Catch her on stage at the Act 2 Theatre, or dressed up as Yoshi and hanging out with her fellow ‘Mario Party’ members in the costume competition at AMC’s legendary annual Halloween Dance. You’ll definitely find her in class for creative writing and all those other important courses.
Who? Victoria Gravina, of course! This member of the Class of 2011 from North Bellmore, Long Island, New York, double-majors in English/Creative Writing and Communications/Performance, which is where she feeds her love of acting. “I’ve grown so much as an actress since I’ve been at Albertus,” says Victoria. “Working under the direction of Professor Albert DeFabio has been an amazing experience, helping me discover the many ways I can become a character and portray that person to the audience.”
Drawn to Albertus for its professional community theater located on campus, Victoria has been impressed by the beauty of the surroundings, the great living environment in the residence halls, and the small class sizes. “Small classes allow you to get to know your professors, as well as the other students. It’s easy to build relationships, so you’re more comfortable sharing your opinions in class,” says Victoria. “I also like how the U-shaped layout of the classroom involves the teachers in the discussion. They don’t just dispense information from above.”
Favorite professors? Although she finds it hard to choose because “everyone wants you to succeed. They want to help you grow in your passion,” Victoria says she’s gained a lot from Professor DeFabio’s performance classes, as well as Professor Susan Cole’s class on the composing process for creative writing and Professor Deborah Frattini’s class in writing for the humanities. “I appreciate how Professor Cole gives honest feedback on our weekly writing assignments, and that she always offers encouragement for how we can improve. All of the professors care and are very enthusiastic about us as students. I have even exchanged e-mails with Professor Frattini and recommended movies, such as WALL-E, that I thought she would enjoy.”
Seeing how each person’s passion plays out is an enjoyable aspect of Victoria’s life at Albertus. Whether she’s meeting “intense and exceptional” artists, driven athletes, or others who are excited about their major fields, Victoria benefits from making new friends and encountering interesting personalities. In the beautiful campus surroundings and calm atmosphere at AMC, she finds a nice balance to the activity of classes and co-curriculars like movie nights, BINGO games, dances and campus festivals.
Performing on stage and landing her first speaking role as ‘Anybodys’ in West Side Story are some of Victoria’s most memorable experiences at Albertus. “It’s great to have the support of my roommate and friends who always come out to enjoy the show.” Victoria knows that competing with professional actors in this environment makes her a better performer and enhances her résumé.
“Albertus is a comfortable community,” says Victoria. “I don’t feel lost or intimidated, and it’s easy to develop friendships with lots of different, interesting and unique people. I love that it’s a small school with small class sizes. At Albertus, you know the professors care about you and want you to succeed.”