Philomena "Mena" Buscetto is a senior English / Adolescent Education major from Waterford, CT. She's been involved in Marist's theater program since her first year on campus and credits the experience to strengthening her interests in writing and teaching.
How did you decide on English as your major?
I actually have a double major in English with a Writing concentration and Adolescent Education, and then I have minors in Theater and Creative Writing. I originally came in as an English major, but I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, and once I saw how solid the education program was here and talked to some students about their experiences, I was really interested in it. Then I took a Foundations of Education class in spring of my freshman year and I loved it. I stuck with it ever since.
What has been your favorite part of the Marist experience so far?
I have to say theater. I’ve had a really unique Marist experience where I’ve been very involved in the theater program. I’ve been involved in shows for the past 4 years working backstage, performing on stage, and even on the executive board. So I definitely think that’s been my favorite, most memorable part of college. It’s a big time commitment, but it’s also something that I love, so when I think back to my most vivid memories of Marist it will undoubtedly be with the theater program.
How did the theater program help you with your major?
It actually helped me out so much more that I thought it would. I needed to be observed multiple times during my student teaching placement and a critique I got was that I had very good presence in the classroom and good communication, and I just think theater is very much about expressing who you are and giving your own flare to things, but also sticking to guidelines and deadlines and things like that. All of that is so relevant to teaching and I didn’t even realize when I first got into it. It’s helped me out so much in that I just feel so comfortable teaching now.
How was your transition to Marist?
My high school (St. Bernard School in Uncasville, CT) was small. There were 73 students in my graduating class! So the reason I chose Marist, in part, was because it was so much like my high school in the sense that it was community-oriented with small classes, getting to know the teachers, and all that. Obviously, I went through the same adjustments that every freshman goes through, but I was very fortunate to participate in the Marist pre-college program in the summer of 2012, which was in between my junior and senior year of high school. So I came to Marist and felt like I was already a student here, and that made the transition much easier. I also just got really lucky roommate-wise and meeting my close group of friends almost right away through the theater program. It just felt very comfortable here. I knew that this was going to be a very tight-knit, supportive group of people who are very friendly, and coming from a small high school where I had known everyone since preschool, I was thinking “I want to meet new people but I’m hoping for that same automatic feeling of welcoming and comfort too,” and it was.
Tell me more about the pre-college program.
I took Introduction to Creative Writing and they were professors from Marist who taught us and we actually got 3 credits for it, so I got to come into school a little ahead on my credits. It was awesome. It was a packed academic day but they definitely made sure we got the Marist experience. They would do activities for us and all sorts of things. One of the little field trips we went on was to the Palace Diner and I remember thinking it was the best place ever. I still think that actually! And I met a lot of really nice people too. Some of them went to other colleges but I still keep in touch with them. It really felt like I had a little bit of that true college experience, and it was also my first time staying away from home. I recommend it to anybody who is considering coming here or going away to college.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I’m applying to teaching jobs now, but I also got accepted into two graduate programs, so I’m still deciding. Either way, I have really great options. Not that I necessarily want to graduate, because I’m still enjoying being a senior and just taking in every last thing about Marist, but I feel very prepared leaving.
Written by Shannon Donohue '17
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Academic School: Liberal Arts
Campus: New York