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Goodness and Discipline and Knowledge in Action

7/9/2020

The College of Mount Saint Vincent community lives with goodness, discipline, and knowledge every day. From international service learning experiences to student leadership development and global research opportunities to working the COVID-19 frontlines, our students and alumnae/i are exceptional.

Meet just a few of our Mount leaders who are committed to living out the College motto: “Teach me goodness and discipline and knowledge.”

Goodness

Jennifer Puac ’21—an honors student majoring in psychology and Spanish—spent the first half of the spring semester studying and serving abroad in Quito, Ecuador.

Jennifer Puac in Ecuador.

As one of Mount Saint Vincent’s most recent Gilman Scholars, Jennifer gained the opportunity to travel abroad at no out-of-pocket cost. Even though her time in South America was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, Jennifer’s experience was nothing short of spectacular. She had the opportunity to live with a host family; travel to Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands; and learn about a new culture by eating, planting, and learning about Ecuadorian food—one of her favorite hobbies.

Jennifer Puac in the Galapagos

Serving marginalized communities around the globe has been one of Jennifer’s biggest passions. In New York City she volunteered with organizations including Part of the Solution (POTS) soup kitchen and the Midnight Run, and in Ecuador she was able to mentor children in a rural neighborhood. She was challenged to adapt to the lack of medical supplies and educational materials while creating activities and providing quality care for children with disabilities—all while embodying the qualities of goodness as a Leader in Service.

Discipline

Jaemon Williams

Jaemon Williams ’21 considers Mount Saint Vincent his second home. From the first day he set foot on campus, he knew he was called to rise up as a student leader and serve his classmates as a member of the Student Government Association.

Jaemon, a double major in psychology and sociology, wears many hats on campus. He welcomed first-year students to the Mount as an Orientation Leader, modeled for the RAW Fashion club, performed with the CMSV Players, worked in the Student Activities Office, and even volunteered at the Hebrew Home right next door. Most notably, he served his fellow Dolphins as President of the Student Body this past year, and was recently re-elected for a second term.

Jaemon Williams with Vinny the Dolphin.

Stepping forward as a student leader takes discipline—balancing academics and extracurricular activities is no easy feat. But Jaemon wakes up each morning with an ambitious plan to check off as many items on his to-do list as possible. The leadership skills he’s learning as a member of the Mount community will no doubt help launch his career.

Jaemon Williams and SGA.

Knowledge

Last June, two Mount students, Nicole DeSouza ’19 and Danielle Quaranto ’20, traveled to Germany with Professor of Mathematics Amir Niknejad to participate in a professional laboratory setting at the Zuse Institute Berlin.

Danielle Quaranto and Nicole DeSouza

As student research assistants at the Mount, Danielle and Nicole are no strangers to research outside the classroom. Their experience working alongside faculty members in both the Division of Natural Sciences and Department of Mathematics afforded them the opportunity to develop critical reasoning skills and quick-thinking in the research laboratory. Always thirsting for more knowledge, the duo was eager to say “yes” and jump into their greatest research endeavor yet.

Danielle Quaranto and Nicole DeSouza with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Upon arriving in Germany, Danielle and Nicole became more than just research assistants; they were collaborators in an in-depth study alongside acclaimed European scientists and mathematicians. They were able to transfer the skills they learned in the classroom into a laboratory setting. Now, they feel confident in their ability to approach different areas of biology from a mathematical perspective—a skill they know will be invaluable in graduate school.

Leading as an Alumna

Alumna Stephanie Widmer ’11 has been courageously working the COVID-19 frontline, providing lifesaving care and treatment as an emergency medical physician and medical toxicology fellow at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

Stephanie W in her nurse outfit.

Stephanie, who studied psychology and chemistry at the Mount, is grateful for the faculty members who worked to prepare her for the MCAT exam and guided her the whole way through the medical school application process. Stephanie went on to earn a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from New York Institute of Technology and is currently completing her residency. During her time at the College, she received a holistic education that prepared her for a balanced life as a doctor, wife, and mother. And the Mount isn’t just her alma mater, but also part of her family’s legacy—her mom, Patricia, is a member of the Class of 1978 and Stephanie recently married her husband in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

Stephanie W poses with her husband at their wedding at the Mount.

Through her career, Dr. Widmer continues to embody the qualities of goodness and service to others, discipline to balance her passion for work and her family, and the knowledge to be prepared for a vast array of medical situations. She lives the Mount Saint Vincent motto each day, especially the commitments to never stop learning and to bring quality health care to the people who need it most.

Confident that a good life demands thoughtful judgment, the Mount calls every student to learn about religious, moral, and ethical thinking. Dedicated to the development of the whole person, an education in the liberal arts extends beyond the classroom at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. That mission is encapsulated in our motto, which proudly lives through our graduates.

Thank you to all who made a gift to the 2019-2020 Annual Fund and made these stories and more possible.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.