Young Alumnae Panel
Lindsey Skerker

On Wednesday evening, May 22nd, we welcomed five Purnellians back to campus for the Young Alumnae Panel.

The event was for a special evening for members of the senior class to learn more about college and post-graduate life as alumnae. Emma Chabot '14 is a recent graduate from Dean College in Franklin, MA. She earned an associate degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor's degree in Family and Childhood Studies with a minor in Sociology. She will be starting her first full-time job in a few weeks. Karlie Miscia '16 finished her junior year at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. She recently returned from studying abroad in Florence, Italy. She is majoring in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Communications. Samantha Sivolella '16 finished her junior year at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. She is studying to become a Dance Therapist and served as a Residential Advisor. Julia Winne '16 spent her first two years of college at the University of Wisconsin before transferring to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She is a Fashion Design Major with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. Brianna Coble '18 is a singer/songwriter who recently completed her first year at the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT. She is studying to pursue a career in the music industry.

Young Alumnae Panel

While enjoying dinner and dessert, the panelists shared many thoughts on college academics, support services, and social outlets. They encouraged the current seniors to take advantage of all that their campus has to offer. They spoke about the benefits of utilizing their school's writing centers, tutoring centers, career centers, and more. The panelists were adamant with the seniors about advocating for themselves, and they reminded the group that asking for help and seeking out professionals on campus is a sign of strength and success. They encouraged the seniors to form good study habits. Study Hall occurs each weeknight at Purnell, and many of the alumnae still stick to the same type of studying schedule that they learned at Purnell by going to their campus library each night to complete their homework. The panelists also shared some advice about how to stay organized and how to manage their time effectively between schoolwork, on-campus jobs, and activities. They reassured the seniors that once they get to their college campus in the fall as first-years, everyone will be in the same position as new students. They said that with every college campus, there is a learning curve and an adjustment period, but by taking advantage of student support services, spending time in office hours, and meeting with professors and advisors, adjustment to college work will happen accordingly. The alumnae strongly encouraged the seniors to try new things on campus, like taking an interesting course or trying a new activity, and to open themselves up to the possibility of new life experiences, like studying abroad or working at an on-campus job.

The five panelists were very grateful for their time at Purnell and for the foundational education they received for college during their high school years. Purnell's boarding environment acted as great preparation for the panelists. They commended the high school boarding experience because it gave them the skills to live independently away from home. The five alumnae overall felt much more prepared than their college peers with being able to manage their newfound freedom and responsibility once they began classes as first-years. Two panelists served as Residential Advisors on their respective college campuses, and they attributed their success in that role to their time as Floor Leaders at Purnell. The evening concluded with final words of wisdom, and the alumnae and seniors traded contact information to stay in touch. It was a fantastic evening to help foster future connections, and we hope to continue this tradition for years to come.