Show

7 Seniors to Watch

April 23rd, 2009

Andrew Summerson, Matt Wooters, Jessica Serbin, Josh Marcin, Samantha Cocco, Doug Walton and Scott Matthews have made their mark.

These seven students come from all different places, backgrounds, majors and interests. They do have some things in common though: They have left an impression on John Carroll University through activities, academics and relationships.

These students have gone above and beyond during their college careers. As college students, they’ve reached success.

Now, with graduation and life after Carroll right around the corner, we asked these students what their futures hold.

Andrew Summerson

Andrew Summerson

Andrew Summerson

Major:
English
Minor:
Religious Studies
What are some of your JCU accomplishments?
“I’m graduating. I also helped edit JCU Review and studied abroad in Rome, Spring ‘07.”
What are your future plans?
“After graduation, [I plan to] go into the seminary and become a priest, and take care of a perish.”
Do you have any influential role models?
“Francis Ryan, Phil Metres and Paul Murphy: they’re very down to earth, great professors, really smart. All saints. They’re saints of guys.”

Matt Wooters

Matt Wooters

Matt Wooters

Major:
Political Science
Concentration:
Peace Studies
Minor:
History
What are your future plans?
“In August I am moving to Belize to do two years of service. I will be teaching religion, running retreats and organizing sacraments for a Catholic school district of 30 schools.”
Why did you choose this path?
“To have the opportunity to live in solidarity with the poor, while striving to have a positive effect on those around me is something I have wanted for quite a while.”
What were some other options?
“Grad school… though I didn’t apply to any. And a few other service organizations.”

Jessica Serbin

Major:
Biology
Concentration:
Perspectives on Sex and Gender
What are some of your JCU accomplishments?
“SUCH (Students United in Care and Healing), ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ immersion trips (Tijuana, Mexico, Immokalee, Fla.), editing World View Magazine and Honors Program.”
What are your future plans?
“I’m going to the University of Michigan School of Public Health to get my masters in public health and international health epidemiology.”
What will you take with you from John Carroll?
“A good education. I’ve also met a lot of great people and have formed a lot of good connections. Because this is a small school, it’s more personal and that forms closeness between students and professors.”

Josh Marcin

Josh Marcin

Josh Marcin

Major:
Political Science and Spanish
Concentration:
Latin American Studies
What are your future plans?
“After a summer with the Truman Foundation, I’ll spend a year completing either a public affairs fellowship here in the U.S. or a Fulbright Research Grant in El Salvador. I will then attend Harvard Law School.”
What do you think your biggest accomplishment was?
“My research published with the support of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland supports a number of policy options to safely and effectively reduce HIV/AIDS transmission rates. My hope is for us to continue to gain legislative support in Ohio and at the federal level.”
What is your favorite Carroll activity?
“Do nights at the Beachland Ballroom or Grog Shop count?”

Samantha Cocco

Samantha Cocco

Samantha Cocco

Major:
Sociology
Concentration:
African Studies
What are some of your JCU accomplishments?
“Co-chairing Relay for Life last year, co-directing and coordinating ‘The Queer Monologues’ and Millor Orator”
What are your future plans?
“In August, I’ll be leaving for the island of Pompeii Micronesia, where I’ll be spending two years teaching high school aged kids.”
What is your favorite Carroll activity?
“Unwinding with my roommates at the end of the day and sharing our joys and struggles.”

Doug Walton

Doug Walton

Doug Walton

Major:
Economics and Political Science
Minor:
Spanish
What are your future plans?
“After graduation, I will begin working at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit organization that researches public policy and makes recommendations to Congress and other policy-makers.”
Why did you choose this path?
“As a double major in economics and political science, I was excited by this opportunity to put my skills to work in a real-world setting.”
Do you have any influential role models?
“My biggest role models are my parents. My dad taught me the importance of personal integrity and hard work, and my mom has showed me the importance of love and responsibility.”

Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews

Scott Matthews

Major:
Accountancy
What is your favorite Carroll activity?
“Playing hockey. Hockey has been a big part of my life and some of my fondest memories here at JCU stem from the team.”
What are your future plans?
“I will be moving back home to Buffalo. I am taking the CPA exam this summer and will start my full-time position as an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers in September.”
What does success mean to you?
“I truly believe you’re only as successful as the amount of lives you touch and I want to hopefully one day give back twofold to those who have helped me pursue my dreams.”

Seniors’ Secrets to Success: What it takes and why they have it

We all wish to be successful in life, but what exactly is success? To some it may be the amount of money they have, to others, a good education, a powerful job or simply happiness. Hilary Flanagan, director for the Center for Career Services, said, “Like beauty, success is in the eye of the beholder.” But she also believes that between those considered successful there are many commonalities.

On May 17, John Carroll University will bid farewell to the Class of 2009. What made this class successful?

Flanagan said, “They [the seniors] truly succeed because they own their own path. They have an idea where they are headed while remaining open to new possibilities and adaptable to change.”

Andrew Summerson, Jessica Serbin, Matt Wooters, Samantha Cocco, Scott Matthews, Doug Walton and Josh Marcin certainly meet these qualifications and their professors and peers have noticed. These seven seniors were nominated by department heads and professors, as seniors to watch.

John Ropar, the director of the University Counseling Center, said, “When I think of leadership I think of the ‘Four Pillars of Success’ from the book ‘Heroic Leadership’ by Christopher Lowery (a former Jesuit). The pillars are self-awareness, ingenuity, love and heroism. These students represent the pillars well.”

Describing the self-awareness pillar, Ropar said, “leaders must be genuine and willing to ask questions about themselves and find out who they are.”

Senior Andrew Summerson embodies self-awareness. When asked why he chose to pursue the priesthood he said, “I felt called. I dug my heels in and realized it wasn’t a joke. It was something I really loved. I liked the idea of letting people know that God is real. I think that’s really important.” He turned down his acceptance to the University of Iowa’s Master of Fine Arts program to pursue his religious calling.

John H. Yost from the department of psychology said, “Being successful is accomplishing what you set out to do. Therefore, I would say that you first have to set a goal that you are willing to strive for. The ‘willing to strive for’ part is important as these have to be goals that you are completely committed to Ð these are goals that tap into the core of your self-concept. Therefore, the goal becomes part of one’s very being and the goal is constantly accessible to one’s attention. So, one is constantly monitoring situations and the environment for things that will help them to accomplish the goal. The goal is always there. One prioritizes other important activities around their goal. I would say that one key is not to become distracted from one’s goal.”

Senior Scott Matthews has had his eyes on his goal from day one. “In high school I was afforded the opportunity to take accounting as a class and really enjoyed the field from the start. My high school accounting teacher was an influential mentor for me and opened my eyes to the variety of career paths an accounting degree can offer.”

Being called “successful” is a pretty big deal for college students who have worked hard for four years to make a difference in the JCU community. Although the students were humble enough to be at a loss for words when asked why they thought they were nominated, they had a lot to say about what “success” meant to them.

Doug Walton said, “To me, success means being a balanced person. It means having a fulfilling career, one that enables me to make the most of my skills and abilities. It also means taking time to serve others and develop strong relationships.”

For these seniors success is about their past, present and future. It’s about recognizing what they have been through and how it has helped get them where they are while having the courage to take their qualities and put them to use in the community.

Flanagan said, “They [the seniors] live life to its fullest every day. They can’t help but make the world a better place, and we’re fortunate that their success can be contagious.”