Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Seniors reflect on Suffolk experience as graduation approaches

Courtesy of Julia Simone
Senior Julia Simone reports from the TD Garden as part of an internship at Channel 7.

As Suffolk University’s class of 2024 is looking forward to donning their caps and gowns and stepping into their future careers, many took a moment to reflect on their undergraduate experience at Suffolk.

Many seniors graduated high school in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, losing the opportunity for a traditional graduation and the chance to say goodbye after four years. For their Suffolk graduation, students are excited to step in front of friends and family to celebrate this occasion.

For Matthew Lee, a political science major and Student Government Association treasurer, starting college during a pandemic changed his whole approach to college.

“I think it made things more difficult in some regards, but I think it really changed the ways I interact with others. I was far more open to meeting new people, especially after all the online experiences, and I was also far more mindful of others,” said Lee.

Broadcast journalism major Payton Geraghty recounted some of the procedures the school had in place while she was living in the dorms.

“We were tested twice a week and quarantine restrictions were very strict. It was a bit hard to get used to remote and hybrid classes but I was able to still have a ‘normal’ college experience with two awesome roommates,” said Geraghty.

Suffolk’s extracurriculars are some of the most lasting influences for graduating seniors. As SGA treasurer, Lee helped fund 73 events and bring students together through these programs.

“Being able to just give to students aligned what I wanted from my life with what I was actually doing with my life, and that was a very gratifying experience I won’t ever forget,” said Lee.

Lee will continue this initiative of making these important changes at Columbia University, where he will be studying political analytics.

No amount of rehearsals could prepare English major Owen Byrnes to say goodbye to his time with the Performing Arts Department. Byrnes is a member of both Pasion Latina and the Union of Designers, Operators and Technicians, two groups that have shaped his college career.

“UDOT means everything to me. I truly owe just about everything to that group and being able to be their president this year has meant so much to me. I’m truly sad to say goodbye,” said Byrnes.

He also was able to bring his love of dance to a studio in Plymouth, where he will continue to teach after graduating.

As exciting as it will be to walk across the stage in May and celebrate their accomplishments, some students can’t help but feel bittersweet about saying goodbye to their department. 

For Natalie Gilbert, her time with the history department has changed a lot during those semesters. Gilbert, who majored in history, has seen the department’s presence on campus slowly dwindle in faculty and student engagement. Once its own department, history has merged with the languages and global culture department.

“The past few years have had a lot of staff turnover and a lot of staff retiring and that’s continuing to be a trend,” said Gilbert.

One of Gilbert’s favorite professors in the department, Patricia Reeve, who recently retired, stood as Gilbert’s guiding light to choosing Suffolk.

“When I came to tour Suffolk the summer before my senior year of high school, Pat Reeve had a very long conversation with me and really made me feel like I belonged in the department,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert hopes that her department is able to bring in more history professors who can do for the future of Suffolk students what the department did for her, fostering a love of history that will continue as she studies sustainable architecture at New York University.

“I would love to see the history department go back to its former glory,” said Gilbert.

Julia Simone, a broadcast journalism major, and Geraghty are saying goodbye to some of their fondest traditions. The two joined WSFR, Suffolk’s radio station, during their freshman year and started their own program “The PJ Show.” 

“We produce our own show from outlining it to on air — it is all us. We have been doing that show for four years straight, weekly, basically. I have loved that experience,” said Simone.

Julia Simone takes on TD Garden during her internship with Channel 7. Courtesy of Simone.

The two have gotten used to recapping sports and current events together.

“I have loved this live show and am grateful for the opportunity to practice some journalism there,” said Geraghty.

Simone and Geraghty have been going above and beyond since being at Suffolk, taking any opportunity to soak up all the opportunities the journalism department has to offer. 

These faculty interactions have been an extremely influential aspect of Simone’s time at Suffolk. 

“One professor that I had most semesters and will always be one of my favorite college professors is Professor Charlie St. Amand. He is one of the funniest people I know . . .I looked forward to going to his classes because it would always cheer up my mood if I was having a bad day.  Another professor that helped me during my early years at Suffolk and still does is Professor Micky Lee. She was a great teacher and always reaches out to me with opportunities for my career and internships which has been so helpful. He would joke around with students and was another professor who kept it light-hearted,” Simone said. “Dylan (Shue) taught Suffolk TV News and helped the class produce a newscast every week. His knowledge about producing is amazing and he is an executive producer at NBC.” 

Geraghty’s time working at Studio 73 will be an experience she will cherish as she pursues a career in broadcast journalism. She has gotten to work with NECN and Suffolk in the City because of this resource.

Simone has always dreamed of working with the Boston Bruins and other sports broadcasting in the city. After graduation she is staying in the area, hoping to continue the work she’s done with her time in Suffolk in the City and interning with the sports department at New England Sports Network.

“I have had a dream to work in hockey broadcasting or in the NHL since I was 10 years old. It has not waivered since … It is a tough industry to break into, but I am ready to hit the ground running as this is something I have always dreamed of,” said Simone.

With Suffolk’s Madrid campus closing out its final semester, students who participated in this study abroad track are sad to see the Madrid campus close. For political science major Jailene Colón, Suffolk Madrid stood out as one of her favorite things she did while in college.

“Seeing Suffolk Madrid close is also bittersweet … I loved the time I spent abroad. I made amazing new friends and have stories for the rest of my life,” said Colón.

Whether the senior class is looking for their first post-graduation jobs or onto earning their next degree, this time of their lives is full of new possibilities. The class of 2024 will carry the spirit and values they gathered at  Suffolk to wherever life leads them next.

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Julia Capraro
Julia Capraro, Digital Editor | she/her
Julia is a junior broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the Journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.
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