Student Spotlight: Dean Schirripa

December 22, 2022

Academic Spotlight – Saran Nurse“Transferring to Kean University was one of the best decisions I have ever made.” – Dean Schirripa 

Dean Schirripa arrived at Kean University in the Fall of 2021 as a transfer student. He took the initiative to compare different colleges and universities based on their curriculum, location, transfer equivalency and affordability. After further review, Dean decided to attend Kean because it was one of the first teaching colleges in New Jersey.

When he enrolled, he applied for scholarships and was fortunate to qualify for and receive The Harold B. and Dorothy A. Snyder Foundation scholarship which focuses on the fields of healthcare, education, social service and faith. “Kean afforded me the most flexibility with the highest access to quality education and I am thankful for the scholarship and the services provided for me,” said Dean.

When he enrolled at Kean, Dean made a promise to himself that he would find ways to push through the challenges he would face, especially since he would be balancing both work and school. He strategically scheduled his classes and balanced course options by levels of difficulty. For example, he does best when mixing freshman, sophomore and junior classes each semester so he can absorb the information more effectively while maintaining his GPA and easing mental fatigue. It’s a strategy that he’s found most helpful.

Dean has also learned to schedule his courses with breaks built into the days. Scheduling his courses in this manner has afforded him the time for self-care, study and even participate in some extracurricular activities. He has become involved in the Earth Science Club and hopes to join the ASL (American Sign Language) Club, as well as the Tomorrow’s Teachers Club for aspiring educators.

Dean has already taken courses in ASL and it has been an experience that has very much resonated with him. He has also enjoyed his psychology courses, particularly child psychology, and is considering taking a course in the psychology of learning. Since arriving at Kean, he has appreciated the passion and dedication each faculty member has for their subject. Dean has been amazed at how his professors have been able to formulate their subject and their ability to make the lessons and coursework relatable and exciting.

Ever since Dean’s initial campus tour, he has had a welcoming experience at Kean University. He noted that Dr. Kim-Le Downes’ transfer transitions course was incredibly helpful and both Drs. Barbara Lee and Joseph Sarnoski have been informative and accommodating. “They’ve helped to expand my perspective and thinking about different courses and have given me a stronger appreciation for a wide variety of disciplines,” said Dean.

With passion, dedication and a flexible mind, Dean hopes to continue to work toward his degree to become an educator and give back to his future students.