Meet Daniel Nester, Associate Professor of English

I sat down and had lunch with Daniel Nester, an Associate Professor in the English department, as well as coordinator of the new MFA program. I got to ask him a few questions about his life as a teacher and what he has accomplished throughout his life.

He told me he grew up in Maple Shade, New Jersey and completed his undergraduate degree at Rutgers-Camden University. He then continued on to get an MFA in poetry from New York University. Since then, Nester has published three collections including God Save My Queen: A Tribute, God Save my Queen: The Show Must Go On, and a poetry collection, The History of My World Tonight. His latest publication, How to Be Inappropriate, is a collection of humorous non-fiction.

Why did you choose to go into teaching?

Photo by Gregory Cherin

Daniel Nester: For the money. No, no, just kidding. I didn’t want to be a teacher at first, but I taught a class at a halfway house my super-senior year. I really loved it. I was teaching people who were transitioning from incarceration. I ran creative writing workshops there. Then when I got to NYU I taught at the Goldwater Hospital. Then I taught at The Lower East Side Needle Exchange. I don’t think I really taught “traditional” students until my last year of grad school when I taught a class at NYU. So by then, I was really interested in teaching non-traditional populations.

What did you want to do before that? Did you want to stick to writing?

DN: To be honest, I didn’t think I wanted to be a writer until I took a graduate class. I took a one-off graduate class at Rutgers-Camden. It was a poetry class with Afaa Weaver. I was really into it, really motivated. It was around then that I really took myself seriously as a writer. Before that, I don’t think I knew what it meant to really be a writer. I think I wanted to be an editor, but I’m not all that great at being an editor. I worked at a car wash for a long time. I think I just thought I would work there forever.

What did you do while you were on sabbatical?

DN: I wrote as much as I could. I stayed at home with my girls. I tried to rewrite this coming-of-age memoir. I wrote a lot of essays, articles, and even a few poems. I have a lot that just came out. I wrote about the Beach Boys that was in The New York Times. You wouldn’t expect it, but they’re overtly political. They do a lot of fundraisers for Republican candidates. I’m not like an arch-political person, but I thought it was a strange thing. I wrote about having small hands and feet. I wrote about my thyroid problem. I wrote one about The Doors. Jim Morrison in particular.

Somebody actually wrote about my writing. That really was wacky. I did The Memoir Office thing right out of the gates. I set up a desk in an art gallery in Troy and put up a sign that said “The Memoir Office” and people would come and talk to me. Or other people would just stare at me, like, what the hell is happening here?

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Meet Dr. Claudia Lingertat-Putnam, Associate Professor of Counseling and CSSA

Dr. Claudia Lingertat-Putnam is Associate Professor and Department Chair. Her department includes the Counseling and College Student Services Administration (CSSA) programs. If you are interested in pursuing a career in counseling or college student services, Dr. Lingertat-Putnam will be one of your professors, sharing her knowledge and experiences.

Dr. Lingertat-Putnam, originally from Chicago, has been teaching at Saint Rose since 2003. With nearly a decade of teaching experience here, she knows the Counseling and CSSA curricula well and offers a brief explanation of each program option:

CSSA students get a strong grounding in student development theory and what it’s like to work on today’s college campus as a student services professional; at the same time, our grad students are also taking counseling classes to increase their ability to effectively communicate with others.

Our School Counseling students are well prepared to work in rural, suburban and urban settings, with a special emphasis on advocacy and social justice issues facing school-aged children. School Counseling students are involved in service-learning projects that get them out into the field before their internships. Additionally, our expectation that School Counseling students intern at two different levels ensures a well-rounded experience for the students.

Our Mental Health Counseling students take concentration classes in substance abuse, interventions with children, family violence and more. Many classes include embedded field experiences to get students into the “real world” before their internships. Mental Health Counseling students complete 600 hours of clinical internship over the course of a year to intensify and deepen their clinical skills.

The admissions process for both programs is competitive and Dr. Lingertat-Putnam suggests that prospective students research the program and the field before applying. She recommends conducting information-gathering interviews with professionals in the field to get a good sense of which program is the best fit for you.

The application process includes a completed application form, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay and a resume. Applicants must also attend an admissions workshop, where they participate in an admissions interview with faculty and hear from a panel of current students to get their perspective on the program.

When reviewing applications, Dr. Lingertat-Putnam says she looks for certain qualities in potential students. “We are looking for applicants who have a clear sense of how our programs relate to their professional goals, who are motivated to engage in rigorous graduate study, and who present strong academic and interpersonal skills” she says.

Dr. Lingertat-Putnam has enjoyed watching the Counseling and CSSA programs grow over the past several years. “I enjoy watching the transition in my students from graduate student to professional, and I keep in touch with many alumni. It’s terrific to see that what we are doing is making a difference in communities around the state and country.”

Dr. Lingertat-Putnam also speaks highly of the campus community, noting Saint Rose’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. “I enjoy the diversity in my colleagues and among my students. Our classes are highly experiential, so students have many opportunities for self-awareness and growth in the program.”

You can read more about Dr. Lingertat-Putnam’s background and accomplishments here.

Are you interested in applying to the Counseling or CSSA programs? The Fall 2012 application deadline for both programs is April 1. Click here for more details about the Counseling admissions process and click here for details about the CSSA admissions process.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please call Graduate Admissions at 518-454-5143 or email grad@strose.edu.

Meet Dr. Andrew Shanock, Associate Professor of School Psychology!

Dr. Andrew Shanock is an Associate Professor of School Psychology at The College of Saint Rose, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom.  For those interested in pursuing a career in school psychology at Saint Rose, Dr. Shanock will be one of your professors, guiding you through the curriculum.

Dr. Shanock (far right) with a group of school psychology students at a NY Association of School Psychologists conference.

The School Psychology program at Saint Rose is a graduate program in which students earn a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology, which certifies them to work as school psychologists in school systems.

As part of the admission process, applicants must participate in scheduled group and individual interviews.  In those venues, Dr. Shanock suggests that applicants talk about more than their love for working with children.

“As a school psychologist, you should enjoy working with children. However, there is more to it than working with kids. Students should think about how they see themselves as advocates for children,” he notes.

The School Psychology program is an intensive full-time, three-year program incorporating a year-long internship experience. It is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.  Dr. Shanock enjoys that the faculty take a family approach to teaching. “We care about each student’s life. The curriculum is more than just academics,” he says. “We want to prepare students to be successful school psychologists, and work with their peers to address problems and accomplish their goals.”

Dr. Shanock has been teaching at Saint Rose since 2005 and views his teaching position as the greatest job he’s ever had. He cites how Saint Rose has been very supportive of his interest in cognitive assessment since joining the faculty. Dr. Shanock also appreciates the cross-functional cooperation between departments.

“The School Psychology faculty work with other departments, such as Special Education and Counseling, to strengthen the curriculum. By incorporating educational material from relevant departments, we make the School Psychology program applicable across different disciplines.” In fact, students not only take School Psychology courses, but also courses in Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education.

Are you interested in becoming a school psychologist? Learn more about the program and admission requirements here. You can also read more about Dr. Andrew Shanock’s background in school psychology here.

Leave a comment below with any questions about school psychology or share your experiences if you are currently a student in the program! We look forward to hearing from you!