NEWBURGH - It was an exciting night for the 26 students recently inducted into Mount Saint Mary College’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society for adult students in higher education.
For husband and wife team Roberto and Iraida Ayala, who were born in Puerto Rico, the honor was even more special – Roberto is a first generation college student.
"I feel very proud of myself and Roberto," said Iraida. "Having two kids and being able to accomplish this is a dream for us."
Currently living in West Point, N.Y. the Ayalas are a United States Military family. Roberto is a Lt. First Class, and Iraida is a sergeant.
Both seek a bachelor’s in business administration. They plan to use their Mount degrees to further their military careers.
In addition to sharing the honor society induction, the Ayalas also have many of the same classes and professors. "They have different methods of teaching, so I learned from each one in different ways," said Iraida.
Roberto agreed. "Every professor made class special."
The minimum for admittance to the college’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda is a GPA of 3.2. Among the recent pool of candidates, GPAs ranged from 3.56 to 3.88.
"This is truly a stellar group of students," explained Karen W. Ulrich, the society’s advisor and assistant director of advisement for adult degree completion programs. "These adult students balance academic, professional and home life, children, and more, and still manage to get GPAs higher than 3.5. I couldn’t be prouder of them all."
In addition to the Ayalas, 2014 inductees were: Jacquelyn Augusto of Wallkill, N.Y.; Annemarie Collins of Wallkill, N.Y.; Domenico D’Amico of Middletown, N.Y.; Adam Hammel of Greenwood Lake, N.Y.; Lydia Hart of Cornwall, N.Y.; Courtney Horan of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Nicole Marc of Middletown, N.Y.; Elizabeth Monroe of New Windsor, N.Y.; Thomas Palermo of Newburgh, N.Y.; Elizabeth Quinones of Washingtonville, N.Y.; Breeanna Ramos of Newburgh, N.Y.; Paula Randolph of Middletown, N.Y.; Melissa Ricketts of Cold Spring, N.Y.; Gregory Roe of Newburgh, N.Y.; Melissa Ruaya of Highland, N.Y.; Zachary Ruckh of Newburgh, N.Y.; Devon Scalfari of Newburgh, N.Y.; Julann Schwarz-Cobb of Beacon, N.Y.; Whitney Shkreli of Newburgh, N.Y.; Chris Toscano of Newburgh, N.Y.; Jessica Tripaldi of Wallkill, N.Y.; Yamaris Vaillant of Newburgh, N.Y.; Diandria Williams of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; and Alicia Yonker of Napanoch, N.Y.
For adult students interested in starting or transferring credits towards a bachelor’s degree, Mount Saint Mary College offers programs in career-focused, in-demand fields that can help to advance career and earning potential.