ENGL303 Writing Our Heritages: Class Profiles
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Jared Jackson is only 31 years old, but he has made those years count by being a jack of all trades. Jared is majoring in English with a Writing and Writing Studies concentration. Additionally, he is minoring in Computer Science. Not only is Jared a full-time student, but he is also a software engineering fellow at Hack.Diversity, a nonprofit organization with the goal of helping introduce Black and Latinx professionals to the tech world in Boston. Jared also hosts his own online platform under the name “Perpetually Irrelevant Gamer LLC.”, where he posts anything from podcasts to video game content. Though Jared has a lot to juggle in his day-to-day life as a full-time student with a full-time job in addition to running his video game empire, this doesn’t stop him from living life based on the motto carpe diem. He just takes what life throws at him with a smile. Some of his proudest accomplishments include being a professional musician for fourteen years, where he played the clarinet and saxophone, serving in the army for seven years before medically retiring, and being married to his wife Máiréad for eight years. In his free time, Jared enjoys journaling, programming, reading, and playing video games. He also likes to spend his time going on walks with his wife, as well as caring for his three cats, Sam, Monkey, and Jasmine.
If you are looking for Gabriel Michael Alexander on campus, he's the one wearing a red Angels cap or beanie and alternating between walking, running, and sprinting. But he's not from California, however. He was born in Southampton, England, and was brought to Massachusetts when he was two years old. After spending time in the foster care system, Gabriel and his sister were adopted by Stanley Alexander and Jane Griffin in 2006. Stan had worked in an orphanage in California, and it was there that he realized that he loved children and taking care of them. He did a pretty good job of it, too, right up until his passing of ALS when Gabriel was starting his freshman year. Understandably, Gabriel took it pretty hard, and it, along with the stress of college, lead him to rip his BSU cap to shreds. In need of a new hat, he went online and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim just seemed right. Red has always been Gabriel's color; the “A” for Angels could also be for Alexander; and his first name, Gabriel, is just like Saint Gabriel, the archangel. Finally, the fact that it was from California where his father realized that he wanted to become a father made it the perfect hat. Gabriel wants to be a writer. He sees so much passion and knowledge to share with the world, and writing is how he plans to do that.
Julia Sullivan and is majoring in Elementary Education and English. She is a senior here at Bridgewater State and a commuter. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and works as a substitute teacher for grades Kindergarten through High School but usually works with elementary grades since she hopes to someday teach first through third grade. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to music, singing, painting, and watching t.v. The reason she wants to become a teacher is to be a person that kids can count on and confide in. Until she started working as a substitute teacher she did not realize how many young children have really difficult home lives. She wants to help as many children as she can and build connections and relationships that students will remember. Her artifact is a picture of Ellis Island and represents how her dad’s side of the family got to the U.S from Ireland.
Lindsay M Dolan is a senior studying Elementary Education and Theatre Arts. There, she is also a member of the Gamma Iota Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority. Lindsay spent several years training as a student on the Advanced Performance Musical Theatre Competition Team at her performing arts studio, Capachione School of Performing Arts. She has also received training in voice, as well as in lyrical classical and contemporary genres of dance. After graduating, she plans to become an elementary school teacher while continuing to pursue the arts at the professional level. Something many people don’t know about Lindsay is that she has two half brothers, Zachary and Tyler. What is strange about this is that she did not know of her brothers’ existence until discovering a photograph of herself as an infant with the two boys on her twentieth birthday. Because she was an infant the last time she ever saw her brothers, she does not know much about them. Since making the discovery that she does, in fact, have two biological siblings, she has inquired about their role in her life and gained an understanding of why she did not grow up with them. Despite making such a puzzling discovery at such a late point in her life, Lindsay has continued to reap the benefits of being her parents’ only child. Likewise, something she had gone her entire life believing was missing was having a sister; By joining her sorority, she has gained several.
Carina Cataloni is a junior year studying English and Elementary Education. Her goal is to become an elementary school teacher that helps children find their love for reading and writing no matter what the struggle is. Growing up Carina was an was always fascinated with how her grandmother did her makeup and the Jewelry inside her jewelry box. As she got older, her grandmother trusted Carina with her mother's ring. Her grandmother gave it to her when she was just in high school. The gold may be turning silver, but the ring still means the world to her. Every day growing up her grandmother was the one that would pick her up from school and drop her off. She would drive her to her friend's house and make sure se was fed. She would sit with Carina at the table and make sure she had her school work done, her teeth brushed, and her hair combed. No matter how bad Carina complained. When the time came to learn how to drive, Carina's Grandmother was there; she was the one that taught Carina all those things growing up that she needed to know to be where she is now. Her Grandmother guided Carina along, helping her grow in the process. Carina has always looked up to her as a woman and as her grandmother.
Autumn Campinha is a junior in both Elementary Education and English, and hopes to be a teacher in Boston. As of right now, her biggest passions in life are reading and family. Her grandmother was the center of her big family, always telling them that they all had to stick together. When her grandmother passed Autumn was given her grandmother's bracelet that she wears everyday, just like her grandmother did. Her bracelet had been passed down to Autumn as a remembrance of who her grandmother was. It is a unique looking bracelet, intertwined with itself and inscribed with a popular prayer, the Our Father. Autumn's grandmother got it at a boutique shop close to her house, and loved it ever since. Wearing it everyday lets Autumn remember her and to let her feel how much her grandmother loved her. Autumn's grandmother was a courageous and fearless 52 year old who died from cancer, yet lived her life as if she was just a young adult. Autumn was a spoiled granddaughter, and she cherishes the moments she had with her, venerating the love her grandmother had for making jewelry so effortlessly. It was a love of hers that Autumn grew very fond of; admiring how her grandmother held her own while most of these bold pieces she created looked as if they would weigh her down, yet she wore them with confidence.
Tessa Napert and is a junior. majoring in Elementary Education and English. She is from Dartmouth, Massachusetts but also lives in Freetown. She has four cats, two at her mom’s and two at her dad’s. Fun fact though, she is allergic to cats. She has one older sister, Jaimie, who also loves cats. Her favorite animal is an alpaca, and her favorite color is purple. She hopes one day to teach either second or third grade and hopefully use her past experience and knowledge of music in her classroom. Tessa has played clarinet since fifth grade. The artifact she decided to present is a book that was her great great grandmothers on her dad’s side. She was always close with her grandmother and as a kid Tessa would spend almost every Friday night and Saturday with her. They used to watch movies, play rummy, drink tea, and read books. Tessa's grandmother would read books to her until she was old enough to read the books to her grandmother. She didn’t realize the love for reading in her family went back to her grandmother. Her artifact was an award to her great great grandmother for her regular attendance at school. The regular attendance tracing back was also quite ironic considering her family is known for their stubborn, hardworking nature. Her great great grandmother brought the book all the way from Preston, Lancaster, in English where Tessa hopes one day to visit.
Phedorah Douyon immigrated from Haiti and is currently completing her Bachelor’s in English Literature with a Minor in African American Studies. her childhood was deeply rooted in the embrace of her culture and its dynamic and influenced by the feud of her biological family’s controversy between the spiritual and the religious. A perpetual failed attempt to find a worship denomination of common ground with the absence of judgement, each side had their own beliefs, some shared similarities but they all tried to get everyone to accept theirs. The societal environment of her country has a record of the weaponization of ancestral spirituality and its daily demonization by the citizens who recognize the ultimate truth as Christianity does not help. These exposures fostered her deviation from religion toward a philosophical and spiritual approach to faith, which is constructed on the awareness and acceptance of all possibilities. A Faith established in the belief that all things hold the equal opportunity for good and evil. This practice allows her to have an open outlook on the world supporting her free spirit and creative mind. She values the importance of balance, the proportional integration of discipline, and the acknowledgement of the unknown in her life. She is mindful of the responsibility that she has with herself as well the consequences of all her decisions. She is a lover of the arts; she finds beauty in reading, writing, music and all the other mediums of creation. Her soul is nurtured through the exploration of infinite philosophies and sciences.
Matt Marini is a junior with a major in Writing Studies and a minor in Communications. He grew up in Hanson, Massachusetts, and still does to this day. He attended Whitman-Hanson high school and graduated in the class of 2020. He grew up with a love for baseball, and he now helps coach children’s baseball at the Steve Ferroli Baseball Camp. Matt also grew up participating in martial arts such as karate and kickboxing. He has a love for writing all subjects and hopes to become a sportswriter after college as a career. Matt’s artifact is a CD made by his grandfather. ‘Nonno’, as Matt calls him (which is grandfather in Italian), is a very talented singer and has been his whole life. After immigrating from Italy to the United States as a young adult, his dreams of becoming a famous musician took a back seat as he was trying to build a new life. He did not abandon music, however, he would make short CD’s of himself singing in Italian and give them to his friends and family. The cover of this CD has Matt as a toddler with Nonno kneeling beside him. The cover reads: “Per l’amor del canto ~ Loreto canta”. That translates to: “For the love of singing ~ Loreto singing.” This artifact is important to Matt because he spent much of his childhood with his grandparents at their house in Quincy, Massachusetts while his parents were at work. This CD reminds Matt of the countless times he would hear his grandfather sing as they drove around Quincy Center, as well as they many other memories he made with his grandparents in his childhood.
Lee Torda has taught writing and writing pedagogy classes at Bridgewater State for the past 22 years. She feels exceptionally lucky to work with the remarkable, complicated, sometimes brilliant students at BSU and is grateful for the life teaching them has given her. Pictured here is Lee's maternal grandparents on their wedding anniversary with all eight of their children, their spouses, and some of the 20 some grandchildren that would come to be. Lee was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio with this sprawling family alwarys around. Lee often reflects on how luck and privilege allowed the granddaughter of Italian immigrants to get a Phd and make a living doing something she loves. She feels certain that growing up in a family where one needed to shout to be heard has prepared her exceptionally well for a career in the classroom and is forever grateful to them. Just as a note: Lee's mother is the only woman featured in the back row. Even though Jean Zanzano looks like she is forty, she is actually only about 18 in the picture. Also pictured in the far left: Lee's namesake aunt, Helen Zanzano Doonan, better known as Aunt Lee. Lee lives in New Bedford, MA in a big old house from 1899 with her husband, a dog named Chicken and a very old cat named Noodle.
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