Alumni Stories 2016


Entertaining Crowds in NYC

Bengey Asse '06

When Bengey Asse '06 began his career at MCLA, he was the only DJ on campus, which provided a unique opportunity for experience in his field. Today, he continues to bring that distinctive flair to his work in New York City.

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Alumnus Enjoys National Archives Position

Corbin Apkin '13

Corbin Apkin '13 always enjoyed learning about history. But it wasn't until he took his first history class at MCLA that he decided to make it his major. Now, he's an archivist at the National Archives in College Park, Md. "I'm very passionate about learning more about our past and how we got to where we are," Apkin explained. "I've always been very interested in looking at how different historians view and interpret history, and it continues to fuel my interest in the subject."

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Alumna Attributes Her Success To CSSE

Sherley Jules '15

Sherley Jules '15 headed to Washington, D.C., this fall to begin her master's program at Howard University. Also accepted to Boston College, she attributes her success to the faculty and staff in the sociology department, as well as those in MCLA's Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE).

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Alumna Finds Dream Jobs in the Music Industry

Brittany Kish '14

After she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies, with concentrations in business administration and music, Brittany Kish '14 knew she wanted to start her career in the South, and something about Texas caught her eye.

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Alumna Eyes Ph.D.

Jenna O'Connor '16 

Jenna O'Connor '16 of Haverhill, Mass., entered MCLA with a strong desire to become a journalist, but instead quickly discovered her passion for sociology. After being accepted into five of the six graduate programs she applied to, she will head to Boston this fall to pursue her master’s degree in gender/cultural studies at Simmons College.

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Trailblazer Begins Soccer Career

Tyler Vona '16

Tyler Vona '16 of Highland, N.Y., plans to become a dentist one day, but for now, he can be found drilling on the soccer field as the newest member of the Hudson Valley's semi-professional Kingston Stockade Football Club.

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Alumna's Teaching Strategies Revolutionize Math Class


An idea Donna Quallen '16 developed last fall in a capstone course as part of her Master's of Education degree program not only transformed the way she teaches math at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, it changed the trajectory of her students' education by improving all of their Accuplacer math scores by at least 28 percent.

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London For Grad School


After Rhea Werner '15 went overseas for the first time in 2013, as part of her MCLA travel study course to Ireland, she wanted more. The following spring she returned to the region for a visit to England. As she explored London, “I fell in love with the city,” she said. “There is such a rich history there.” Since that time, returning to the United Kingdom for graduate school has been her goal.

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Alumnus Begins Career at Harvard


Noting the confidence Osakpolo Igiede '15 exuded as he began his first position at Harvard University – as well as the diverse background he brought from MCLA and his willingness to take on new challenges – his supervisor advanced him to a new position soon after he started work at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Success After MCLA


Since he graduated from MCLA in 2013, Max Dilthey '13 has amassed more than five million readers through his cycling, hiking and backpacking website,, and with online publications.

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First Job Is The Perfect Fit


Tess Favini '14 of Fitchburg, MA, combined her Bachelor of Arts degree in arts management with her love of event planning and came up with her ideal job: She’s the junior events producer for Design Museum Boston. 

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Exploring Your Passions


In 2015, Paul J. Groff Jr. '15, of Mechanicville, New York, found himself on stage, about to sing one of two solos in front of hundreds of people at the International Competition for Collegiate A Capella (ICCA) in Boston. Perhaps best known for its inclusion in the Pitch Perfect movies, the ICCA invited MCLA's a capella group, the Allegrettos, to perform.

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Graduate School


Kristcha DeGuerre '14 of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., applied to five graduate programs. She was accepted into every one of them. While the graduate school application process can be difficult, and oftentimes confusing, DeGuerre credits MCLA’s Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE) with her successful navigation of the process.

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Max Dilthey '13

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