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WINTER 2013-2014
Class Years:
2007, 2008
Elementary Educa-
tion/Special Education (BA),
Childhood Literacy (MSE)
Corning, N.Y.
All in a Day's Work:
One of my favorite things to
teach is reading. I love seeing
the progress of students from
beginning to end when they
don't really understand the pho-
netic spelling of words and then
understanding all of the sounds
that correlate with these letters
and putting them together.
Claire (Collins) Dunham has wanted to be a
teacher since her first day of preschool.
She's now in her sixth year of teaching at South
Shore Elementary School in Crownsville, Md., and
loves the clean slate of each new school day.
"Every day is different. If yesterday was a little
more of a rough day, today is a completely new
day. The kids are always happy and excited to see
you, they're always excited to learn, and being
around kids really puts a smile on my face," said
Dunham has worked at the elementary school
-- part of Anne Arundel County Public School
System -- since graduation. Initially hired as a
special education teacher, Dunham has taught
second grade the past two years.
"You have students with special needs in your
classroom no matter what you teach, so having
that second certification, I feel, really helps me
meet the needs of all the students in my class,"
said Dunham.
A small SBU pennant is proudly at home in Dun-
ham's classroom, taking up residence on one wall
amid alphabet letters and classroom reminders.
Not that Dunham needs a daily reminder about
her alma mater. She feels a St. Bonaventure pres-
ence every day as she draws on her preparation
by the School of Education, particularly because
of the classroom experience.
When Mike Kaplan started his
biology studies, he expected to
go to medical school after gradu-
ation. His life took a turn, how-
ever, in his junior year when he
decided to minor in business ad-
He wondered if there was a
way to combine these disci-
plines, and was pleasantly sur-
prised to discover pharmaceutical
consulting. Now, as a scientific
analyst at a pharmaceutical
consulting company, Kaplan
looks at competitors' data and
positioning and also how his
company's drugs work in order
to communicate that to physi-
cians and payers.
Each facet of Kaplan's
Bonaventure experience has
lent him valuable skills that
have helped him to excel in his
professional life. His biology
major furnished a solid under-
standing of the medicines he
works with today, and his
minor in business administra-
tion allows him to communi-
cate effectively with
co-workers and clients.
Even his position as class
president his junior and senior
years exposed him to the kinds
of interactions he will en-
counter for the rest of his ca-
reer in business.
"I got to work closely with
the Board of Trustees on the
academic advisory commit-
tee," said Kaplan. "The type
of work that I do now and the
type of interaction I had are
very similar, especially being a
young person in business,
which is sometimes an intimi-
dating thing to come into."
Kaplan, like many others, be-
lieves that the small-school at-
mosphere at St. Bonaventure is
one of the main factors con-
tributing to his success in his
"At Bona's you get a lot of
individual attention," Kaplan
explains, "which means that
you don't get away with not
understanding a particular
topic, especially in biology."
At SBU, that isn't an option.
"You have labs of 16 people
and small lectures, and there-
fore the professors are going
to know if you don't have that
If you are the kind of person
who is willing to come here
and work hard ... there's no
way you will not leave here
better than when you came:
ready to go out and do great
things," he said.
"I had two different student teaching placements,
one in a primary grade and one in an intermediate
grade. And then we also had Field Block, where I
Class Year:
Business Administration
Cortland, N.Y.
Bona Bride:
In my freshman year I met my cur-
rent fiancée, who I plan to marry
in April with Fr. Francis (Di Spigno)
performing the ceremony. I be-
lieve that is the ultimate St.
Bonaventure testimonial.
had two additional place-
ments, plus all the hours of
tutoring and observation that
we did," said Dunham. "Your
first year of teaching is unlike
any other year, and it's defi-
nitely hard, but I think having
the various experiences with
so many different mentor
teachers in so many different
grades really gave me a big
umbrella of tools to use
once I had my own class-