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Hofstra University Honors College

In Focus

Caitlin Taylor '06

Growing up in Port Washington, NY, Caitlin went to Providence College her freshman year, Nassau Community College her sophomore year and the remainder of her college career was spent at Hofstra University.  A young mother of two, Caitlin is grateful to have earned her degree at Hofstra because of the devoted faculty and how accessible they were with helping students. Being admitted into Honors College her junior year, Caitlin began immediate friendships with her peers and declared her major in psychology.  As she is spending time raising her (almost) three year old daughter and newborn son now, Caitlin hopes to go back to school for a masters in either elementary education or possibly psychology.

Tell us about your experience transferring from Nassau Community College to Hofstra.
I was excited to begin studying at Hofstra.  Although I really enjoyed my time at NCC, I always viewed it as a stepping stone in my education rather than a final destination.  Hofstra appealed to me because of its location, reputation, and the scholarships they awarded me.  In addition, my husband had received his bachelor's degree from Hofstra and was studying for his master's there at the time.  His love of the school also influenced me in my decision to attend. 

Out of the three schools you attended, why do you feel you got the most out of your experience at Hofstra?
My years at Hofstra were the most valuable and enjoyable for several reasons.  By the time I started my junior year I realized that I wanted to focus on studying psychology, so many of my classes at Hofstra were centered on that major.  Spending the majority of my time engrossed in the subject that best captured my interest, made Hofstra more fun and interesting.  I also had many wonderful professors that are not only experts in their subject matter; they really enjoy teaching and encourage student discussion.

You mentioned how helpful the faculty members were at Hofstra.  Were there any in particular that made your experience at here more meaningful? 
Although I had many professors whom I enjoyed studying with, Dr. Johnson of the psychology department stands out as the most influential in my college experience.  After studying social psychology and taking my senior seminar course with him, he agreed to be my thesis advisor.  In class, he encouraged participation and even student debate so that we could reach conclusions through discussion rather than simply reading them out of a textbook.  While working on my thesis, he was always available for guidance and feedback.

How has or will your honors distinction help set you apart in the professional world?
Although I am not currently in the professional world, I believe that my honors distinction set me apart in the job application process.  I interviewed for several positions after graduating and the potential employer always made mention of or asked about my honors college degree.  I believe that it communicates a strong work ethic and ability to handle heavy workloads, which are qualities companies look for when they're hiring. 

Tell us about the year you spent in a financial planning firm as an investment coordinator.
During my time as an investment coordinator, I had a variety of responsibilities and was mainly involved in application processing and system maintenance.  A few months after I began my full time position there, a co-worker abruptly left the company and I was assigned to handle the majority of her duties in addition to my own.  I had to put into practice the skills of time management and dealing with a heavy workload that I developed at HUHC in order to successfully integrate the new responsibilities into my schedule.

Why is Hofstra on the top of your list for when you go back to get your masters?
Hofstra would be my first choice of university because I know I would be getting a solid education from professors that really love what they are teaching.  I think I would leave well prepared to enter the professional world.

You mentioned being involved with a team of young mothers who work with older women in your church.  How has that experience helped shape your life?
The "Mom to Mom" group you are referring to is a monthly meeting where mothers with young children can come and spend time with other moms, both those in the same life situation, and those whose children are older.  There is childcare provided so the women can have a relaxing, uninterrupted time of discussion.  The more experienced women act as mentors to encourage the younger moms and help address questions or concerns that they have in topics ranging from parental discipline, healthy eating/sleeping habits for their kids, fun learning strategies, or even relationships with husbands, parents, or friends.  This group has been rewarding to me as both a participant and an organizer.  The ministry was the idea of a friend of mine and I am a member of the leadership team.  It has been amazing to see the growth over the past year and a half; we started with a handful of women and now sometimes have between twenty and thirty moms in attendance!  As a member of the group I have formed some of my closest friendships with the other moms who attend, as well as gained great insight into issues that I face as a woman, wife, and mother.

Caitlin Taylor

Honors College Alumna
Locust Valley, NY