Sarah Krusemark

BA in Psychology

Class of 2018

"It was important for me to do a fundraiser for the ACE Scholarship last year because it had such a huge impact on my academic career and progress.”





Why did you choose CUNY SPS?

I chose CUNY SPS because I was looking for a way to complete my degree while working full-time. I did not think attending face-to-face classes full-time would be possible, so I started investigating online programs. Even though I was looking at online options, I still wanted it to be a local school if possible, which is how I came across CUNY SPS. The lower cost of tuition was what put CUNY SPS over other programs that I was researching.

What most appealed to you about your CUNY SPS degree program?

The flexibility of online courses made it possible for me to continue working while going to school full-time. Without this opportunity, it would have taken me much longer to complete my degree.

How did you find your online/classroom interaction with other students?  With faculty?

The structure of online classes and the focus on peer learning makes it so that there is much more interaction between students than in a traditional classroom. While I typically learn better in a face-to-face environment, this did provide the opportunity to get a better understanding of how people interpret the same information in different ways.

What were some of the most defining aspects of your time at CUNY SPS?

I have two moments during my time as a student at CUNY SPS that really stand out. The first was the day I found out that I had received the ACE Scholarship.  At this time, I was in a very bad situation financially, and thought that I was going to have to take a break from school. I had less than $100 in my bank account. This program removed what I thought was going to be a huge roadblock for me.

The second was having the opportunity to interview Shaun King after my commencement ceremony. Shaun is someone I have looked up to and idolized for years. Having the chance to sit down with him one-to-one to discuss different topics was the opportunity of a lifetime for me, and something that I will be thankful for forever.

What is the most important thing you learned at CUNY SPS?

Honestly, I think the most important thing I took away from my undergraduate coursework is stronger written communication skills. I learned how to write in a variety of different ways for varied audiences, and I believe that skill has helped me out in many aspects of life.

How has your CUNY SPS degree influenced your current job, and your career overall?

My degree has not had much influence on my current job, but it has opened doors for me as far as continuing my education, and what that will mean for my future career. I am currently a graduate student at Hunter College in the Urban Policy & Leadership program where my focus is on criminal justice policy.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I currently work as an accommodations assistant here at CUNY SPS. The most rewarding part of my job is when I have the opportunity to work with students one-to-one. It is nice to see the students making progress throughout the semester. Seeing someone successfully complete a project that seemed impossible to them in week one is the best part.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I am not sure about what I see for myself in five years. My plan is to finish my current program in Spring 2020. From there, I think that I would either like to continue on to law school or get an MPA. However, if I come across the right position, I am also interested in entering the workforce with my Urban Policy degree. My long term goals center around working on a program to expand education access for people who have had involvement in the criminal justice system, specifically for people who have served time in prison.

How did the ACE Scholarship award and mentoring program impact you as a student, a professional, and a member of the CUNY SPS community?

I really enjoyed getting to meet the new students that I worked with during my time as an ACE Scholar. I can remember how lost and confused I felt when coming back to class, and I think having someone to reach out to who has gone through something similar can be beneficial. At times it can be intimidating to ask questions of different departments and administrators, but talking to a fellow student can make asking questions much easier.

Why was it important for you to fundraise for CUNY SPS Scholarships last year on #CUNYTuesday?

It was important for me to do a fundraiser for the ACE Scholarship last year because it had such a huge impact on my academic career and progress. I do not know what I would have done without the financial support of this scholarship, so I wanted to reach out to my network to see if I would be able to contribute to someone else having the opportunity to benefit from this program. I set out with a goal of $200, thinking even that would be a stretch. However, my fundraiser ended up with a grand total of $525. Combined with the 1:1 matching from our donor, my fundraiser helped add $1,050.00 to the ACE Scholarship fund. At the time, this was enough to cover about 3.7 credit hours for an undergraduate student.

This mentoring program helps boost new student retention, which is why it is so important beyond the scholarship aspect of it. When you are coming back to school as a working adult, it can often feel like you are on your own with nobody to turn to with questions. I think having peer support during this adjustment phase is important, and having support from someone who has been through the process can be a huge help. Returning school as an adult is a big decision, and successfully completing it is a team effort.

Outside the Classroom

Favorite sports? Favorite team?
Football: NCAA – Nebraska Huskers, NFL – Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite movie or TV show of all time?
Movie: Wizard of Oz
Show: I Love Lucy

Netflix, Hulu, Cable, all three, neither?

Favorite NYC attraction or cultural institution?
I am originally from Nebraska and I have lived in NYC for just over five years now. Whenever I have family members visiting the area, one of my favorite places to take them is Coney Island.

Favorite music artist/band?
Nine Inch Nails – by December, I will have seen them 20 times.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, none, all?
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Book or e-reader?  Favorite or most recent book you read?
I typically use an e-reader when commuting, but prefer physical books at home.

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