TRiO: a program, a lifestyle, a home...
“TRiO definitely helped lead me to the job I have now,” Calhoun says. “It helped me develop a hard-working, diligent attitude and allowed me to have a positive mind set instead of being so hard on myself. TRiO made me realize that if I worked hard enough, I could successfully do any job that I get.”
Following graduation from Medaille, and after attending Thomas M. Cooley Law School for one year, Calhoun transferred to SUNY Buffalo Law School and graduated in 2008. Now she is the Assistant Attorney General at the New York Office of the Attorney General in downtown Buffalo. She works as part of the State Counsel Division defending state agencies in areas of federal constitutional law, state and federal
employment cases, and writs of habeas corpus.
The road to success. At the age of 16, Calhoun was the first member of her family to attend college. Her father emigrated from Jamaica, therefore she did not want to move away, and she wanted a school that offered small class settings.
She graduated from Buffalo Performing Arts High School after her junior year in 1999, and then enrolled at Medaille. One of her first classes at Medaille taught her how to become a true college student.
“I didn’t want to get lost at a big school, and then I just kind of stumbled into the TRiO program,” says Calhoun. “It was my saving grace. I was there from open until close and in between classes also.”
Since Calhoun was a first generation college student, TRiO was the place to go to ask any type of question regarding school. Besides answering questions, the program provided a school setting for her to complete homework assignments, a place for her to type essays on a computer, and a way to borrow an expensive calculator for math class. Calhoun recalls her first college paper was completed on a typewriter at home because her mother could not afford a computer at the time. However, when she signed up with TRiO, a computer was then accessible, at any time, to complete her essays.
“The program provides educational and interpersonal support to continue along the college journey and make sure you finish school,” says Calhoun. “They put pressure on you to keep up with your studies and make sure you fulfill all the requirements. They keep you from struggling and getting behind.”
Support of a mentor. Dr. Mary Ellen Mulvey, director of TRiO at Medaille, was first a teacher for Calhoun, but then became a mentor.
Just like Calhoun, Mulvey began college at the age of 16.Therefore, the two immediately had a connection.
“I knew that I needed that program to be successful,” says Calhoun. “During the struggles to start the college process there were not many people to ask questions, especially because my parents did not have that experience. The TRiO program helped because I could always ask them my questions and it was always a place I could get answers from. Where else can you get that kind of support?”
Calhoun graduated with honors from Medaille in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in pre-law. The TRiO program even helped her prepare for the LSAT to get into law school. Calhoun learned how to be a diligent worker through the TRiO program, saying she has continued to use the same practices she learned at Medaille, such as keeping to a natural daily routine. Even though she is busy at work, Calhoun says she rarely has to bring work home and keeps a good balance with her social life. And now she is passing her knowledge on to another TRiO student through a new initiative. She is mentoring Medaille College senior Zach Kieser.
Returning the favor. In collaboration with the Medaille Alumni Association, Dr. Mulvey initiated the Alumni Mentor Program in September, which matches up a current TRiO student with a Medaille alumnus in the same field. The alumni help with career guidance and provide personal tips for the students along the journey. Calhoun speaks with her mentee, Zach, at least once a month.
“Stephanie is a great role model,” says Mulvey. “She has a very positive attitude and is not afraid to work hard. I think she can show other students how to pursue their dreams.”
Calhoun is also the current president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, an organization comprised of attorneys, judges and law students with the goal to increase diversity within the legal profession. She was voted into the position last December for a one-year term. Recently, the organization held its 31st annual dinner, and Calhoun presented the President’s Award to Dr. Mulvey. The award is given to an individual or a group whose mission supports the Minority Bar Association as a whole.
“TRiO has a lot of the same attributes that the Minority Bar Association has,” notes Calhoun. “It gives people an opportunity to break into a profession that they otherwise might not be able to. I wanted to give back to Dr. Mulvey, just like how she always gave back to me.”
It is safe to say that TRiO opened its doors to Calhoun and gave her a second home. She felt the most comfortable there, and used its services without fail. When she needed help, TRiO was there to point her in the right direction. When she needed a school setting, TRiO provided it along with a tutor. And when she needed a boost in confidence, TRiO stepped in and helped her self esteem.
"It was an experience that money cannot buy," concludes Calhoun. "Words cannot descrive how it helped change my life. When I think about the impact TRiO had on my life, the tears strat to come to me eyes. They provided me extra support and guidance, both academically and personally, and were always interested in meto make sure I was a good student. They also made sure to point out all of my good qualities."
Medaille Partners With Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to Offer New Opportunities to Communication StudentsMedaille has signed three agreements with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University — a 4+1 program, a 3+1 program and a 30% scholarship agreement — that will take effect immediately and will create new opportunities for communication students.
Medaille College Receives Say Yes Grant From Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Expanding Support and Opportunities for Buffalo StudentsAs part of the newly established Buffalo College Success Network, Medaille is able to offer increased access, support and opportunities to students from the city of Buffalo, thanks to Say Yes Buffalo and a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This June, Associate Professor of English Dr. Alice Villaseñor participated in the “Activism and Empathy” Children’s Literature Association Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, speaking about her experiences teaching children’s literature courses in partnership with the Buffalo City Mission’s Literacy and Enrichment After-School Program (LEAP) Program.
Living out community as one of Medaille's core values, College administration, faculty and staff members gave back to the WNY community by volunteering at local organizations as part of 2019 Day of Service events held in Buffalo and Rochester.
Department of Education Chair Participates in the Council for Exceptional Children Leadership InstituteDepartment of Education Chair Dr. Colleen Wilkinson participated in the 2019 Council for Exceptional Children Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. earlier this month, and facilitated discussions about professional development opportunities for New York State educators.
First time freshmen, transfer students and students who wish to apply for associate or bachelor’s degree programs.
Students who wish to apply for master’s degree programs or advanced certifications.
Students who wish to apply for our online-only degree programs.
High school students and transfer students who want to enroll in day classes at the Buffalo campus.
Adult learners applying to our undergraduate or graduate degree programs at either our Buffalo or Rochester campuses.
Adult learners applying to our online undergraduate or graduate degree programs.