Determined to Succeed
Mary Kate Stone
Mary Kate Stone transferred to Anna Maria College as a junior and believes it was one of the best decisions she has ever made. After graduating from Holy Name High School in Worcester, she set off to start the next phase of her life at a private New England college where she planned to study education in an atmosphere that was described to her as small and personal. However, her college career hit a snag when Mary Kate felt that she was not receiving the personal attention she had expected. “I was attending lecture halls with 300 students and my advisor didn’t even know my name,” she explains. “This was not what I had signed up for and I knew I needed to find a different learning environment.” A Spencer native, Mary Kate was familiar with Anna Maria and from the first day she stepped on campus, she knew she would be able to make her dream of teaching become a reality. Mary Kate has wanted to be a teacher since first grade and in fact believes she was “born with the teaching gene.”
Mary Kate speaks laudably about the entire transfer process at AMC. “Right from the start, the faculty demonstrated their commitment to my success,” she comments. “From Professor McDonald, who recommended me to the Honors Program, to Dr. Holmes, who continually makes sure that I am able to take the courses I need, to Dory Rourke, who connects me to the right practicums, I feel very supported,” she adds. Mary Kate also points to Professor Dan Case who encouraged her to take the math qualifying exam earlier than she expected. She passed with flying colors and realized the importance of having faculty like Professor Case, who know your skills and capabilities.
Mary Kate has also been impressed with the speed in which faculty members return emails, and their desire to make sure she has made the right connections for her future career as an educator. “My professors have already opened up doors for me through networking and practicums that will help me secure a job after graduation,” she shares.
As part of her out of the classroom experiences, Mary Kate has had the opportunity to work in suburban and urban settings. She has found that she likes the challenges of urban schools and teaching students during the pivotal third grade. “I also plan to continue at AMC for my master’s degree through the fifth year option,” she comments. “I want to be able to teach special education students as well.”
A Dean’s List student, Mary Kate’s night and day experiences from her previous college and AMC respectively are testimony to the campus environment that students throughout Anna Maria’s 65 year history have touted. According to Mary Kate, “At Anna Maria College exceptional opportunities are available. You just need to act on them."