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2015 Graduates

2015 College of Liberal Arts Grads Share Advice, Job Landings


Today, 748 degrees will be awarded to College of Liberal Arts graduates from 17 states and the District of Columbia. Hidden in those numbers are the immeasurable successes and failures, professors and mentors, family and friends who helped along the way.

Before wishing our graduates a fond farewell, we asked them to take a look back at their time at Temple and to offer some advice to future Owls.

Here’s what they had to say …


Thomas CarneyThomas Carney
Major: Anthropology
Minor: History

What was your favorite moment at the College of Liberal Arts? At Temple?

“Taking History of Philadelphia as a CLA class through the History department. I learned so much about this great city from a cultural, religious, geographic, and historic background. It included field trips and Helen Heinz as an amazing professor.”


Nneka A. OkoyeNneka Okoye
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Pre-Medicine

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Have fun, but always be networking, working, and have a solid foundation so graduation is fun and not scary. Have positive company around you. Keep a good head on your shoulders.”


Mina YoussefMina Youssef
Major: Neuroscience

What are your plans for the future? Will any local companies benefit from your talents?

“You will never know your passion and interests until you immerse yourself in that discipline, and Temple University will allow you to do just that. Every single one of these opportunities have helped me secure a full-time job at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where I am able to further develop my professional skills while doing something that I love — to conduct research.”


Alaina McNaughtonAlaina McNaughton
Major: History
Minor: American Studies

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen? Perhaps something from a Cameron Crowe film?

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just … literally … twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”


Reginald Lamar Streater
Major: Political ScienceReginald Lamar Streater
Minor: African American Studies

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Try to grow and broaden your horizons. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you don’t know about the world and your fellow man and woman.”


Nicole Lea DiCrecchio
Nicole Lea DiCrecchioMajor: Psychology
Minor: Cognitive Neuroscience

What was your favorite moment at the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“My favorite moment at Temple was when I was able to travel across the country to Nashville, Tenn., to present a research poster that I had worked on during my internship. Temple made this experience possible by awarding me a travel grant, it is certainly something I will never forget.”


Gray Tennis Gray Tennis
Major: Sociology
Minor: Spanish

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Temple is what you make it. Reach out. Use the resources on offer. Join a club, a team, a group — whatever it may be. I used several connections with teachers to help find and leverage jobs outside of school. I know this may sound intimidating, especially if you’re shy, but if you reach out, you will be rewarded.” 


Kaila Imani Barnes  Kaila Imani Barnes
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Human Biology

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Do not slack off during your freshman year. Take the beginning of each semester to plan out how you will study for each class based upon its difficulty for you. It is so hard to get your GPA up if you don’t begin to do it during freshmen year.”


Melissa Sara TuckerMelissa Sara Tucker
Major: Psychology
Minor: Criminal Justice

What was your favorite moment in the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“In fall 2015, I am excited to begin working towards my Masters in Occupational Therapy. I couldn’t feel more prepared for graduate school, thanks to the well-rounded education I received during my time in CLA. Many times over the years, I had CLA professors mentor and guide me. I always got the feeling that these professors were truly invested in my future and wanted to see me succeed.”


Matthew BeckerMatt Becker
Major: Political Science
Minor: English

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Find your passion. It is more important than whatever entry level job you take after school. If your mind is active, it will change constantly even after you finish school.”


Luisa Pinto
Major: Double major psychology and professional studies-Spanish Luisa Pinto

What was your favorite moment in the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“My favorite moment? That’s hard to say when every semester was filled of amazing people and experiences.”


Atiya TuckerAtiya Tucker
Major: French & Spanish

What are exciting plans for the future? Any travel on the horizon?

“I currently work for Delta Air Lines at JFK airport in New York. As of Oct. 1, I will be teaching English (TAPIF) to high school students in Toulouse, France, for the 2015-2016 school year.”


James J WelcomeJames J Welcome
Major: Criminal Justice

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Always give your full effort. Whether you feel your classes are easy or you can shrug class because you are already doing do not become overconfident. Treat each class and assignment seriously, the habits you start with can determine your work ethic.”


Gianna Marie RossGianna Marie Ross
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Art History

What was your favorite moment in the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“All our professors come from such different backgrounds and have amazing tales of all they have done. Learning about them and helping them along the way are some of the most memorable times at Temple University”.


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Director of academic advising, Chris Wolfgang honored at basketball game

Last week at the TU men’s basketball game vs Lasalle director of Academic Advising, Chris Wolfgang was honored for his endless hours spent making sure that students succeed here at Temple and are on track to graduate. Chris Wolfgang is passionate about listening to students and working with them to achieve their dream of graduating from college. In his tenth year at Temple, Chris also serves as secretary for the University’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Learn more about Chris Wolfgang on the “Meeting the Student Services Staff” page.


Nadia Kravchenko

Obituary: Nadia Kravchenko, CLA Senior Administrative Specialist

Nadia Kravchenko, a 41-year employee at the College of Liberal Arts, lost her three-year battle with brain cancer on May 9, 2011. She was 63.

Nadia KravchenkoNadia began working for the College of Liberal Arts in the Academic Advising Center in 1969. She held several other positions through the years in American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Dean’s Office. Along the way, she earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies, graduating magna cum laude.

Nadia often talked about how Temple had changed over the years, but also how many important things were still the same. She could always be counted on to share her experience, warmth and wit, and her attention to detail helped many faculty members with their research and manuscript preparation. In the Dean’s Office Nadia managed the complexities of room scheduling and course evaluation preparation for departments – projects huge in scope and importance. She retired from her role as senior administrative specialist in September 2010.

Nadia was born in France to Ukranian émigrés after World War II. The Kravchenko family moved to Northeast Philadelphia when Nadia was 8 years old; she remained in the Northeast until shortly after her retirement.

Diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Nadia had only good things to say about her team of doctors at Temple University Hospital. During those three years, Nadia had countless treatments and appointments for tests and check-ups. Her bravery through it all was inspirational. She believed that laughter was the best medicine and was able to make jokes about things she used to remember “falling out the hole” in her head. Throughout her illness, Nadia’s primary concern was that she didn’t let anyone at Temple down, and that she continued to do a good job. Her dedication to her work was especially admirable and she will be missed.

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A memorial service and luncheon will be held on Friday, July 15th at 11:30 AM in the President’s Conference Center, 1810 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA. Please email Annette McMenamin Bakley by Wednesday July 6th if you plan to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the award established in Nadia’s name to support non-traditional students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Checks made payable to Temple University with “Nadia Kravchenko” in the memo line may be directed to the CLA Development Office in 1234 Anderson Hall.


Sustainability Logo

CLA appoints Sharon Smith to Sustainability Ambassador

The College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Sharon Smith, Administrator for the Criminal Justice, Political Science, and Sociology departments, as the College’s new Staff Sustainability Ambassador.

Together with the faculty Sustainability Ambassador, History Professor Drew Isenberg, Sharon will help coordinate the college’s efforts to foster an awareness of the impact all of us—students, faculty, and staff—have on the environment in both our academic, professional, and personal lives.

All of us can help make changes that will contribute to the College of Liberal Arts being more “green” and help us become more “sustainable.”

Sharon’s first request is for each of us to pause a moment to take the Sustainability Pledge! Let’s demonstrate to President Hart and the Temple community that the College of Liberal Arts is committed to live more sustainably.

Sharon’s office is 208 Gladfelter Hall. She can be reached at sasmith@temple.edu and (215) 204-7577 or (215) 204-7763. We encourage you to contact Sharon with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Please join us in welcoming Sharon to her new assignment as our Sustainability Ambassador.