We had the pleasure to interview Rebecca Newman, whom we expect to be graduating with honors from Pace University in December, to share with us her rich experience at college and words of wisdom to others!
Rebecca walked at graduation as a member of Pace University’s Class of 2020 in May, and she will officially finish in December. She was honored to be in the top of her graduating class, Magna Cum Laude. Her GPA is nearly perfect at 3.78.
Rebecca went to Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, NY, and has since attended Pace University in Pleasantville, NY.
Rebecca will be graduating with a major in Communications at the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, and she has a minor in Digital Marketing at the Lubin School of Business.
About choosing her major field of study she said, “I pursued it because I am interested in social media, digital media and web design and this program gave me the opportunity to gain skills in these areas. I also liked that the class sizes were on the smaller side and therefore Professors are more approachable.”
She appreciates Pace University especially for “the programs that they have to offer. I especially like my major’s department (Media, Communications, and Visual Arts (MCVA)). Career services at Pace is also great. I have made great relationships with faculty and staff at Pace.”
And because we all know that living with FD can present a host of challenges, we asked Rebecca if her university was able to offer her any accommodations so she could only worry about her exams (which is no small feat in itself!), and not have to worry about how her health might slow her down. “Pace gave me lots of accommodations to help me. Allowing me to use my notes during an exam whenever possible with the Professor, extra time for exams, take them in a separate location, can use a computer for the essay portion of the exam. I do not use scantron answer sheet for exams but that is an accommodation I can use (I answer right in the textbook), I use a reader for exams (get exams read aloud), use a calculator during math exams, breaks during class and exam time for hydration and circulation, extended time on exams in possible, use of a note taker and can take a culture class instead of a foreign language class (2 foreign language courses are required to graduate).”
Rebecca would advise others with FD who want to pursue a degree to “pick a major based on something you are really interested in. When I have taken classes in subjects that do not really appeal to me, it is a lot harder to focus and absorb the information than subjects I am very interested in.”
“…making my semester online-only, thanks to COVID, made it a little bit easier because I was only doing the classes in one setting and not going from place to place”
When asked how the COVID-19 pandemic affected her journey, she offered her wisdom and a silver lining. “The pandemic did impact my second to last semester. On the negative side, I miss seeing friends and professors and administrators who I have relationships with. I miss being on campus. But on the positive side, I was taking the most classes I had ever taken in one semester (5) and was on campus for 12 hours one day with 3 different classes that day. Two of my classes were at night and this was tiring to me. However, making my semester online-only, thanks to COVID, made it a little bit easier because I was only doing the classes in one setting and not going from place to place. Even though I prefer in person, making that particular schedule online-only actually helped me with the schedule I had. For the Fall semester, doing it online will allow me to take a NYC campus class that I would not have been able to attend in person based on timing and distance.”
From everyone here at the Dysautonomia Center, we would just like to say…
“Congratulations Rebecca! This is such a great achievement and we are very proud of you!“