Semester midpoint offers inspiration to students

By Sarah Pastor
November 1, 2007

Megan Pellegrino

Students feeling the stress of excessive schoolwork and jam packed schedules got a pleasant and motivational surprise at the Semester Midpoint Celebration held in the SET building atrium on Wednesday, October 17 from 10:45 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Nearly every college student begins each semester with excitement and determination to make this the best year yet. As early September turns into late October the pressures of balancing a full load of credits with all of the holiday distractions on the horizon makes it all too easy for students to forget about the real reason they are at college: to receive a quality education and improve their personal lives through learning.

The festivities included free cake, candy, numerous fliers and information packets about the benefits of taking advantage of the center and an assortment of balloons, streamers and overall upbeat environment.

The celebration was positioned strategically so that students entering the SET building for class would run straight into the festivities and most likely partake in the celebration before heading to class.

The timing of the event was also considered, as the hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. are usually the lunch periods for the majority of students.

Those who may usually have to wait until after a long class on an empty stomach to finally get something to eat were greatly appreciative of the energy packed sugary snacks set up for the taking. Hungry students quickly indulged in the food, several of the main directors of the Center for Teaching and Learning were available to further explain the significance of the event and encourage students to keep working hard for the remainder of the semester.

Matitza DeJesus, the Coordinator of Academic Counseling and Peer Tutor coach for the Center for Teaching and Learning, was eager to share advice and success stories with attending students, hopefully motivating them to continue to persevere for the last six weeks of the fall semester.

“This event is for every Cabrini student, but especially new freshman who may be unaware that half of the semester is already over. It is a team effort and a positive reminder to students that there is still plenty of time to improve grades and finish the semester successfully,” DeJesus said.

Diane Devanney, a math specialist at the center, was present and encouraged students to sign up for help as soon as they encountered a problem.

“In recent years it has become almost the norm for students to take five and six semesters to graduate from college. We are here to provide any support necessary to get students successfully graduated and transition into the working world as smoothly as possible. The answer to a poor start to a class is not to drop it and have to retake it at a later time, but to spend more time studying for the difficult class than the less challenging ones and get the credit you deserve for your hard work. There is still plenty of time to improve,” Devanney said.

“One of the benefits of attending a small private school like Cabrini is the individualized attention each student receives,” explained Lisa Ratmansky, a head director at the Teaching and Learning Center. “We as an organization. are genuinely concerned with the success of every Cabrini student. Both academic and moral support are generously offered to let students know that while we do encourage them to be independent, we are always there when they need us.”

If academic help through fellow Cabrini students is more comfortable for some students, the center also offers 43 peer tutors in virtually every subject matter and jurisdiction.

“Peer tutoring is a win-win situation for both the student and the tutor,” Ratmansky says. “The tutors actually learn more about the subjects they are teaching through aiding the student who is struggling in the subject. It is essentially an internship opportunity and a great activity to list on a resume upon graduation.”

Students who wish to take advantage of this excellent opportunity can contact Lisa Ratmansky at 610-902-8496 or e-mail her at for more information or to set up an appointment for the extra help needed to succeed throughout their experience at Cabrini.

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Sarah Pastor

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