by Katherine Noll, photos by Brian Shaud
April 17, 2014
"This little place is small but mighty. We get it done," Student Governance Chairman Jose Valderrama said at the last-ever Student Celebration to be held at the Tannersville Campus on April 17. "We've had to struggle with crowded classrooms and not enough space, but we also have so many wonderful memories here, everything from Deja Brew, to PTK's Completion Day, the Halloween Party, the list goes on and on. We're a family. And we're going to bring our family traditions with us from here to the new campus."
As students, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the achievements of the academic year, Jose asked them to reach even higher.
"We'll now have access to even more resources at the new campus. The opportunities are endless. Challenge yourself. Get involved. Step out of your comfort zone. This is a great opportunity for you to be who you want to be," he encouraged. The new Pocono Township campus, less than two miles from the existing campus, will open this summer and include science and computer labs, meeting rooms, art studios and galleries, a state-of-the-art library, child care center, food court, student activity areas, faculty and staff offices, service areas, and athletic fields, among other amenities.
Dean Matt Connell thanked the students, faculty, and staff for all of the energy and excitement they have brought to the campus over the years before inviting them to share their memories on the memory wall created for the event. The Community Room was decorated like a gymnasium to mimic a class reunion with the theme of "Farewell to the Old, Welcome the New." Photos from throughout the years were hung from the walls and incorporated into the center pieces on each table.
Students brought the energy and excitement Connell spoke of to some lively performances. The singing trio of Taylor Natiello, Morgan Natiello, and Brooke Stern sang an a cappella version of "Radioactive." Poet Rashad Thomas read his work "May Your Name Live Forever," and rapper Bernie Goode performed.
When reflecting on the Tannersville campus, Associate Dean Hazel Fisher remarked that "it's not what a college should look like, but it is what a college should be. We are Monroe proud. I am so proud of what you all have done."
The student body presented Dr. Matt Connell, dean of Monroe, with a personalized necktie with images from both the old and new campus. "I'm framing this and will hang it in my new office," he said.
The following awards were presented at the celebration:
All-USA PA Academic Team Members from Monroe:
Elizabeth Malantonio and Sean Salmon
Peer Tutor of the Year Award:
Speech Contest Winners:
Lisa Beaton and Eric Griesback
Outstanding Participation Service Learning:
Creative Writing Award
Phi Theta Kappa honor society students were recognized in addition to students who completed a service project for Family Promise: Jeffrey Lind, Jacqueline Palmieire, Evegine Syne, Skylar Walter, and Brian Wojcik. The NCC winners of the Fifth Annual Arts Celebration were also commended: Maria Cristina Mirassol, Emily Newman, Jeffrey Lisk, and Samantha Rothwell.
An open mic portion of the event invited students to share their favorite memories of the campus. Many of them had words of advice and wisdom to share with their fellow students, too. Here's what some had to say:
"My favorite memory is all the fun we've had at Deja Brew!"
"Make new friends. Open yourself up."
"The students and professors make it so much fun. I couldn't imagine going to another school."
"I've enjoyed seeing the potential and talent in all my friends and fellow students."
"Motivate. Validate. Participate!"
"I had a conflict when I first came here that was negatively affecting my school work. I didn't bother to tell anyone because I didn't think anyone would care. But a staff member noticed something was wrong and talked to me. The conflict was solved. It made me feel like I belonged here."
"I was having a bad day once and someone I didn't even know asked what was wrong."
"As team members we make a difference, we can do all things."
"The sand lot version of football."
"Being here has literally changed my life."
"I have never felt so empowered and encouraged as I do here."
Check out more Monroe pride on display in the Flickr photo gallery from this event!
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