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“Professor Bove inspired me to get into teaching. The professors at MassBay are passionate about what they teach. They all seem to be interested in helping students succeed – not just in their class, but in other classes as well.”
Hometown: Natick, MA
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Buffalo with a degree in Arts & Communications in May 2012, Stephanie West was no closer to finding her career path than when she first went off to college. She enrolled at U. Buffalo right out of Natick High School because she wanted to try a new setting away from home, and she had family who lived in Buffalo. After earning her degree in 3 ½ years, she returned home, lived with her parents, worked at a coffee shop, and contemplated her future.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my degree, if anything,” says Stephanie. “I was applying for jobs, but I just didn’t know what I wanted my career to be.”
Stephanie decided to join her brother, who was enrolled at MassBay. “I wanted to keep my brain active, in case I wound up going to graduate school,” she says. Her brother, Gregory, had started his higher education at UMass-Dartmouth, but came to MassBay after one semester.
“Coming to MassBay helped him transition into a college student,” Stephanie says. “Before he was lazy, he didn’t do his homework. But when he went to MassBay I saw a big difference. He really became more motivated to do his homework and to go to class.”
After three semesters at MassBay, Gregory transferred his credits to UMass-Boston, where he is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management.
As for Stephanie, “I wanted to broaden my interests,” she says. “I wanted to see what was out there for me.” She enrolled in Introduction to Management, American Literature, and Macroeconomics at MassBay. And she found her calling.
It was Macroeconomics Professor Richard Bove whose teaching style struck a chord with Stephanie. “Professor Bove inspired me to get into teaching,” she says. “The professors at MassBay are passionate about what they teach. They all seem to be interested in helping students succeed – not just in their class, but in other classes as well. They don’t just give lectures, get them out and over to the next class.”
Stephanie has decided to apply to the highly competitive Teach for America program. She estimates the program has “about a 14% acceptance rate.”
“Ideally, I want to teach high school students,” says Stephanie. “It’s such an important age. High school students are so vulnerable to things around them, and they may have less parental involvement. It’s the same way Professor Bove approaches teaching. It’s not just the subject they’re teaching, it’s about taking the time to learn what’s going on in their students’ lives. I will be trying to better them not just as students, but also as people.”
Stephanie West arrived at MassBay at the age of 22 with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo. She became inspired by MassBay professors, and as a result, she now aspires to become a high school teacher.