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Scholars Day Provides Insight of Dynamic Learning Opportunities

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 10, 2016) -- Whether it's learning about academic programs and research opportunities or the vibrant and dynamic student life, Scholars Day provides prospective students with an early opportunity to discover how UAlbany offers a world-class education and a host of opportunities.

UAlbany senior Jessica Tasciotti remembers receiving her invitation to the special event and the acknowledgment that she had been recognized as a 'scholar.' Tasciotti came to appreciate the opportunity to engage with faculty members before enrolling.

"Meeting your professors for the first time can be an intimidating experience," said Tasciotti. "But coming to Scholars Day, I was able to interact with them outside of the classroom and learn about their expectations for students, as well as their enthusiasm for teaching. It was an invaluable experience that opened new doors and possibilities for my education."

Tasciotti, who grew up in Rochester, had been fairly certain of her major before she arrived on campus. But Scholars Day made her realize her path didn’t have to be set in stone. Her advice to the current crop of prospective students? "Don’t limit yourself. Talk to professors from outside your chosen major. You owe it to yourself to explore all that UAlbany has to offer."

For Tasciotti, it led to her eventually pursuing a degree in public health. She is now exploring graduate school and hopes to have a career in maternal and child health, either as a researcher or teacher.

Her comments were echoed by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost James R. Stellar, who conveyed a similar story about his experience in college at the University’s first Scholars Day on March 3. "Don’t wait as I did until you are already in a major to find out you are in the wrong field."

Stellar, who had planned on being an M.D. before ever setting foot on a college campus, recalled how a faculty member took him aside and questioned his passion. "He said to me, 'You always look like you are falling asleep in the pre-med classes, but you are active and engaged when it comes to science. Have you thought about a career in research?' It was as if a light had finally gone off." Stellar would go on to become a neuroscience researcher at the McLean Hospital of Harvard Medical School before entering into academic administration.

The forum also provides professors with the opportunity to talk about the opportunities students have to interact with them beyond the classroom, such as conducting research.

"Working on a project with a professor allows you to learn the tools that are applicable to research, and gives you real world experience," said Victor Asal of UAlbany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. "You can learn what you enjoy doing and what you want to do in the future -- as well as what you might really not like doing – which can be just as useful."

UAlbany hosts the second Scholars Day event on Friday, March 11, starting at 10 a.m. in University Hall.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.