Learning Without Limits

by Gabrielle D'Amico

Communication studies major Sarah Matarella doesn’t limit her learning to the classroom.

Sarah Matarella rarely sits still. As an e-mentor, she helps first-year students get accustomed to college life. She’s an editor for The Beacon student newspaper and president of the dance team. 

“I have always wanted to get the most out of any opportunity,” says the senior from Hazleton, Pennsylvania. “If I’m passionate about it, I’m going to make it fit.” 

She started as a neuroscience major but switched to communication studies with concentrations in multimedia journalism, broadcast production and strategic communications. When she missed studying human behavior, she turned to Ed Schicatano, professor of psychology, for advice on how to incorporate a minor. Says Schicatano, “I try to understand how students perceive the world. Understanding how students think helps me to be a more effective teacher and mentor.”

The communication studies faculty are another great source of support. “They’re always there to listen,” says Matarella. For Mia Briceno, associate professor of communication studies, the encouragement doesn’t stop at her office door or the commencement stage. “We maintain and continue to build relationships across departments and after graduation. I think that’s super-special.”

Matarella gained practical experience with a variety of internships. She contributed to social media and project management for Socialocca marketing agency and researched member retention for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.

She works with clients, edits a newsletter and does social media for Wilkes University’s Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. For her work, Matarella was recognized as Intern of the Year at the Chamber’s Young Professionals Awards in September 2019. “I don’t like to limit myself.”

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