Nicole C. Cirino MA ‘09:
Member at Large, Alumni Association

Nicole CirinoWhen I arrived at Sarah Lawrence in 2007 to begin my graduate work in Child Development, I knew that I had found the community I was seeking. The ways in which I was empowered in my coursework, the kinds of questions my professors asked me, and the freedom I was given to both broaden and deepen my learning met a need that had gone unfulfilled in my undergraduate academic experience.

The two years spent in quiet nooks in the library, up late talking theory with my classmates, and sometimes crying in my advisor’s office (thanks, Barbara) went by too fast and as graduation loomed at the end of my second year I did not feel ready to go.

Thankfully, I was initiated into the alumni community several months before I actually finished my degree. I was asked by Susan Guma, who was Dean of the graduate school at the time, to represent my program on a newly formed committee of the alumni board, chaired by Kathy Westwater. Through my work with the board and the kinds of relationships I began forming with other alums, I realized that graduating didn’t mean I had to leave everything I’d built behind.

Over the course of the past six years of my work in the fields of education, academia, and activism I’ve often found myself connecting with like-minded individuals to find out later that we both went to Sarah Lawrence. There is a common language we all speak, thankfully. The friends I made are still some of my closest, and my professors are only an e-mail away.

As you prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce, remember: you take this experience, and these people, with you. Be sure to keep your information updated so you can learn about the lectures—and parties—happening in your city. On behalf of the Alumni Association, our sincerest congratulations and welcome.