As graduates of the University of New Haven’s College of Business and the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences received their degrees, they looked to the future while remembering their favorite experiences as students.
May 23, 2019
Madison Derosia ’19, a sport management major, says that when she first arrived at the University of New Haven as a first-year student, she was unsure of herself. Four years later, she believes that she has become a confident, well-rounded individual.
"I owe my transformation to the professors and staff members who invested in me as a student and as a person," she said. "The University also helped me create connections with industry professionals, which have already proved to be invaluable."
A member of the University’s softball team, Derosia excelled as a student athlete. Some of her favorite memories of being a Charger include the time she spent with her teammates.
"It’s the little things that stand out the most to me, like cheering in the dugout during games," she said. "My teammates and coaches have become family to me, and my time as a college softball player has undoubtedly defined who I am today."
Derosia believes that her University education covered all the bases, enabling her to gain valuable experience through her internships and coursework. She considers working on her senior capstone project to have been especially meaningful, and she feels prepared to pursue her MBA in the fall.
"The feeling of accomplishment we all had, knowing that all of our hard work had paid off, was priceless," said Derosia, who will attend Bryant University while working as a graduate assistant in the school’s athletic department.
Derosia was one of more than 700 students who received degrees during the University’s afternoon ceremony, which included graduates of the College of Business and the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, and one of approximately 1,400 members of the University’s Class of 2019.
Daniel Cardona ’19 M.S., who received his master’s degree in forensic technology, says that his professors’ knowledge and experience in the field were especially impactful. The hands-on opportunities he had in his classes, including a tour of the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and working in the University’s Crime Scene Training House, were among his favorite experiences as a graduate student.
"The forensic technology laboratory class enables students to work with cutting-edge crime-scene technology," said Cardona. "This give students confidence. If, in a job interview, we are asked if we have used this equipment, we can say yes."
An active member of the University’s Graduate Student Forensic Science Club, Cardona also worked with the University’s student government judicial committee members, reviewing cases and guidelines involving student organizations.
Cardona completed a ten-month internship in the Manhattan field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. He is now awaiting conditional offer letters from several government agencies.
"The University enabled me to network with professionals who have diverse academic and professional backgrounds," said Cardona. "I’ve earned job opportunities at multiple government agencies, which are currently progressing forward."
Will Cornelio ’19, a sport management major who discovered his passion for campus recreation while at the University, is looking forward to pursuing his master’s degree at the College of William and Mary. Like Cardona, he is grateful for the guidance and support he received from the University’s faculty and staff members.
"I have had the opportunity to learn from many experienced and knowledgeable professionals who care about us as individuals," said Cornelio, who also worked for ChargerREC as a fitness attendant and intramural sports official. "They help students find their own paths, connecting with us as students and as soon-to-be professionals."
Cornelio fondly remembers working on his capstone project, organizing a flag football competition with five of his classmates that raised more than $1,500 for the United Way’s Challenge to End Homelessness in Greater New Haven.
"It was a challenging, yet fun and exciting, experience that gave us a chance to demonstrate what we have learned, while also preparing us for what lies ahead," said Cornelio.
Kristy Santana ’19, a national security major, gained valuable diplomacy experience as a member of the University’s Model United Nations program, recently helping to organize a conference for high school students at the University’s campus in Prato, Italy. Her experiences in Model UN also enabled her to travel to Xi’an, China.
Santana completed an intensive immersion program studying Arabic in Morocco. She earned an internship in a law firm while studying in Morocco, and she interned in Washington, D.C. and in West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi’s office.
She was one of only 250 students nationwide to earn the prestigious Boren Scholarship, which will enable her to return to Morocco this summer to continue her studies.
"The Boren Scholarship will allow me to pursue my dream of gaining a high level of proficiency in Arabic, and enable me to work toward my dream job with the U.S. government," said Santana.