Interview date: December 6, 2015
Interviewee: Dana Mattia
Interviewer/Transcriber: Taryn O’Mara, Monmouth University Student
Born in Staten Island, New York and raised in Manalapan, New Jersey, Dana Mattia knew from a young age that she wanted to attend Monmouth University. Dana was raised in a close-knit Italian American family, and she recalls her childhood memories being filled with family and friends. Dana is a graduate of Freehold Township High School Class of 2012 where she was involved in cheerleading, cross-country and dance. As a young girl, Dana would frequently visit Monmouth as her older cousin played field hockey for the Hawks—from those early visits, Dana knew that Monmouth could be the perfect fit for her. When it came time to apply to college as a senior in high school, Dana applied to Farleigh Dickinson University, Stockton, Ramapo, Rowan, and Montclair- and, of course, Monmouth. She noted that as she visited each campus, none had the warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere like Monmouth did.
Dana’s love for Monmouth became even stronger when met the students and staff of the school and was introduced to the School of Education. As she became familiar with the educational opportunities that Monmouth has to offer she realized that she could have the chance to reach her potential and professionally develop toward a teaching job in special education across the elementary school setting. Over her years at Monmouth, Dana feels as if the School of Education has immensely challenged her and prepared her for life after college as she begins to look for a teaching job. The relationships Dana has made with both her professors and fellow peers through her education courses will be ones she will keep close to her heart.
Dana credits the friendships and experiences she had at Monmouth to her dorming on campus and meeting people in the residential buildings as a first year student. Freshman year, Dana lived in Mullaney Hall, while she lived in Spruce Hall as a sophomore. With the same girls she lived with sophomore year, she moved off campus her junior year and is still living with the same girls as a senior. She is embracing every last minute living with her friends before graduation. Dana makes it very clear that the friends she has made at Monmouth will remain life long friends; she even says her girl friends will be in her wedding one day. One of the things Dana will miss the most with her friends is the weekend hangout spots they frequented often throughout the years. Some local places Dana raves about are Amy’s, Brennan’s, Stinger’s and Jack’s—Dana’s favorite part about going out around Monmouth is all of the classmates and friends she runs into while out and about, which makes her feel welcomed and safe at all times. Dana knows that she made the right decision by going to Monmouth because feels that there is a strong sense of community across our small campus which she may not have had if she went to a bigger school.
Aside from classes and hanging out with her friends, Dana is very involved in extracurricular activities and clubs on campus as well. Dana belongs to two honor societies (Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Eta Sigma), the Student Activities Board (SAB), and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) club. Most recently, Dana has become involved in the “Alternative Break Program” here on campus. In January 2016, Dana will join ten other Monmouth students traveling to Haiti to build an orphanage and school for children living in poverty stricken areas. Dana expresses her thankfulness to be able to participate in this program and broaden her horizons.
In closing, Dana says that coming to Monmouth University has been one of the most beneficial choices of her life. She has been given so many opportunities to excel academically and socially as a student and has even had ample chances to give back to her community. Dana makes it clear that she plans to visit Monmouth often after graduation and get involved in alumni affairs.