Alumni Profile: Ryan DiVita '11

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February 19, 2013

By Tricia Jetty '13

Whether he’s dominating the basketball court with his fellow alums, or rocking out to Third Eye Blind, Ryan DiVita ’11 will always fondly remember his time at Medaille. As a student, DiVita played on Medaille’s basketball team for two years, making close friendships that have lasted to this day.

Now a Special Education Teacher at Williamsville North, DiVita is prospering and able to do work that he loves. When reflecting back on how his success manifested, he points out that the experience he gained at Medaille helped him out immensely.

The dual certification that Medaille offered in social studies and special education initially is what appealed to him, but as time and his experience within Medaille’s program unfolded, his goals shifted slightly. He states that "I went into my student teaching placements thinking I wanted to be a social studies teacher, and left loving special ed. I was very lucky that the late Dr. Rusin of Williamsville was able to get me into a great placement at Williamsville East.”

DiVita also gives credit for his preparation to his mentor Dr. Jeff Faunce, saying that "he was very honest about the teaching profession and told us a lot of things we needed to hear, like contracts and how the union works. Most of those things you don't get to hear in a typical class.”

After graduating from Medaille, DiVita went on to further his education at UB, earning his master’s degree in Social Studies Adolescent Education in only three semesters. When asked what advice he would give to future graduates and incoming students within the education department, he says "when you are student teaching or subbing, treat it like it's a real job. People will notice your professionalism and respond to that.” In short, DiVita espouses "hard work and dedication," and his story is proof that these efforts really do pay off in the end.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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