Parent to Parent.

 

Parent to Parent

Now that the college admission decision has shifted from school to student, we at Drew want to give the parents of admitted students a chance to learn the unfiltered story of life here in Madison and around the world — through the eyes of parents of enrolled students. Several Drew parents have provided their email addresses so that prospective Drew parents can email questions or request a phone call. Drew parents tell it like it is — please select one or several of the parents below, using their email to ask a question or arrange a call. They will be happy to respond.


Diane Scarangella
Parent of Kira Scarangella C’18

Biology Major (Pre-Vet track), Psychology Minor
Leonia, NJ
diascat@hotmail.com

When Kira initially chose Drew University over 10 other nationally recognized schools, I was skeptical. But, Kira knew what she was doing. She loved “The Forest” from the moment she first stepped on campus and still feels this way. When I asked her why she chose Drew over her other acceptances, Kira said it was a combination of factors from the immediate feeling of welcome when she came to campus events, to the value Drew places on diversity, individual uniqueness, civic engagement and giving back to the community. Now a second semester Junior, Kira has had the opportunity to volunteer at an animal shelter, a homeless shelter and a county zoo. She has made it past the first hurdle in her preparation for Veterinary school – the infamous two semesters of organic chemistry! She attributes her success in these, and her other, classes to the interaction she has with her professors, who are always willing to meet with her to discuss a difficult assignment or answer a hard (or simple) question. Kira has had the opportunity to work closely with an advisor/professor who shares her interests. During her first summer at Drew, she was able to work with this professor as a part of a research team. Kira is also an athlete who loves nature and loves helping others. At Drew, she is able to combine these interests academically, during field-based research activities and volunteer experiences, and through club sports, like ultimate frisbee. She is also involved in the Orientation Committee, Special Olympics, CIVIC Scholars, peer mentoring and tutoring. Throughout the admissions process, people kept saying that my child would end up where she was supposed to be. Seeing the adult that my child has become during her years at Drew, I now know they were right. Drew was the right choice for Kira – the best choice. It is where she was supposed to be.

Marc-Andre LaChance
Parent of Zoey C’18

Art Major
Williston, VT
thefamilylachance@comcast.net

Zoey is an art major with an emphasis in photography and film, film media studies, and a writing minor (I think). “Stage Combat” is a big thing for her in the Medieval Club, and she enjoys the costuming, too. Zoey went to New Orleans during one January service trip with over 30 other Drew students. She has found some like-minded people at Drew, and the Civic Scholars Community offers a group that supports each other. Madison is a cute town, stores are within walking distance, it’s safe, and has great access to NYC (and transportation). I love that the NJ Shakespeare Theater is on campus. As Zoey grows older, more trips and internships have developed. She was an intern for Sesame Street Workshop, and there are other internships in the plans. As far as I can tell, teachers have been sensitive to her specific needs, and a counselor has worked with her when needed. She now lives in Spirituality House and adores her housemates. Her work-study with the United Methodist Archives on campus has been productive, and she is now a video editor for an on-campus organization. Drew offered a very competitive financial aid package, making her education at Drew affordable. Early in her time at Drew, the food was a concern. Drew has addressed those concerns and is actually working with Zoey to think of ways to offer more diverse foods (as Zoey and some of her friends are vegan).

Holly Atha
Parent of Haviland Atha-Simonton C’18

Theater Major
Columbus, OH
hollyannatha@yahoo.com

Haviland feels at home at Drew! She has met students with similar interests and values. Compared to other colleges where she was admitted, Drew stood out because of its caring, concerned and attentive faculty and staff. The Baldwin Honors and Civic Scholars programs are distinctive. The Library is fabulous and Haviland loves the small-town feel of Madison, while at the same time being a short train ride away from NYC. She enjoyed her first internship at a small not-for-profit arts organization in Brooklyn and is looking forward to her senior year at Drew.

David and Tracy Ferrara
Parents of Brittany C’17

Psychology Major
West Orange, NJ
taferrara5@aol.com

Brittany has several advisors and she is able to communicate openly with each one. They are easy to meet with and have given her a great amount of guidance, especially her senior year. She has enjoyed being an RA, and an admissions tour guide, and was selected as tour guide coordinator for her senior year. Drew is in a perfect location. New York is a train ride away and Morristown is minutes from campus with great shops and restaurants. Brittany is thriving at Drew. The classes are fantastic and she has great relationships with her professors. The students are very friendly and welcoming. Brittany is engaged and involved!

Mel Stein and Alice Salvo
Parents of Jenny Stein C’18

Calabasas, CA
as@salvolaw.com

Jenny is thriving at Drew. She is a Baldwin, Civic and RISE Science Scholar, is a Residence Assistant and is on the Swimming and Diving team. Drew has a very friendly atmosphere. The class sizes are small and the faculty/student ratio is great. Jenny has been on the Dean’s List and plans to continue her education with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Drew participates in the Landmark Conference and as the captain of the swim and diving teams, Jenny has broken 11 swimming and diving records. In February 2017, she was named Female Diver of the year for the Landmark Conference. She is the only Swimmer-Diver in the whole conference which consists of eight schools. Jenny earned gold medals in both the one meter and three meter diving competitions, which qualified her for the NCAA Regionals, where she broke the conference record and her own record on both boards. One the swimming side, she received two silver medals and one bronze medal. Jenny is succeeding at Drew as a scholar and an athlete.

Richard and Sharon Sutter
Parents of Charles C’16 and
Pearl C’18

International Relations Major (Charles)
Neuroscience Major (Pearl)
Windsor, MA
sasutter@verizon.net

Both of our children have had a positive experience at Drew. Each finds the availability of the faculty, availability of the many clubs and offerings, and support of fellow students satisfying. They are involved in Rugby, fencing, Hillel, Pre-Health Society, Residence Hall Association and tour guides. Charlie was enrolled in the London Semester and will be enrolled in the UN semester in the Fall, Pearl is thrilled with the neuroscience program and will be an intern in research this summer in the Summer Sciences Institute.

Jeff and Rachelle Kramer
Parents of Jonathan C’18 and Katherine C’12

Encino, CA
valleyvista@aol.com

Drew’s location was a big factor in my children’s decision. It stood out for us because of its educational programs. Drew was a great fit for both our children. Our daughter is an equestrian and really enjoyed the program at Drew.  She also stepped out of her comfort zone to involve herself in other activities at Drew.  Drew allowed her the feeling of freedom within a small community and surrounding community.  She also went into NYC for her internship in her senior year. For our son, Drew is allowing him to take risks by involving himself in many opportunities such as intramural rugby, jazz band, the radio station and many others. Who our daughter is, as a contributor to a workplace, can be attributed to her experiences at Drew. Our son, being a freshman, has taken charge of his life and his decisions. He is proud to be a part of Drew and has wonderful peers and professors to help guide his choices.

Maria and Paul Anan
Parents of Cara Anan C’17 and
Katrina Anan C’18 BA and 2019 MA

Cara – Major: English, and Minor in Leadership for Social Action and American Studies
Katrina – Major: English and Minor in American Studies
Woodbridge, NJ
ananpm@verizon.net

My children were accepted to over 20 schools between the both of them and Drew University was the best fit. It is the best kept hidden secret in the forest! From the moment they visited campus they knew it was a place they would be calling home for the next four to five years. At Drew you are not a number, you are a part of a family that teaches its students to become free-thinkers, successful citizens and independent adults.  Drew provides the tools and resources for students to obtain careers beyond the walls of learning.  Their highly-esteemed Professors get to know their students, help them recognize their strengths through one-on-one interaction. The campus is safe and secure. The surrounding community is an extension of the family-like atmosphere. Local community leaders are engaged in the student-body and offer a strong pool of diverse mentoring programs.   We first looked at Drew because of its softball program and rate of students who were accepted to Law School. Because of the extraordinary academic and professional opportunities offered, softball took a backseat to academics. The Masters program in Education is one of the top programs in the state; this is what attracted us to Drew for a second time.  Drew University breeds innovative, motivated and creative students. Having two children at Drew University is not only a dream come true for my children, but for us as parents.

Christie Burnett
Parent of Jordan Burnett C’19

Biochemistry and Microbiology Major
Prescott, Arizona
crburnett12@gmail.com

We are from Prescott, Arizona, at the edge of the Prescott National Forest, with Ponderosa Pines, a few small lakes, and a lot of sun. Jordan is studying Biochemistry and Microbiology with a minor in Dance and is a Baldwin Honors Scholar, a Civic Engagement Scholar as well as a Resident Advisor. She hopes to apply to medical school, and is currently interning with a local hospital, and she hopes to participate in research on campus this summer. She is a busy gal who has been to New Orleans with a group from campus to help with a Habitat for Humanity project and hopes to go to the Dominican Republic with Drew this summer. We are so happy that Jordan has been able to be a part of a welcoming and active community while she is so far from home while still experiencing a rigorous curriculum with academic and career building opportunities. When we visited Drew, Jordan had decided that she was going to attend school in California, but our visit changed that. Even on a very rainy day in April, Jordan immediately felt welcomed and at home. The communication with the University has been excellent, thorough, consistent, and personal. Jordan is able to reside in a safe community with parks nearby and places to shop if she needs personal items. She can also hop on a train to New York City to see a show or go ice skating, things we cannot easily do in rural Arizona. While Jordan looks forward to coming home to family, open sky, sun, and pine trees, she equally looks forward to going back “home” to Drew to see her friends, continue with her studies and interests, and experience the support of faculty and staff at Drew.

Bob and Tara Duffy
Parents of Katie Duffy C’20

Wayland, MA
Bob: rlduffyjr@gmail.com Tara: taraduffy@comcast.net  

Drew just felt right to Katie. An engaged faculty and close to the City were her primary reasons for attending Drew. A safe close-knit community were aspects about Drew that we, as parents, also liked. After only one semester Katie is so much more independent and happy. It feels like she has four private tutors instead of four teachers. The Drew Professors really care about her and how well she does academically. She has made many new friends and seems to have less time to talk to her parents. We miss her a lot, but we are so happy that she loves Drew.

Clara Cok-Duque and Andres Penate
Parents of Emilio Penate C’18

Biology Major
Colombia
eacpenate@msn.com

We are from Colombia, but we have lived with our children in many and cities around the world. Emilio declared his major in Biology and plans to attend Medical School. The faculty at Drew are not just among the best in their area of knowledge, but it is clear that they are passionate about teaching. Being a small liberal arts college has provided many opportunities for Emilio to shine. We have also seen that having a personal relationship with his teachers and coaches has boosted our son’s desire to prove himself and to be successful in both his academics and in fencing, which he started practicing at Drew. We have found that living on campus helps to be focused in what is important at this stage in his life, but being close to New York City and having access to everything it has to offer makes a big difference to him. Emilio doesn’t have much time left between studying and fencing, but if he chooses to visit a museum or attend a concert, he can be back in his dorm in less than an hour. The son we sent to Drew two and a half years ago, who had just turned eighteen has been able to take full advantage of that special atmosphere provided by Drew to become a focused, driven, mature, responsible young man full of desire to succeed and to take advantage of all the opportunities that his life brings.

Rich Tavani and Lisa Hibner
Parents of Rachel Tavani C’17

International Relations and French Major, Creative Writing Minor
Voorhees, NJ
tavani@bbs-law.com

Rachel selected Drew University because it is a great school at an affordable price. Rachel is a big fish in a small pond and gets one on one attention from her professors who provide guidance and comprehensive, impactful recommendations. She can take advantage of free tutoring through the Center of Academic Excellence and every professor has office hours allowing students to stop by and ask questions about the course materials. Drew’s close proximity to New York City is a key to the University’s success. Students have access to a number of Drew programs based in the city including the U.N. Semester, which Rachel participated in. She was also able to participate in programs in France, Ireland and Canada with Drew. In addition, Rachel has had the opportunity to take on a number of leadership positions at Drew which has led her to other opportunities outside the University; including working at a national political convention and organizing and leading service trips to Washington, DC and New Orleans. She has met former US Cabinet officials (including a former Secretary of Defense) and Diplomats participating in various events sponsored by the University.  Rachel’s experiences at Drew, including being a Resident Assistant for three years and Senator in the Student Government, have led to her early admission into the Teach for America program.  We are excited that she will start the program upon her graduation in May 2017.

Mike and Kathy Fouts
Parents of Davis Fouts C’19

Business Major
Coral Springs, Florida
michaelfouts@bellsouth.net

From our perspective as parents, Drew set itself apart in two primary ways, the first of which was a strong academic experience with a great reputation and brand, as well as excellent ties and networks to the community. Additionally, Drew really made us, and our son, feel like the most important people on campus when we were there. It was more than the typical recruiting or open house process, Drew really wanted us to be a part of the university. With a daughter at Arizona State University, our son was interested in a smaller, more intimate environment that provided the feel of a small school and town, yet with access to all the resources of a metropolitan area. It’s been a great fit from every perspective including academics and athletics.

As parents not within driving distance, Drew’s location stood out for two primary reasons. First, the relative proximity and easy access of a major airport has made travel to and from Drew very reasonable. Second, we felt like the New York/New Jersey metro areas provide excellent opportunities, post-graduation with strong economies and an above average placement rate for Drew graduates. The proximity to NYC and the intern programs available in the city are definitely a big advantage over other schools and locations. Drew has given our son the ability to live on his own in a safe environment on a beautiful campus, to play baseball at the collegiate level and to begin building a network of friends and teammates that will hopefully last his entire lifetime.

John and Merris Hanntz
Parents of Cole Hanntz C’20

International Business Major with a Minor in Asian Studies
Ringoes, NJ
samtalor@comcast.net

Cole was approached by more than 20 schools with interest in recruiting for their men’s basketball programs from all three divisional levels.  Cole quickly realized that his best fit overall was Drew University as the one institution that would allow him to grow not only as a collegiate athlete but also as an international scholar.

During one of Cole’s visits to The Forest, he spent some time with Professor Di Bai and, having studied Mandarin throughout high school, enjoyed a lengthy discussion in both English and Chinese with her, which really helped sealed the deal.  Cole knew he wanted to play basketball for Coach Darryl Keckler, but equally important was his need to advance his international profile.  As important as playing basketball was to Cole, he recognized that his future was something to be created and not merely counted on. Drew Athletics quite proudly and intently promotes and insists upon the academic achievement of its players above all.  After meeting with Coach Keckler, and his staff, we (Cole and his family) understood that the team’s core values were ‘in line’ with our family goals and the achievements we hoped for Cole would be foremost without question.

Drew’s location is another key factor in Cole’s decision to attend this university.  Located only 45 minutes from our home and quite literally about the same travel time to reach the heart of the NY financial district, one cannot ignore the convenience and literal value this campus’ location provide for business students.

As a Freshman, Cole is still learning about the many ideal opportunities provided to Drew’s student population.  In fact, one of Cole’s prior AAU basketball coaches is currently studying for his Master’s Degree as a commuter student at Drew.  To be able to connect the dots, to see the potential Drew has to offer to students of all ilk, is humbling and exciting.

Candace Roper
Parent of Liam Ryan C’20

Theater major & Music Minor
Lancaster, PA
ropercg@gmail.com

When we first visited Drew, I was immediately impressed with the beauty of the campus, the diversity of the student body and a very warm and welcoming reception, even before we arrived on campus. I work at a small liberal arts college and am fairly well versed in college life. Liam was more skeptical, as he was applying to conservatory programs and thought that was what he wanted. In the end, Drew made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he decided to accept and come to The Forest.

Liam’s experience as a first-year at Drew has been great. As a Baldwin Honors scholar, he has taken an honors colloquium and seminar. He is taking Italian and enjoying it. He has had the opportunity to be cast as an actor and assistant musical director in a student-produced musical, he has been able to take voice lessons, to sing with an a cappella group, as well as with the Chorale and the Choral Union. He also was a part of the January NYC Short Trec, where he and other students participated in a staged reading/singing workshop of a new musical, by theater chair Chris Ceraso, alongside accomplished and even famous professional actors. A fantastic experience!

Drew’s campus is very peaceful and safe, and is an easy ride to NYC from the walkable train station in the charming town of Madison.