I Got This
Class of '21
Our graduates are ready. Focused on the future. Prepared.
Learn more about how Hofstra helped them get there.
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Class of 2021
Wil Davis / Class of 2020
Wil Davis knows firsthand the power of Hofstra’s alumni network – it helped him score an internship at MSNBC. That’s why he’s spent the past year paying that experience forward, becoming an active member of
the University’s Black/Hispanic Alumni Association.
“I loved my undergraduate experience so much that I wanted to jump in immediately after graduation,” said Wil, who plans to start law school in the fall.
“It’s so important to get involved,” he said. “One of the best parts of my Hofstra experience was joining the Xi Psi Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. It was through a fraternity brother who had already graduated, that I got my foot in the door at MSNBC. I worked on Weekends with Alex Witt and then on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”
Over the past year, he’s helped organize virtual panels, town halls, and other events focused on social and racial justice issues for Hofstra faculty and students, and even served on a virtual panel himself, discussing voting rights with two Hofstra law professors. It was that experience, he said, that sealed his decision to go to law school, where he hopes to focus on public interest and civil rights law.
“Having watched everything that has transpired with the Black Lives Matter movement over the last year, I want to do something where I can play an active role,” Wil said. “As a Hofstra alum, a lot of doors will open for you, but as you go through those doors, it’s important to give back.”
Wil’s story isn’t unique: 90% of 2018-2019 Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs undergraduate degree recipients who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (81% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Keegan Santos / Class of 2021
Lacrosse player Keegan Santos knows the value of a good coach – whether it’s on the field or in the classroom.
“I really liked the fact that a lot of the classes here are smaller, and you have an opportunity to build personal relationships with your professors,” said Keegan, who comes from a small town in North Carolina and had never been to New York before arriving at Hofstra. “Everyone was really welcoming. I felt pretty much at home from the start.” Keegan credits a collection of Hofstra mentors – from more senior classmates and professors to academic advisors and alumni – with helping him figure out that his future was in finance and securing the internship that led to a full-time job offer after graduation.
And working in the Zarb School’s high-tech facilities, such as the Martin B. Greenberg Trading Room, which allows students to work with real-time financial data on Bloomberg Professional terminals, prepared him for that internship – at Bank of America – where he will begin working as a capital markets analyst later this year. “The Zarb School has tons of guest speakers, and I really used those to build relationships with Hofstra alumni because they really do want to help,” he said. “Any alumni I reached out to were very helpful and kind.”
In addition to being an NCAA Division I athlete, Keegan has also excelled academically. He is part of the Dean’s Business Scholars program, which provides high-performing students with special networking and experiential learning opportunities. And he’s paid that experience forward by working as a mentor for younger students in the program. “That’s something I really appreciated people doing for me, and it’s something I want to continue to do down the road, after I graduate,” he said. “One thing that I value most from my time at Hofstra is the relationships. Friends and mentors, whether that be more advanced students or a professor or a coach or an alum. That’s something I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.”
Keegan’s story isn’t unique: 95% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (83% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Jon Harrity / Class of 2020
Jon Harrity learned that it’s never too late to discover new interests, whether it’s in the classroom or on the dance floor.
“Having the chance to try different things helped me grow both socially and academically,” Jon said. “My time at Hofstra taught me not to be afraid of new experiences.”
As a junior, Jon was intrigued by a new program in cybersecurity and worked with his professors to take on an expanded course of study that combined it with his computer science major. After two internships in software engineering at companies on the East Coast, he spent a summer in Seattle interning at Amazon – an opportunity that led to a job as a software development engineer in the company’s New York City offices when he graduated.
“Each of my internship experiences, along with my classes and working with my professors and classmates, helped me build the path to where I am now,” said Jon, whose long-term career interests include machine learning and graphical automation software.
During his summer in Seattle, he tried some hip-hop dance classes. “I had a lot of fun and wondered if there were clubs at Hofstra where I could have a similar experience,” he said. As a senior, he joined the Imani Dance Ensemble and performed with the troupe as an opening act for Flo Rida during Hofstra’s annual Fall Fest (outdoor concert and carnival). .
“Use the college experience to learn about yourself,” said Jon, who was also president of the Computer Science Society and a member of the Ambiguity Improv Group. “Sometimes the things we’re afraid to try are what help us grow the most.”
Jon’s story isn’t unique: 91% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s
Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (88% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Jacquelyn Martinez / Class of 2021
Jacquelyn Martinez was inspired to become a social studies teacher by her professor and mentor, Dr. Alan Singer. And she’s following in his footsteps in more ways than one.
“Having him [Dr. Singer] as a professor has been a wonderful experience,” Jacquelyn said. “In fact, I’m currently student teaching at the Brooklyn middle school where he had his first teaching position [JHS 292 Margaret S. Douglas].”
Teaching during the pandemic has challenged her to get creative to engage her students. “I bond with my students over TikToks and memes that I try to incorporate at the beginning of my lessons,” she said. “They seem to really enjoy that.” Jacquelyn particularly enjoys teaching lessons about the 1950s and 1960s. “It was such a revolutionary time,” she said. “When you are learning about the Black Panthers and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you can better appreciate social movements of today like Black Lives Matter,” she said.
She’s also built a strong resume of volunteer work. In addition to working as an English language tutor with international students from China, Jacquelyn tutored at nearby Hempstead High School, helping students with SAT prep, and volunteered at The Manhattan Children’s Center, working on speech and language skills with children with autism.
A New York City native, Jacquelyn was accepted into the New Opportunities at Hofstra (NOAH) program, which provides highly motivated and diverse students with academic, financial, and social support resources. “There is a built-in network of faculty, students, and alumni, and everyone supports each other,” she said.
After graduation, Jacquelyn plans to earn a master’s degree in social studies education and, eventually, an advanced degree in educational leadership.
Jacquelyn’s story isn’t unique: 93% of 2018-2019 Hofstra University undergraduate degree recipients who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (84% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Sara Long / Class of 2021
Sara Long grew up studying ballet, tap, and jazz. At Hofstra, she learned how to apply a scientific approach to her passion for dance as she works toward her goal of helping people with injuries or disabilities as an occupational therapist.
“Double majoring in dance and exercise science has given me a unique understanding and appreciation for the human body, the mechanics of movement, and how art and science can work together,” Sara said. “Ideally, I would like to incorporate dance as a rehabilitative approach for my patients.”
She has been accepted to the MS in Occupational Therapy program at Hofstra and is waiting to hear from a few other schools, including Columbia University. She wants to stay in the area to continue enjoying its vibrant arts and entertainment culture. “One of the best things about Hofstra is that you live and study on this beautiful campus, and yet you have so much access to opportunities in one of the world’s best cities,” Sara said.
On campus, she is a member of the Danceworks performance club and president of MoVoM, a club in which dance majors present their own choreographed works to other students and faculty, and offer input on workshops and guest artists. She is also getting a closer look at her future career through field experiences in exercise science, physical therapy, and related subjects.
“I’ve had some incredible faculty mentors in both my majors who have given me so much support over the years, and I always feel like I’m learning something new,” Sara said. “I was a chronically shy person, but I really came out of my shell at Hofstra.”
Sara’s story isn’t unique: 94% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s School of Health Professions and Human Services who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (83% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Joseph Mancuso / Class of 2020
Joseph Mancuso’s personal quest for answers inspired him to pursue a career as a research scientist. The mentor he found at Hofstra helped him get the hands-on experience he needs to reach that goal.
“The Chemistry Department is a tight-knit community, and my research mentor, Dr. [Ronald] D’Amelia, has become a second father to me over the years,” Joseph said. “I have never felt hesitant about asking him or any of my professors for help, advice, or recommendation letters.”
Now, Joseph is weighing graduate school offers from Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Emory, Texas A&M, and Duke, with plans to earn a PhD in Chemistry and focus his research career on streamlining the drug development process. “My father has Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, which affects approximately one adult out of every million,” he said. “The emotional and financial impact this condition has had definitely influenced my academic trajectory. I want to research not only this disorder, but others that are ill-defined and lack funding.”
In 2020, Joseph became Hofstra’s first-ever Goldwater Scholar, one of the most prestigious and competitive awards for undergraduates going into STEM fields. The Goldwater award capped an academic journey that included presenting and publishing research several times with Dr. D’Amelia and other professors in the Chemistry Department. “I had opportunities to present my work at the national meetings of the American Chemical Society,” he said, “and I collaborated with professors on articles that were published in peer-reviewed journals.”
His professors were supportive outside the lab as well. “Every student at one time or another is faced with self-doubt,” Joseph said. “Professor D’Amelia has a sixth sense. He knew how to calm me down when I was feeling anxious. I have really valued having close working relationships with my professors.”
Joseph’s story isn’t unique: 93% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (80% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Gregory Quintanilla / Class of 2021
Greg Quintanilla was a high school student from Texas visiting campus for the first time – when a blizzard hit. But it was what happened after the storm that left a lasting impression.
“I still remember how kind everyone was and how they tried to make sure I still had a good experience, despite the weather forcing so many schedule changes,” said Greg, who was participating in the UpClose program that offers prospective students a chance to attend classes and experience campus life. “I just loved the atmosphere on campus and the feeling I got talking to faculty and students.”
For the past three years, he has shared that same excitement as a Pride Guide, introducing visiting students and families to Hofstra. “It’s been important to me to make an impact wherever I am, whether it’s helping new students, being in clubs with people who share my interests, or tutoring students in my major,” he said.
Greg is in the five-year BS/MS dual-degree program in computer science. His internships in business technology for Pfizer and in defense and intelligence solutions for Southwest Research Institute have exposed him to diverse career options. After graduation, he wants to pursue a career that combines software development with research in the sciences, such as nuclear chemistry.
“I’ve really been able to use all the resources that Hofstra has offered to discover new interests and develop myself both as a person and a professional,” said Greg, who is president of the Rock Climbing Club and a member of the campus chapter of the Developer Student Club, which participates in Google Solution Challenges. “My college journey has given me the confidence I’ll need when I’m ready to navigate the next chapter of my life.”
Greg’s story isn’t unique: 91% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (88% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Gillian Greene / Class of 2020
Gillian Greene wanted a career in music, but not as a performer. Hofstra’s Music Business program gave her the experiences that put her on the path to becoming an entertainment lawyer.
A veteran of four internships at three companies – at Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Manage This! Artist Management – it was her work at Sony’s Business and Legal Affairs Department that steered her toward a career in law. She’s now a first-year student at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. “I learned about contracts, fair use, artist royalties, and other areas of the industry that are vitally important,” Gillian said. “That experience solidified my decision to pursue a career as an attorney specializing in entertainment law and intellectual property.”
Gillian sings and plays cello and piano but prefers to be in the audience rather than on stage. Hofstra’s Music Business program, ranked among the nation’s top such programs by Billboard magazine in 2020, seemed like a perfect fit. “Music has always been part of my life, but I don’t consider myself much of a performer,” she said. “I thought a major in music business would allow me to be part of that world, and Hofstra offered easy access to New York City, where I could make a lot of professional connections.”
She loved the variety the program offered. “I was taking classes in music history and music theory, but also in finance and marketing,” she said. She also found a mentor and friend in Professor Terry Tompkins, the program coordinator. “He has so many industry connections and is great about helping students network.”
In her senior year, Gillian served as president of the Music Entertainment Industry Student Organization (MEISA), which organizes student songwriting competitions and an annual professional music industry conference.
The leadership and time management skills she developed at Hofstra are serving her well in law school. “I don’t know how I fit it all in, but I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I was given,” Gillian said. “Hofstra gave me the support and helped me build the skills I needed to juggle my classes, my extracurriculars, and my internships.”
Gillian’s story isn’t unique: 93% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (80% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Eliorah Finkelson / Class of 2021
When Eli Finkelson stepped into the studios of Hofstra’s award-winning, student-run radio station, WRHU-88.7 FM, it felt like home.
“The students are so welcoming and engaging, and everyone helps each other get to where they want to be,” Eli said. “WRHU also comes with its own network of alumni who are always giving back to current students, whether it’s career advice, an internship, or job opportunity.”
The connections that Eli cemented through five internships in print, podcasting, and television, including with ABC News and CBS News, have paved a promising career path for her after graduation.
“I have potential opportunities with CBS and ABC to work in either New York City or Washington, D.C., where I hope to pursue my passion for producing and also long-form journalism,” she said.
Along the way, she has served as WRHU’s station manager, worked as a reporter and broadcaster on its daily evening news show, covered presidential primaries in New Hampshire, and anchored three election night broadcasts, including the 2020 presidential race. Last year, she won a national Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, for best radio talk show. She also found time to join one of Hofstra’s a cappella groups, the Hofbeats.
“I’ve had the benefit of learning from excellent professors who are working professionals in their fields, gained tons of hands-on training, and have had opportunities presented to me that you don’t often get at other schools,” Eli said. “I don’t really worry about my future because Hofstra has set me up for success.”
Eli’s story isn’t unique: 93% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (88% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.
Amber Jordan / Class of 2021
Amber Jordan is an aspiring physician-scientist who knows firsthand that life-changing discoveries can happen anytime, anywhere.
“While I was exploring colleges … I sat in on Dr. [Javier] Izquierdo’s Intro to Biology class,” Amber recalled. “He took out his guitar and began singing a song he wrote about the subject matter he was teaching. I just thought that was amazing.”
Four years later, Amber is enrolled in Hofstra’s BS/MS in Biology dual-degree program – and on track to graduate with her undergraduate degree in 2021 and her master’s in 2022. Eventually, she hopes to pursue an MD/PhD. During her time at Hofstra, she has been immersed in research in Dr. Izquierdo’s lab, where she studies how microorganisms promote the growth of plants, using beach grass microbiome as a model system. Last fall, she was awarded a competitive grant from TriBeta, the national honor society for biology students, to continue her research into the spring.
“After working with microorganisms and bacteria and learning about the role they play in all aspects of life, I definitely want to incorporate research into my career and become a physician-scientist,” Amber said. “The current COVID-19 pandemic also influenced my intent to further study immunology and microbiology.” “The lab work feels more like fun than work,” she said. “Working there teaches us to think critically and more like researchers.”
When she’s not in the lab, Amber pays it forward as a member of Hofstra’s chapter of Project Sunshine, which organizes visits and interactions with hospitalized children. She also works as a biology and chemistry tutor. “I know at times students find it difficult to learn material the way a professor teaches it,” she said. “I enjoy finding new ways to help students learn.”
Amber’s success isn’t unique: 93% of 2018-2019 undergraduate degree recipients from Hofstra’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who responded to our graduation survey or other reliable sources (80% knowledge rate) reported that they were employed or had started or were planning to start graduate school within one year of graduation. Visit our outcomes page at hofstra.edu/outcomes for detailed information.