building connections

Jennifer Suslo '18

To help students like Jennifer, make your gift here. 

Jennifer Suslo, a sophomore at MCLA believes the College offers a liberal arts education that can inherently connect knowledge across all subject matters while also establishing a bond between its community members. It is because of these qualities that she feels MCLA provides her with the right amount of resources and a strong support system tailored to develop her personal growth and help lead her to success.

As an English/Communications major, Jennifer wants to work for a publishing company with a concentration on editing, marketing, or communications. She values student development as a foundation for her future career, but also values the importance of time spent on her own personal interests and extracurricular activities. “I joined the Allegrettos my freshman year, and it really helped me find my place here at MCLA."

As an individual, Jennifer emphasizes the benefits of broadening your horizon and being open to new things. She believes the College challenges students to learn, to physically experience knowledge, and embark upon internships that provide hands-on learning opportunities.

Jennifer, a new member of the Phonathon team, pursued this experience in hopes of exercising her interpersonal communication skills and building connections between the current community at MCLA and the alumni community. Jennifer recognizes the importance of extending an affordable liberal arts education to students who wish to pursue it, and is proud to participate in a program that focusses on making current and future students education possible.

“I am determined when there’s something I want to do. When I have a goal, I set my mind to it,” and with this motivation, Jennifer seeks to inspire the members of the alumni community to help her and her peers increase the available resources for student scholarship aid. It is her belief that together, as one community, the students and alumni can make a true impact on the lives of others. A value that she feels all who have once called this beautiful campus in the Berkshires home can relate to.

During her time at MCLA, Shadea has fully embraced the many opportunities available to her, participating in theatre, the WJJW Radio Station, and Dance Company. This semester, Shadea is embarking on what may be “one of the most rewarding experiences of her life,” studying abroad at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. While there she will be taking classes in English, Communications, and Theatre, auditioning for their dance team, and exploring opportunities with the University’s radio station. Shadea’s study abroad experience was made possible through the National Student Exchange Program and was funded by applying her financial aid awards from MCLA. 
Shadea is just one example of the impact financial aid makes. Did you know that 46% percent of all MCLA students were eligible for Federal Pell Grants last year and that 90% of all MCLA students applied for financial aid? Due to this increasingly pressing need, this year the College has introduced a special scholarship initiative to help increase funds available to our students and their families. The need is greater now than ever before. When you give to the Alumni Fund, you are making it possible for MCLA’s students, like Shadea, to begin and complete their journey; allowing them to fulfill their dreams and discover their passions. 


Kenneth Rivera '19
Natalia Reyes, returning Phonathon caller, sets the bar high this semester by taking advantage of the opportunities around her. As an English major concentrated in broadcasting, Natalia loves to network and connect with those in her community. During her time at MCLA, Natalia has already networked with New York Times’ writer Nicholas Kristof and correspondent Joy Reid from MSNBC. She claims her experience with the two has encouraged her to pursue the same level of success when it’s her time to work in the industry.
Fortunately, Natalia’s confidence stems from her appreciation for MCLA’s close-knit community that enables her personal as well as professional growth and development. Natalia identifies herself as an independent individual, and she believes the College invites its students to assume this notion of freedom. Similarly, Natalia trusts that her education at MCLA is culturally driven, and she credits this wide range of knowledge as a foundation for her life.
She says, “MCLA offers every opportunity I could possibly need to accomplish my dream,” and said aspiration isn’t far from reach because Natalia is ambitious when it comes to achievement.
As a returning Phonathon caller, Natalia is familiar with the program’s initiative to promote student success. Although she is aware of the program’s efforts to raise donations for scholarship aid, Natalia acknowledges Phonathon’s greater purpose: reciprocity. On behalf of her education and experiences, Natalia works with Phonathon to ensure a relationship is built between students and post-graduates.
When she speaks to alumni over the phone, Natalia thoroughly enjoys the stories each of them have to share. She recognizes how this connection can bring the College community to life because it extends support both within and outside the campus. She aspires to be an alum who will take responsibility and give back what opportunities were given to her. Natalia believes achievement is most satisfying when accomplished together.

Copyright 2015 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts