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Letters from the Class of 2017

By Alexandra Gomes

In high school, I was voted “most likely to fall asleep in class” and “most likely to wander the halls.”

While my mother was not exactly thrilled by either of these superlatives, they were undeniably true.

I had never been a good student. In fact, my high school guidance counselor tried to steer me away from college, toward more “realistic” options.

However, on some level, I knew I wanted to pursue higher education. I knew I wanted more for myself. And so, I found myself at MassBay Community College, changing my major every semester and wasting precious time and money.

Eventually, I raised my GPA high enough to be able to apply to FSU. I applied, was accepted and transferred into FSU in the fall of 2013 as a secondary education major.

But I was still unsure about my major. I wasn’t enjoying my education classes, and I had no idea what one could do with an English major besides teach.

Until one fateful day near the end of my first year here. As I ate my lunch in the commuter caf, I came across The Gatepost – Framingham State’s student newspaper. I thought back to my high school career, to the one class I actually enjoyed and did well in – journalism.

And so one hot day in September 2014, I found myself in Desmond McCarthy’s office – the head of the English department and advisor to The Gatepost. He urged me to join the paper, and enroll in his Intro to Journalism class.

That Thursday, I walked into McCarthy 410 for the Prst time, and started the daunting, sleepless and ultimately fulfilling journey toward becoming a journalist.

But that journey would never have been possible without the incredible people I have met during my time here.

So thank you, to Kaila, Jimmy and Joe – the first editors to welcome me into the world of journalism, and who inspired me to produce awesome and ethical work.

Thank you to Sara and Brad, two great friends I made here in the office, for keeping me sane.

To Julia, my right hand woman through all of our years here and my biggest supporter – thank you for always being there, for always providing an ear to listen and a helping hand. I truly would not have made it through this last year without you.

To Cesareo, my successor and one of the best friends I’ve made here in the office – thank you for the endless support, for always being there and for the unmatched commitment you made to this paper. The Gatepost is in good hands, and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come.

To Brandon, who has been there since day one – none of this would have been possible without you, and your unconditional love and support. I owe it all to you.

And finally, to Desmond McCarthy, my professor, my mentor and my friend – you were one of the first people to believe in me. Thank you for never doubting me, always being real with me, and pushing me to do my best.

I did not just gain a degree here – I gained a family. And for that, I will always be grateful to Framingham State.

By Julia Sarcinelli

I started off college excited but unsure about what I wanted to do. When I began my freshman year, I was undeclared. But then my sophomore year – thanks to Desmond and Kaila – I joined The Gatepost and it has shaped my entire college experience.

Everyone, especially those on the newspaper my first year, taught me so much about what it means to be a reporter and to take pride in the work that I do.

To this year’s staff, I could not have asked for a better group of people to end my time here. Brittany and Cesareo, I am so grateful for everything you do and for always being there. Darian, you are one of my best friends and I am so happy we were able to get closer over the years.

So many people have helped me, but my time at The Gatepost would not have been the same without Alex. You are so talented, and ever since day one you inspired me to do my best. You put your all into everything you do, and you have always been there for me through late nights and purple energy drinks. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to be able to lean on these past three years.

Desmond – you were there to help me when I had no idea what I wanted to do. You guided me through difficult decisions, and your unwavering support has always been comforting to me. You helped me grow from someone who was afraid to speak up in class to being a leader, and for that I can’t thank you enough.

I would not be the person I am if I did not have such great friends who helped me grow. To Colleen, Michaela and Maggie, I do not know where I would be without you all. You were always there to help me and encouraged me to have confidence in myself. I am so happy that we have been able to grow over the years and I am incredibly proud to call you all my best friends.

Mom and Dad, I could not have asked for better parents. You supported me in all my decisions no matter what they were. Maria, I am so glad I was able to spend more time with you. Knowing you were only a phone call away if I needed a warm dinner, a ride to Target or a friend to lean on helped me so much. Anna, I will always consider you my first and best friend. You have always inspired me to do better than my best.

It may seem like these years went by fast, but I will never forget the memories and friends I have made that made my time at Framingham State truly unforgettable.

By Brittany Cormier

After four years at The Gatepost, each year I have watched the graduating seniors write their senior letters and talk about graduation. So, you would have thought that by now, I would know exactly what to say for my own. But the feeling of graduation is still so surreal that it still doesn’t even feel like today is the last day of classes.

The first thing that comes to mind is a quote that I once heard- “Do you ever wonder how different your life would be if one thing had never happened?” Many days I wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t choose to come to Framingham State to pursue a major in art with a concentration in graphic design.

I have been part of The Gatepost since my first week here as a first-year student. As a designer for The Gatepost I have not only made many great friendships but also a second family.

As a student leader on campus, I have been able to cultivate my passion for graphic design, as well as develop a devotion for being a mentor for other students. I have always believed that you should give back in honor of those that have helped you along the way. Being a Peer Mentor, Wet Feet Retreat and Black & Gold Beginnings Leader, Academic Success Peer Tutor, and Pelham Pals Mentor has taught me so much.

Stephanie, thank you for helping me discover both the change and impact that I can make as a graphic designer.

Ben, thank you for helping to shape me into the student leader that I am today. I will be forever grateful for those experiences.

Andrew, thank you for so many adventures & memories. I can’t wait to see what our future holds.

I am lucky to be part of a community that has not only given me endless opportunities to make myself successful, but also a support system of faculty members, students, and mentors that inspire and challenge me to create my best work. Although it is bittersweet to be leaving my “fRAMily,” I am looking forward to finding ways that I can empower others through design for social change. Interested in following my future endeavors? Check out my website at!

By Erin Fitzmaurice

Dear Framingham State,

My time here may have been short, but it has been magnificent.

As a transfer student I did not receive the full FSU experience that most students do, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In fact, it has even made me more proud to be a Ram. I have had to work tirelessly to be an active member of the FSU community. In addition to classes, work, and a half hour commute, I had to find a way to experience Framingham State and all it had to offer me.

The Gatepost has been one of the ways I accomplished this. There were many events I would have missed if it weren’t for the paper. The Gatepost has helped me overcome the commuter stereotype while also building my resume and portfolio for the future.

I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for the people I have met along the way. From Orientation tonow, this community introduced me to some of the most amazing friends, as well as brilliant studentsand professors.

Every day, I learn something new, not only in class but also by talking with the people around me. I am so happy that I ended up at a school with such a wide variety of cultures and life experiences. You have all been such an inspiration, and have pushed me to the best of my ability. I will forever be grateful to call this school my alma mater.

Thank you.

By Jesse Sannicandro

Framingham State University is the fourth school that I’ve gone to during the bumpy ride that was my collegiate career. Previously, I attended Emmanuel College, MassBay Community College, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

At FSU, I initially, I didn’t get involved in any clubs or extracurricular activities. I sang in the Framingham State Chorus for three semesters with the always funny Dr. Paul Ciennewa. Dr. Desmond McCarthy was my academic advisor when I first arrived, and has been a continued source of inspiration and encouragement throughout my time here. Although he would often encourage me to pursue a minor or concentration, against his better judgment, I decided against it. However, he did guide me towards an internship in professional writing at Career Services and Employer Relations, where I had the pleasure of working with Director Dawn Ross, not to mention Jill Gardosik, Sarah Falber, and Wendy Davis.

During my fnal semester, I finally wised up and started doing extracurricular activities.

I joined The Gatepost as a member of the news team, which was also advised by Dr. McCarthy, and it has been an absolute pleasure working with all of my wonderful newsboys.

Finally, I became involved with the student-run art and literary magazine, The Onyx. I was lucky enough to have my work included and to serve as treasurer under Editor-in-Chief, the indefatigable Emily Robinson.

Most importantly, I have to thank my parents, who have never wavered in their support of me.

By Molly Dubrowski

I have called Framingham State my home for four years. We have had some heartaches and some really good memories. I came into this school like every freshman with a determined mind. It was college – it’s scary. I didn’t know where I would fit in.

By the end of freshman year, I learned about CollegiateLink. It was a site where jobs on and off campus post when they are hiring. I saw a post about working at the Christa McAuliffe Center and being a fight director. I had no idea what I was in store for.

If you told me freshman year I would be flying missions full time and being a full-time student, then I would have said you are insane. This job has given me more than just a spot on a resume. They have shown me how to be human. I have messed up time and time again. I will admit that, but it was how I fixed the problem that made me a better person. I will be forever grateful for having the McAuliffe Center hire me.

I also want to thank my parents. Thanks, dad, for knowing I am stressed out and talking to me about the Yankees. Thanks, mom, for also picking up your phone. Finally, my friends whom I can text and say anything to, from fashion tips to where to go on Thursday nights. I would never have survived school without any of you beautiful human beings.

By Jennifer Holden

As my journey here at FSU ends, another chapter begins. My journey here has been filled with many opportunities and memories made. The friendships made, late nights in the library, O’Connell’s trips, and much more, will never be forgotten. I am forever grateful for the leadership opportunities I have had and the faculty that have been so supportive. I definitely will miss it here but am ready for the next chapter of my life. I would not have been able to make it through my college career without a select few: Professor Lynne, Hanna, Jessica, Maddie, Kaitlynn, Dawn Ross and Dr. Holloway. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have made it through these four years. You have helped me along my path here, pushed me

toward my goals, and made a huge difference in my life. Thank you for always being right there when I needed you! This is not goodbye – it is simply, “See you later”.

Congratulations Class of 2017! We made it! “Go forth and set the world on Pre. You can achieve anything you set your mind to! You are in control. You write your story.” Here’s to the end of My Framily chapter and the beginning of The After College Life.

By Annamarie Lapriore

FSU was small, close and comfortable. Like that extra hug you get from your parents when you fall off your bike. Well, let me tell you, during the last four years, I needed a lot of extra hugs.

Starting school undeclared was the first of many hardships. Everyone around me knew they wanted to be a teacher, a nurse or a fashion designer.

Dorming was the next unexpected issue – something I’m sure 90 percent of us can relate to. So to all the “mean girls” (and guys) coming into college on your high horse, sit down and be humble.

I began commuting and drove in for the last three years of college. Let me tell you, that isn’t easy either! Driving with one hand while the other is trying to open your breakfast burrito is something I have successfully accomplished. Oh, and walking up that hill! Commuters know the struggle. All these years and that hill hasn’t gotten any easier!

Time to find a job! Woah, where did the time go? Besides the growing pains, I am less than a month away and nothing short of ecstatic. Some people say these are the best years of your life. I am here to say the truth – it sucked! Studying material you don’t understand, dealing with bitter professors and eating ramen while pulling all-nighters for a midnight deadline!

But, I don’t regret any of it! I am proud to say I survived being a full-time student, working in retail, being a nanny, my internship AND keeping my sanity! I am also proud to be a Ram and to have been taught by some amazing professors! To my family, my friends and my girlfriend, thank you. Thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, and giving me some ice cream when I threatened to quit school. Without you, I might not be crossing this finish line.

By Amanda Lissner Bergquist

To my teachers who pushed me to do my best, I can not thank you enough. Just to name a few – Ira Silver, Kaan Argatan, Catherine Carter, Barbra Milot and Keri Straka.

To my support system, thank you for helping me along the way, I have become friends for life with the best people. BRF, DLD, AAD, BAS and DMB, I am lucky to have you all.

By Angela Wyman

I can’t believe that graduation is finally here! It took me a little longer to finish my degree as I was a transfer and non-traditional student, but the welcome I received from FSU faculty and staff made it all worthwhile! I’d especially like to thank Dr. Beckwitt and Dr. Shearman – both of whom went above and beyond helping me to find my niche, especially when my physical limitations made it seem like there was no place for me in Wildlife Biology as I was unable to manage actual fieldwork. Dr. Shearman was always available to give me encouragement when I faltered, even when it had nothing to do with her field of expertise, and Dr. Beckwitt showed me there were plenty of opportunities in Wildlife Biology that had nothing to do with fieldwork. To the current students, incoming freshmen and incoming transfer students, I’d just like to say don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you don’t think you can talk to your adviser, talk to your professors – it is often through them that you will find the best motivation to not give up following your dream and finding your true passion!


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