This Avid Mountain Hiker Reaches Academic Heights
Associate in Arts Degree in Liberal Arts/Psychology with High Honor
- Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
- 2022 NJ All-State Academic Team
- Guistwhite Scholarship Recipient
When Delia Casamenti transfers this Fall to the University of New Hampshire, she will experience a kind of homecoming. “I have family in the area and love visiting there with my Dad,” she says. An avid hiker, she enjoys climbing the local White Mountains with her father.
“We can do more of that when I’m a student there,” says the nature lover who started her PCCC education in 2020 and has had a mostly virtual college experience due to the pandemic.
After graduating from high school, Delia was unclear about her future goal and reluctant to accumulate college debt at a four-year college. “My cousin had graduated from PCCC and recommended that I start here, too.” It was good advice.
Reaching a personal mountaintop, Delia graduates with high honors and her associate’s degree in Liberal Arts/Psychology. She was named to the 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team, and is also a recipient of the prestigious Guistwhite Scholarship, an award given through the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society to students who exhibit outstanding academic achievement, leadership abilities, and participation in PTK activities at their College.
“I was really proud of myself when I received the Guistwhite,” says Delia, who served as president of the PCCC’s PTK chapter, Alpha Eta Chi, and in two earlier roles on the executive board. She also found in PTK the sense of community she needed during the pandemic.
“My PTK advisors, Dr. Jennifer Gasparino and Andy Perales, guided me to bring my leadership into fruition,” says Delia. She credits their guidance and the “encouragement, love, and friendship I received from my executive board members,” with enabling the chapter, under her presidency, to become the fifth most distinguished chapter out of 1,300 internationally, an award the PCCC team received at the 2022 PTK Catalyst Convention last April.
“It was such a surreal moment when we got up on stage in front of 2,000 PTK members to receive that award,” says Delia. “That’s when I realized how much hard work pays off!”
Though she chose to pursue psychology at PCCC, Delia is now leaning toward social work and counseling, an area she plans to pursue for her bachelor’s degree with the goal of working in a school setting.
“I had a difficult period in middle school,” explains Delia. “A supportive counselor there made a difference for me and inspired me. I want to be there to provide that ‘safe haven’ for students who need one.”
She is drawn to “character education,” which would offer young students instruction in peacemaking, kindness, and similar behaviors. “I’ve been thinking about special learning methods, like the Montessori program, which incorporates those concepts in their lessons,” says Delia. “Those methods also encourage classes outdoors within nature, and that appeals to me, too.”
Before she heads to New Hampshire in August, Delia will be working this summer in the PCCC Admissions Department and is happy to be remaining in the College community a little longer.
“PCCC is a special place,” says Delia. “I never dreamed I could go to a college where my professors and even the president of the college know me…and other students…by name. I urge anyone considering college to come to PCCC.”