly, utilize the guidance and tools that the Career Development Office offers you because they are very helpful and informative.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

My favorite thing about teaching is the potential to change a student’s life. I also appreciate that each class I teach will be different from one another, which will always keep teaching interesting.  

What faculty member has been a mentor to you during your time here at STAC and why?

Maureen Mulhern has been a mentor to me during my time here at STAC. Mrs. Mulhern has continually gone out of her way to prepare me for interviews and introduces me to several tools to explore different job opportunities that are fit for my major. Mrs. Mulheron also helped me in building my resume and I know that I can always count on her for support, professional guidance and advice.

What has been your greatest achievement here at STAC?

My greatest achievement at STAC is being a student-athlete. The demanding schedule of school and sport has been a challenging one but I would not change it for the world. I am proud to say that I have consecutively earned a spot on the Dean’s List in past semesters as well as a Captain title. I take pride in the hard work I put in the classroom and on the field. My achievement of earning a Field Hockey scholarship is one that I have immense gratitude for because I really couldn’t ask for a better team to be a part of. My teammates have become my sisters, and the memories and experiences I have with my team will last a lifetime.


Are You Prepared for Your Next Interview?


Verizon Wireless gave us some tips to ace both a phone interview and a sit down interview!

Here are 10 of the best tips I found when reading through their presentation:

  1. Be on time
  2. Dress Appropriately
  3. Be confident, not arrogant
  4. Be ready to sell yourself
  5. Ask informed questions about the position offered or organization
  6. Avoid saying phrases such as “I can’t,” “I hated,” or “I Failed to”
  7. Be aware of gestures with the interviewer, eye contact, breathing, rate of speech, vocal, confidence, and posture
  8. Avoid giving yes or no answers
  9. When the interview is over, voice your gratitude, give a firm handshake, and depart respectfully
  10. Tell the truth!


Source: Verizon & The Career Development Office

Nicole Donini’s #SpartanSuccess!

Meet, Nicole Donini! She is here to tell us a little bit about all of her success here at STAC!


When did you (plan to) graduate and what was/is your major?

I plan to graduate May 2018 with a degree in accounting.

Can you tell me a little about the internship?

Over the summer I interned with KPMG in their Montvale office.  During my internship, I learned all the background work of the company.  For the summer, I worked on analyzing the top 2200 clients of KPMG.  Typically, as an accounting major, you think there is only audit or tax.  This work was looking at how the audit and tax functions drove in the most revenue.  It was explained as having KPMG as your client instead of working for other clients.

How did you hear about this position?

I heard about this position through the KPMG Mentorship Program here at STAC.  I was introduced to my mentor my sophomore year and have stayed in touch ever since.  I got to intern under him this past summer.

Can you explain the Interview Process?

There was a 2-step interview.  First was a phone interview.  For about 45 I was on the phone with a KPMG recruiter.  This interview was a very easy/casual interview.  It was about getting to know my interests and me.  Next was the in-person interview.  I went to the KPMG office and got interviewed by two people.  This part was your typical interview.  The interviewers asking me questions about my previous internship and myself asking questions about the firm.

Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?

Career development introduced me to the mentorship program.  Without them, I wouldn’t have met my mentor who was able to help me with this incredible experience.

Can you tell us about some of your current responsibilities / roles?

I don’t have any current roles. The internship ended in August.

What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?

During the summer months, we had to do monthly reports.  All the new numbers came out the first week of each month. It was so exciting to see how the numbers changed from month to month.  Basically, all the reports processes were the same each time but it felt different because you were dealing with different numbers.

What do you plan to do after the Internship?

I plan to line up another internship with KPMG for summer 2018 in their NYC office.  I will also begin my MBA after graduation and start my CPA test.

What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for an Internship?

My advice to other STAC students would be to not be scared and go for it.  Originally, I thought it would be close to impossible to land an internship with a big four accounting firm.  We come from a small school and the competition is hard out there.  Go to networking events; meet as many people as you can.  Believe it or not, people want to help.  Career Development helped me with the program and my mentor helped me with the internship.




































Considering the Disney College Program?


Meet Theresa McKenna, a fellow STAC student who participated in the Disney College Program!

She’s here to answer some of our questions, and help future Spartans who are interested in the Disney College Program.

What was the reason you wanted to participate in the Disney College Program?

I wanted to participate in the Disney College Program because I would like to work for Disney in the graphic design field, and this is a good way to get my foot in the door.

How many times did you apply before you were accepted into the program?

I applied to the program once before I was accepted.

Did you apply for the Fall, Spring, Fall Advantage or Spring Advantage program?

I applied for the Fall program.

You applied for the program to begin after you graduated from STAC.  Are you happy with that decision?  Why or why not?

I am happy with the decision to apply for the program start after my graduation because I did not want to miss out on any college experiences or classes. Since I am finished with school, I don’t have to worry about other classes or homework in addition to my job.

Please describe your day of arrival.

On the day I arrived, I checked in to my housing complex at 8 in the morning. I was able to quickly move my things in before I had to go to an introductory class called Traditions. Here, they finalized everything that would enable me to work. It took about an hour, and then I had the rest of the day to move in, meet my roommates, and get food and supplies.

Did you get to choose where you would live?  Which housing complex did you choose (or get assigned to) and what was it like?

Before I came down for the program, I was sent a registration email for housing and was asked to rank my complex and room size preferences. There was no guarantee I would get what I chose. Out of four housing complexes, I ended up being placed in Chatham Square in a 2-bedroom, 6-person suite. It has a kitchen, a small dining area, and a small common area for all of us to share. The housing complex itself has 30 buildings, as well as laundry facilities, a gym, a field, and a pool.

Did you choose where you would work at Disney?  Did you choose the job?

While filling out the application, I was able to put down preferences of what I wanted to do while in the program. I chose children’s activities, merchandise, monorail greeter, boutique worker, and recreation. There was no option to choose where in Disney I wanted to work. They place you where they need you.

What job did you end up with?

I ended up working merchandise at All Star Movies resort in Donald’s Double Feature gift shop.

What do you like best about your job?  Least?

The best part about my job is my coworkers, and getting to interact with all the guests every day. I meet so many people and get to talk to them a little bit and try to make their stay a little more magical.

About how many hours per week do you work?

I work between 30 and 38 hours a week. My schedule is different every week.

Do you have an opportunity to work in your career field of interest?

In my current position, I don’t think I have an opportunity to work in my career field of interest. I have to network more.

Have you taken any of the Disney courses?  If yes, which ones?  Anything interesting you want to share?

I have not taken any of the Disney courses.

What are some of the perks for participating in the Disney College Program?  (Ex. Free tickets to the park, meals, activities, etc…)

Some of the perks of participating in the Disney College Program include free admission into the parks whenever I want, discounts on food and merchandise, and free guest tickets.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The program is a lot of work, but it’s a ton of fun!


blog 2