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Faces of New Paltz

Alyssa Stock, Secondary Education in Earth Science

Past Faces of New Paltz
Gary Harris
Stephen Kalogeras
Sociology/Theatre Arts

Hometown: Whippany, N.J.
Major: Secondary Education in Earth Science
Graduation Date: Spring 2015

  • Women’s Field Hockey
  • Sparta (athletic leadership club)
  • Geology Club

Why did you decide to attend New Paltz?
My New Paltz story is all about field hockey. I was a senior in high school, and there was a big field hockey festival in California, which is a big recruiting spot for colleges. All the college coaches had booths, and that’s where I met my coach, Shanna Vitale. Honestly, I hadn’t heard of New Paltz, but she got me more interested. She knew I wanted to study education, and New Paltz has a great education program. I did my overnight visit and met the girls on the team and really loved them. It’s just such a great environment. I said, “Yeah, this is where I’m going to go.”

What’s been your most memorable experience on the field hockey team?
Becoming back-to-back SUNYAC champions and being recognized as a threat on the national level has been the best experience. Our first conference title in 2012 was awesome. We had such a great season, with hardly any bumps in the road, and winning the SUNYAC Championship was just the icing on the cake. This past season, 2013, was the most rewarding one of my life. Unlike 2012, we had more than our fair share of heartbreaking losses to ranked teams, injuries, etc. Despite all the obstacles, we never gave up. We had a goal of becoming back-to-back SUNYAC Champions and we were willing to do whatever it took to achieve it. By the end of the season, we upset both Geneseo and Cortland and took home the SUNYAC crown for the second straight year. This whole journey has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

When did you get interested in earth science?
It started my first semester at New Paltz. I was making my class schedule and I was one of the last orientation groups, so registering for classes was tough because everything was taken. Physical geology was available, but I was really against it. I said, “What are we going to do? Learn about rocks?” But I ended up really loving it, and after I took that class, I decided that this is what I want to teach. I’ve loved every other geology course I’ve taken since then.

What’s next? Where do you see yourself in five years?
A big reason I want to be a teacher is so I can coach. Back in my hometown, we didn’t have field hockey programs for young kids – it only started in middle school. Every day, I get a stronger feeling that I want to go back to my town and start something. I can’t put into words how much I’ve learned about myself, about working with others, through a sport. I don’t ever see myself getting rid of field hockey.


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