A Student Explorer: Happy
to Guide and Be Guided
By Vinny Reda (April
When serving as an admissions tour guide, junior
Whitney Sperrazza has one message she delivers
loud and clear to prospective students uncertain
about their college future - as you chart your
course, you're not going it alone here at the
University at Albany.
Kerker with Whitney Sperrazza on
campus just before Whitney departed
for a study-abroad semester in Milan,
As proof, she points to herself.
"When I first arrived here, I signed up for
classes online, and assumed I was just a number.
But when you meet with your advisors and they
help you choose your classes, you realize how
much they are there to help and guide you,"
Whitney is an explorer at heart, delving into
courses in human biology, math and other areas.
In advisor Kimberly Kerker, she found her first
"Whitney was fun to advise because she enjoyed
exploring all her interests as well as exploring
all opportunities available to her at UAlbany.
I was always confident that she would ultimately
make the right choice for her and she would
be a wonderful asset to whatever major she chose,"
rehearses with the women's a cappella
singing group, Serendipity.
(Photos by Mark Schmidt)
When Whitney eventually decided to major in
English, Kerker helped smooth the path. "She
showed me what core courses I had to take, what
was available and when. She sent me to the English
Advisement Center, where I have a great advisor
now in Professor [Kathleen] Thornton, and directed
me to the English 'open house' held that semester."
Now Whitney aims to become part of the English
Honors program and to add an additional year
at UAlbany in order to earn a master's degree
through the combined BA/MA program. She spent
spring semester 2007 studying abroad in Milan,
It's a full load for the Presidential Scholar
who for the past two years has sung with the
campus women's a cappella singing group, Serendipity,
and has been a campus tour guide since her second
"It's been great here," said Whitney, "On the
tours I just love talking to prospective students
about all you can do here, and how there are
people at the University who are looking out
for your success."