At a Glance

Year: ’24
Major: Bachelor of Liberal Arts, concentrations in education and psychology
Activities: Honors College, Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, study abroad

Liberal Arts BA

As a liberal arts major, you will design a personalized program of study in two disciplines, choosing from over 27 concentrations.

As an incoming first-year student in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Gabrielle Salvatore ’24 didn’t overthink it when she selected liberal arts as her major. The program offered flexibility, and she figured she could switch majors as she got more deeply into her courses if she wanted.

It turns out, the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (BLA) program was a great fit for Salvatore, who chose concentrations in education and psychology in preparation for a career as a teacher.  

“The longer I was in the program, the more it opened up my eyes to possibilities,” says Salvatore, a native of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. “There’s a million things I can do with my degree.”

Salvatore, an Honors College graduate, plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career teaching preschool or primary school.

Like so many others who started college during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Salvatore spent her first year as a River Hawk taking classes online and living at home. A self-described introvert, Salvatore initially found it hard to meet people when she moved to campus for her sophomore year. She joined the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and threw herself into its various community service and social activities.

“I never pictured myself joining a sorority, but it introduced me to people I otherwise wouldn’t have met. Being involved was an overall great experience,” she says.

As a sophomore, Salvatore, who added a Spanish minor, also participated in a two-week study abroad course in Cadiz, Spain. She loved the experience. When it came time for her BLA capstone project and honors project, she decided to do a deep dive into bilingual education. She researched the benefits and challenges and interviewed bilingual educators. Her work won high praise from Assoc. Prof. Adam Lerner, director of the BLA program.

Salvatore, who won the BLA Academic Excellence Award, says her concentrations in psychology and education provide a strong foundation for a career in early childhood education. In the immediate future, she wants to get some experience in the classroom and then apply to graduate school. She says she’s ready for whatever comes next.

“Working with younger kids, having a background in psychology and education is super-beneficial,” she says. “I feel prepared.”

Advice to her 18-year-old self

Gabrielle Salvatore.

“Looking back, I wish that when I came to campus sophomore year that I put myself out there more. I’d tell myself, ‘Go out and try to meet people. Get more involved in what’s happening on campus.’”