Nicola Calabrese, a senior here at PC, has been an outstanding member of the community, evident in her commitment to this school as well as her impressive involvement in clubs and teams on campus. She is from North Babylon, NY, and is currently majoring in elementary and special education with a minor in sociology.
One of the first of many clubs and programs that she joined was the Horizons program. Horizons is an incredible year-long mentoring program that gives incoming freshmen the tools to navigate the campus while maintaining their identity and cultural values, which is very important to Calabrese.
Aligning with her strong determination to make a difference on campus, she also joined the Women Empowered club her freshman year. She has been on the executive board for the last two years and will now be entering her third year as public relations officer for the club. Women Empowered was established to create a safe space for women of color to speak about and discuss their experiences at a predominantly white institution. They also take time to focus on sisterhood, self-care, identity, relationships, and mental health.
Over the summer of 2020, Calabrese worked as a research assistant through the Elementary and Special Education Department. Throughout her time working as a research assistant, she conducted a study to expand outside of her required classes displaying her dedication to her studies. The study focused on reading comprehension and visualization skills of elementary and middle school students.
Along with balancing her academics and extracurriculars, she is also a sprinter for the track team here at PC. Some of her personal track records include an 8.41 second 60 meter dash, 13.27 second 100 meter dash, and 27.38 second 200 meter dash.
As a student-athlete and woman of color, there are many challenges she has faced outside of having to run fast. With the support from the athletic department and Diversity and Inclusion Department, she was able to attend the Black Student-Athlete Summit in Austin, Texas. At this summit, they looked to bring unique adversities that these student-athletes face to the surface in order to make student life and athlete life non-discriminatory for young people of color.
During this past summer, she was chosen to be one of the head dream coaches for the Pre-Orientation Transitions Program. This particular pre-orientation program was created to help multicultural and first-generation freshmen find their place at PC and become more adjusted to college especially at a predominantly white school.
As a dream coach, her role is to act as a resource to freshmen throughout the entirety of the semester. The program also helps freshmen form special bonds with one another as well as with dream coaches, creating a sense of community for everyone involved.
When asked about her favorite part of PC, Calabrese chose the students and faculty members she has met throughout her academic, social, and athletic career here.
“Many people on campus have helped me grow as either a student, athlete, friend, or person in general, and I am very grateful for my time here,” said Calabrese.