Student Stories

Our students miss the campus community, but they are adapting and supporting each other.

Check out their stories and see their remarkable resilience.

Leah Bower ’20
Master of Music Therapy

At the beginning of 2020, I started a full-time job as a music therapist for Connecticut Music Therapy Services. My work with CMTS has placed me in several school districts, care facilities, and homes throughout the Hartford area, providing an array of music therapy services. As I started this new position back in January, I never imagined how life would look now, almost five months later. Not only have I taken on this new professional position, I have done so during an international Pandemic. Before COVID-19, I was responsible for conducting sessions throughout the week with preschool, middle school, and high school classrooms, adults with intellectual disabilities, and teenagers with mental health needs. My work has continued with these populations but has taken on a new form because of certain restrictions and procedures. With the increased use of protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and online tele-therapy platforms, my work as a music therapist has evolved into something quite unique. Not only have I had the opportunity to engage in direct telehealth music therapy sessions through Zoom and other digital platforms, I have also been able to create and produce music therapy videos for local schools.


Annemarie Bednar


Annemarie Bednar ’20
Marketing Major, Finance and Business Administration Minors

“For me it’s a little bit tough because this is my last semester and I would rather enjoy conversations with my peers and professors in person. But the professors have been very helpful. I have found that they have been very generous with their time, offering up their help and their patience. They have also been very supportive of anybody who might need to talk things out during this time. So stay safe, and we’ll get through this together!”




Annie Kohutka


Annie Kohutka ’20
Nutrition and Dietetics Major

“The weather makes this online transition not as bad. But the hardest part about transitioning to online classes is not seeing my fellow nutrition classmates during this time. We just found out about our dietetic internship match day, and we had a 100% match! So we’ll all be moving on next year and completing a dietetic internship to become a registered dietician down the road. The hardest part about this is not being able to celebrate with each other and we are hopeful that we will be able to see each other soon to celebrate our accomplishments! Hope everybody else is doing well too!”




Jessica McHughJessica McHugh ’20
Chemistry Major, Track & Field Athlete

“I know it is a very interesting time right now in the world and it has been a very interesting transition from in person classes to online classes now. Especially being in the sciences. I really am getting through this because of how patient and helpful my professors are being, especially running these labs online as best as they can and trying to teach us these complex topics just through video calls. So I really appreciate that. Personally I’m doing alright with this. One thing that has really been helping me is just getting a more consistent running schedule that I can make on my own, since my season was cut short because of all this. Which at first was, again, an interesting transition, but I’ve been doing the best I can with this. I’ll try to switch up my runs, and the place I go just to try to keep some sort of normality in all of this. I hope you’re all doing well and we will get through this together!”



Joseph Billetta ‘22
Digital Communications Major

“While this time of pandemic has been really difficult for everyone with being socially distant from all of our friends and missing out on activities that we were looking forward to, the Immaculata staff and professors have been really working hard to help us integrate the course material to an online platform so that we can have an easy time adjusting to this new way of learning. While it’s been a rough time being away from my friends, and having to cancel activities planned for months, I think the IU professors have done a great job at integrating our course material to an online platform. I am able to work at a comfortable pace, while still getting a quality education. I’ve been taking this time of social distancing to work digitally with my voice teacher to improve upon different genres and techniques so that I can be prepared for upcoming auditions that will take place when life returns to normal. I’ve also been taking a lot of time to help out my Mom-Mom, so that she doesn’t have to leave the house and risk getting sick.”



Keani HindleKeani Hindle ’21
English with Secondary Education Major

“I’d say overall, online classes are going well. It was definitely a difficult adjustment at first moving from in-class to online. But I think with the help of Moodle classwork and the hard work of my professors, it’s really gotten better, it’s gotten easier to adjust. Granted, I’d much rather be in person with my classmates and interacting with my professors face to face. But I think we’ve been doing the best we can with what we have and I greatly appreciate that. I’m glad that we’re able to continue getting our education.”



Victoria FortunaVictoria Fortuna ‘20
Exercise Science Major with Pre-PT Track, Softball Athlete

“As a senior finishing the final few credits of my undergrad career, the transition to online classes was surprisingly seamless thanks to a lot of the professors at Immaculata utilizing the online resources the school provides. So that was really awesome. We’ve been using different apps like Zoom and Google Meet to stay connected and have class during the week and kind of get that little bit of human interaction that I’m sure a lot of us are missing. My professors and coaches have also been so helpful and understanding during this time. A lot of my professors have expressed multiple times that if we need anything from them or any resources to help us during this time, that they can provide them to us which has been really great to know. My coaches have been reaching out to me either through text or email pretty much every other day just to make sure that we’re doing okay, checking up on us, and offering a talk if we ever need to. Having my senior softball season get cut short is one of the hardest things I’ve been dealing with right now, but there is no way I would be getting through it without the help of my team. Besides that I’ve just been really enjoying the time with my family, staying active, and getting back into reading.”



Luke Biely


Luke Biely ’23
PK-4 Education Major

“While the online class situation isn’t exactly preferable for me or many of Immaculata’s other students and teachers, we all need to roll with the punches and stay optimistic. So far, my classes have all been going extremely well, and I commend all of my incredible teachers for easing students into this process and being very lenient with assignments and technical troubles.”





Kahleel Foster ’23

“Since isolation, my days have been pretty different. For the most part, I miss being in class. I miss physically seeing my teachers in the classroom. Being online has been a lot to adjust to. I miss being around my friends, I miss being on campus”

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