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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

William Paterson University’s Alumni Are Giving Back to their Campus Community

WPU Alumni have decided after graduating with a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree to continue working in the University as faculty and staff in different departments.
Faculty members Jessica Oudhnarine, Mariel Read Essner, Lynn Lazar, Beatrice Amune, Roy Garcia, Judy Linder, Michael Perrotta and Wren DiGisi of the William Paterson University Institutional Advancement Team stand inside Hobart Manor. Photo Courtesy of Beatrice Amune.

WAYNE – Beatrice Amune was an international student who traveled from Nigeria to study at William Paterson University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2022 in communications with a concentration in public relations and then completed her master’s in professional communication.

Today she is the development and annual giving coordinator in the Annual Funds office of the Institutional Advancement Team.

“I feel a sense of profound gratitude for the opportunity to work in this institution,” Amune said.  “Working closely and interacting with individuals who are truly dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of WP students is a constant source of inspiration for me.”

Many alumni, like Amune still call WPU home, even decades after they’ve graduated. They work as professors, event directors, academic tutors, advisors and in the administration. It is their college experiences, as well as their professional experience, that enable them to provide better opportunities for current students.  

“I had so many awesome experiences here,” said Cortney Pruden, a Korean language tutor. “Being at WPU definitely made me a more culturally well-rounded person and helped me find who I am.”

Pruden received her bachelor’s degrees in May 2023 in anthropology and Asian studies. She previously interned for the WPU Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and worked with the Catholic Campus Ministry.

In the summer before her senior year, she studied abroad in South Korea and was offered a tutoring position by the Department of Language, Literature, Culture, and Writing when she returned. She has been working full-time for over a year.

“One of my biggest goals working here at WPU, apart from helping students succeed, is preserving and advocating for the Asian studies program,” Pruden said. “Learning about the world we live in is so important, especially now that we’re a more globalized world than ever.”

Roy Garcia, the director of the Development office, started his career when a teacher pointed him toward an internship opportunity.

“Professor D. Sheila Collins pulled me aside to encourage me to apply for an internship in Washington, DC,” Garcia said. “It was a transformative experience that launched my career.”

Garcia received his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1999. He was previously involved in the Student Government Association (SGA), the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and Model UN. He also founded a club called Business LINK while also serving as a Resident Assistant and Student Representative to the Board of Trustees.

He now wants to provide those same benefits for students.

“Social mobility and helping deliver social impact are part of my personal and professional missions,” Garcia said. “My goal is to help create opportunity for WP students.”

Kimberly Casamento, an adjunct professor for the professional communications department at WPU, prepares students for careers through her marketing communication experiences. Casamento received her master’s degree at WPU in 2015 studying professional communications with a concentration in corporate & strategic communication.

Casamento was previously a social media manager in the marketing department where she initiated the Twillyp campaign a Twitter platform crafted for and by students. She also worked as a graduate assistant for the communications department.

According to Casamento, teaching in the professional communications program has given her valuable experience in providing skills for students fostered from the skills she received as a student.

“My singular aim is to prepare my students thoroughly for their future careers,” she said. “I strive to ground my teaching in real-world examples. My objective is to nurture my students’ creative muscles, to ensure they’re not just following trends, but setting them.”

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Rochelle Estrada, Contributing Writer

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