Samantha Milano-Sumalinog ’16
What have you been up to since graduation?
After transferring to Montclair State University, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in May of 2018. I graduated with highest honors from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, in addition to being recognized as valedictorian of both of my majors. Furthermore, I presented my social science research at multiple academic conferences, spent time in the NEW Leadership Program through the Eagleton Institute, and interned at both the NYC Legal Aid Society and the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs at the United Nations. I also published my debut novel, a YA Science Fiction adventure story, and got married this past January.
What is one of your greatest achievements since graduation from MCC?
Since graduating, I have been blessed with many achievements, but the one of which I am most proud is that I received a full-tuition scholarship from Rutgers Law School, where I currently attend and am a member of the Minority Student Program (in addition to be a Class Representative in the International Law Society and the Women’s Law Forum).
What is your fondest memory of MCC?
My fondest memory of MCC was wandering around one autumn night on the grounds with my Chinese class. We were a very small class of just five people. It was a clear November night after we had gotten out of class, and we were walking around campus practicing our pronunciation. It was just such a lovely feeling of camaraderie and such a great exploration of the campus itself. It was the first moment I felt like I really belonged in college.
What was your favorite place on campus and why?
The College Center because of the energy. It was my favorite place to study because it was right in the middle of all the action, right near the food, and yet still quiet enough to focus on the work. It was a great place to people-watch, and there was always some event happening.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Professor Elliot Ramer. He cared so much about his students, assigned readings that were clearly explained yet challenged us to think, and class time was spent exploring through open discussion of topics. His methods helped us to think of language in a totally new way. Professor John Constantino, with his humor and thorough knowledge and unique lecture style, runs a close second.
If you could offer a current MCC student advice, what would it be?
I would say to use your time at MCC to really explore higher education and get to know yourself. This is your opportunity, not only to learn something new about the world, but to learn something new about YOUR world. Keep an open mind and try new things while you’re here.
Why was going to MCC the right decision for you?
I went to MCC after almost five years of a gap between high school and college. MCC gave me the chance to get my head on straight after I made the decision to finally attend college, and helped me to focus on my future and decide on career interests. When I started at MCC, I said I was going to be a translator when I graduated college. But while at MCC, the guidance I received and the things I learned turned me to law and politics, which I had never been interested in before. MCC also helped me learn how to be a good student, something I never was before. It taught me study skills and gave me the tools for success that enabled me to be a straight-A student in my undergrad and eventually a merit-scholarship law student. MCC gave me an experience I know I could not have gotten anywhere else.