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Hillyer Graduates Continue Their Story, Earning Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees

Success Stories

“We are a college that prides itself on creating an environment where both faculty and students can express their passions for learning.” That was the message David H. Goldenberg, dean of the University of Hartford’s Hillyer College, shared with our Class of 2018 during their Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20. “It is not written on the degree that you just received, but each parchment contains a very personal story – your story – that shares what you overcame to reach this moment.”

More than 130 students received their associate degrees during the ceremony and are now at the halfway mark toward their bachelor’s degrees. Several of the graduates received awards, including Alexandros Kyriakide for having the highest grade point average of the class. Kyriakides will pursue his bachelor’s degree in management at the University’s Barney School of Business.

Many of our former Hillyer students also received their bachelor’s degrees at Commencement, and we want to recognize them as well:

Dennis BiddyDennis Biddy A’16, ’18

Criminal Justice
College of Arts and Sciences

Biddy decided to come to the University of Hartford after his first visit. He said, “the diverse campus attracted me and made me feel comfortable.” He praised Hillyer for the small class environment, access to free tutors for every class, and for the faculty who helped him publish two of his poems. “Hillyer impacted my college career dramatically due to the opportunities it provided for me.” Biddy had an internship with the Hartford Police Department, learning detective skills in the Special Investigation Department (SID). He will complete his exams this summer in hopes of joining the Hartford or Boston Police Department.

“College is a reflection of the real world, and it is up to you to create the path to success that is best for you.”

Amara SteenburnAmara SteenbUrn A’16, ’18


Barney School of Business

Steenburn is a student who sought out opportunities from the very beginning. She ran Division I track and field, did short term study abroad trips to Hawaii and Paris, and completed three different internships at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Memorial Hospital, and the University’s Department of Athletics. Steenburn said her campus experience was “beyond amazing.” She described several of her professors as being her “parents away from home,” who helped her succeed academically, grow as a person, and “shoot for the stars.” She will enroll in the Barney School’s MBA program this fall while working at Tiffany & Co in its operations department.

“Take advantage of every opportunity college throws at you. Put yourself all in and have a ‘can-do’ attitude. The time goes much faster than your think – every moment counts.”

Megan LeeMegan Lee A’16, ’18

Physical Therapy

College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

Lee was looking for a campus that would make her feel comfortable and welcomed. “Hillyer opened doors for me. It built my confidence and has motivated me to be where I am now,” she said. In addition to being a tutor, student ambassador, and orientation leader, Lee took on multiple internships during her undergraduate career, including working as a medical assistant, physical therapy assistant, and data collector for cerebral palsy research. She is a past recipient of Hillyer’s Rising Star award, which is a recognition given to the Hillyer alum with the highest grade point average in the class. Lee has decided to take a year off to gain more field experience before attending medical school. She accepted a summer position as a medical assistant for a clinic in New York City will then work for La Prairie in Switzerland as a dermatologist assistant.

“You are more capable than you think. Utilize the many resources available to you and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.”