Hello everyone! My name is Briana Freso, and I am a recent graduate of Teachers College with a Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. My degree will allow me to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist here in New York. I chose to be a Speech-Language Pathologist because I have always loved working with children. I wanted to do hands-on work that would have a permanent and meaningful impact on their lives. As a Guyanese-American, I have made it my passion to work with children from culturally diverse backgrounds to provide them with the best and most considerate care. Outside of being an SLP, I also have a line of natural hair and skin products. The journey to becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist has strengthened my skills as a business owner in countless ways. I am passionate about everything that I do, and look forward to the journey ahead!

The Digital File

This article is part of the TC Digital File, an ongoing series spotlighting the efforts of TC faculty members to adapt and enhance their teaching in a new era of remote learning.

Q: What have your classes been like online? What was the transition like?

I already had one online class this semester, so I was fairly adjusted to this distance learning experience. I am definitely an in-person learner. Being in an environment surrounded by my peers is most comfortable for me. At home, I set myself up to feel like I am in class. I think it helps me stay productive and allows me to remain focused. I also take a few minutes to review the lectures beforehand so that I am aware of what is going on before class starts.

Q: How are you staying connected with your professors? How are you staying connected with your classmates?

Email has been crucial at this time for interactions with my professors and peers. I appreciate that my professors have been very responsive and good at getting back to me in a timely manner. 

Q: Have there been any unexpected benefits or interesting experiences?

Surprisingly, I have been enjoying the online lectures through Zoom. It feels a bit more personable, which I did not expect. My professors have been establishing a new rapport with us and have taken the time to get to know more about us, as well.

[Read a story about how TC moved at warp speed to take its courses online. Now the College is redefining virtual instruction.]

Q: What should prospective students know about how to be successful in online learning, both generally and in the TC context specifically?

I think the best advice I would give to prospective students is to be as interactive as you can be. I believe that distance learning has the benefit of removing any hesitation or avoidance of social interaction. It lets you connect with your professors and higher-ups on a more level playing field, so to speak. I have gotten emails from my professors thanking me for being so engaged during the class throughout the chat. It’s important to remember that this is a new experience for them, as well. I think all students should be using this time to ask all the questions they were too hesitant to ask in class or simply never had the chance to!