Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

In the Spotlight: Paul Ferrante ’16

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Paul Ferrante ’16 was a corporate communications major while at student at Lycoming. Today, he is thriving as the assistant director for student engagement at the New York Institute of Technology in Long Island.

1. What made you choose to attend Lycoming College?

I wasn’t sure what I was looking for in a college but knew I wanted a small school with a business and music program outside of the metro NYC area. Lycoming came up on one of my searches and it had met all of the basic needs. I decided to apply without visiting and ended up getting accepted! The first time I visited was in January, and I was able to sit in classes taught by Professor Sterngold and Dr. Fred Thayer, meet with different students, and see the campus life. During the tour, they brought my dad and me around the bell to touch for good luck and as I was looking out onto The Quad, I just knew this was my new home for the next four years.

2. What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors, or activities while attending Lycoming College?

It’s hard to choose just one memory because my whole experience at Lycoming was wonderful. I was able to participate in various activities like Student Senate, Choir, SEARCH, Café 1812, and Tau Kappa Epsilon. Out of everything, I have to choose the Tour Choir trip to China as my favorite. This was my first time abroad, and the day before our departure I graduated, so it was a phenomenal way to close my undergraduate chapter. We were able to make beautiful music in unique and special places between Shanghai and Beijing. I remember specifically singing in the Forbidden City and knowing that I would never have this opportunity again. I especially loved my time with President Trachte and Dr. Sharon Trachte as we walked the Great Wall of China. Having the ability to be immersed in a new culture while closing your last undergraduate chapter, I am eternally grateful to Lycoming for the opportunity and the memories.

3. How has your education at Lycoming College influenced or helped you in your life and career?

My education from Lycoming has pushed me to think outside of the box and to push a bit more against the grain. One of the many things I now appreciate is the diversity of Lycoming’s curriculum. I work with diverse students each day and I am able to reflect back on a few classes like Medieval Literature, History of Photography, and others to pull ideas, concepts, or even conversation starters. From my education and involvement, I am able to hold conversations or programs because I was able to think deeply and was provided a safe space to act boldly. I pull these references and instill them in my own students.

4. What is one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from Lycoming in which your education really played a role?

After I graduated, I went straight into multiple internships in public relations and social media while earning my master’s degree in communication arts from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). My education prepared me immensely to manage my graduate classes, but I needed to find what I was passionate about. I interned for the Office of Student Engagement at NYIT. Through my ability to pull inspiration from Lycoming’s leadership initiatives like L.E.A.P. and the Senior Leadership Capstone at Gettysburg, and I was able to create Greek Academy at NYIT. This is an individualized retreat for each organization over the summer where we hit topics that they specifically need help with and provide tools and resources for them to effectively develop as an organization. The initiative was awarded at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association (NGLA) Conference in February 2019.

5. What piece of professional advice would you give your fellow Lycoming alumni?

I have three pieces of advice:

  1. Advocate for yourself. Know your limits, ask for help, and communicate.
  2. Self Care. Your mental, emotional, and physical well-being is important. Take time and a breather.
  3. Stop Measuring. Don’t compare yourself to others; live in the moment and appreciate the accomplishments of your peers.