The recent graduate was an integral part of a course aimed at leading students to find their strengths, resilience, and positivity.
Last summer, Keuka College offered a new, one-credit course for incoming students. As its title suggests, the month-long “KC 201 Survive or Thrive: Your College Experience” offered new students a simple choice—whether to simply survive college, or to thrive.
Led by Associate Professor of Child & Family Studies and Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Nicholas Koberstein, the course was delivered with the help of seven students who used a Field Period® internship to serve as teaching assistants (TAs) and mentors.
One of those students, Psychology major Jon Salotti ’21, sat down with Dr. Koberstein to discuss the course, what Jon gained from his role, and how the experience confirmed his career goals.
KEUKA COLLEGE: Knowing this course had never been delivered, how did you prepare?
Jon: Without any details, but knowing that any opportunity with Dr. Koberstein would be exciting, I said yes! I believe preparation isn’t nearly as important as committing your time and effort to the opportunity.
KC: What were some of your responsibilities?
Jon: I served as the Head TA, helped create the course content and activities for seven modules, and promoted ways on how to thrive in college.
Dr. Koberstein: Jon was a great leader and model for the TA team. We had this purposeful mission to help make sure these first-year students were welcomed to Keuka College in the right way.
KC: What else did you learn, and how did that help you in your classes?
Jon: I learned how to better apply what I’ve studied in the classroom, how to encourage student engagement and motivation, how to make learning a fun experience for life, and how to hone my leadership skills.
KC: Talk about a Field Period® highlight, and what you got out of it.
Jon: Field Period® provides the opportunity to make my knowledge worth something, and put that knowledge to good use. I was able to make a direct impact on the incoming students and that is the most gratifying feeling for me.
KC: What are your career plans, and did your Field Period® experience alter or reaffirm those plans?
Jon: After “Survive or Thrive,” I was addicted to that feeling of setting other students up for success. I wanted more, so Dr. Koberstein offered an opportunity to become a TA for his PSY101 course and curate my own course materials and reading. Having the experience of lecturing really etched out the trajectory of my career outlook. I hope to one day be teaching college students, conducting research, and assisting advisees as Dr. Koberstein has done for me.
Dr. Koberstein: Jon brought the best out in me, and really helped me thrive. His legacy at Keuka College shows us that it’s an easy thing to rest on your accomplishments, but the true measure of one’s worth is the impact you have on others.
As it did with Jon, Keuka College’s on-campus psychology program will provide you with a solid set of skills to apply across the field of human services. From general psychology to clinical practices, there are countless opportunities to make an impact on individuals and our society as a whole. Through Keuka College’s classroom theory and hands-on experience, you’ll be prepared for a variety of careers. Click here to learn more about Keuka College’s psychology program.
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