Saint Leo University 2010 Graduate, Lisa Esposito has been iNKED!

I remember first beginning my search for colleges as a senior in high school. Being from New Jersey, one of my major concerns was getting out of the cold weather and going some place warm. At the time that seemed to be all that mattered. I applied to tons of schools in Florida not knowing which one would be the best for me and praying that my hopes of getting out of the snow would become a possibility. During my giant tour of colleges, Saint Leo was the last stop and at that point I was exhausted and ready to go home. If it was not the insistence of my father, I probably would not have gone that day and my whole life would have been different.

Lisa Esposito (center) Graduated with B.A. 2010, Psychology Major, University Campus.

I stepped one foot on campus and knew I was at home. The tour guide made me feel like I was family and everything I saw and felt was exactly what I needed to start my college career. Now the scary part was making the 1000 mile trek and leaving everything and everyone I knew behind. The first night was the worst and I was second guessing my decision. How stupid could I have been to leave so much behind? I was all alone in a far off place with nothing by pictures of my family to comfort me but thanks to my freshman year roommate, Vanessa, I was able to let go off all of my hesitation and start enjoying what would be my home for the next four years. I felt comforted that most people were feeling the same way I was and I knew the adventure I was about to start I would not be taking alone.

But as soon as classes started, I once again was feeling that dread of maybe college was a mistake. I had five classes and when the syllabi started rolling in, the work load just seemed overwhelming. Those fears were all but erased when I met my advisor, Dr. Kevin Kieffer. Besides being an amazing advisor, he was also the teacher of the class that meant the most to me. He taught Interview and Counseling skills and one of the requirements was to have a mock interview with a client. I remember thinking that would be a breeze. What else have I spent the last four years studying? I could take anything the “client” had for me and went in with an overconfident attitude. Boy was I wrong. The required amount of time was about an hour, which ended up feeling like an eternity. I remember sitting in his office, my palms sweating, going over the tape and crying my eyes out. I felt like a failure and the four years of hard work towards becoming a psychologist was pointless.

I was defeated, especially in front of the one of the smartest teachers I know. Showing nothing but support, Dr. Kevin Kieffer took his time and showed me what I could have done differently and made sure I understood how I could do that. His unwavering support for me helped guide me through all four years and I knew felt once that he doubted the student I was.

All of my professors, including Dr. Danner, Prof. Cabot, Dr. Patrick Draves and Dr. Tammy Zacchilli, made me feel like that. I felt like a person and not just another number to them. I never hesitated to drop by their office at any time or email them with questions at 3 a.m., knowing I would get an answer back right away. 

I also was involved with several different student life activities, all of which put people into my life that helped me out tremendously. I participated in being an Orientation Leader for three years to help other freshman feel the warmth that I felt when I first arrived at Saint Leo. I still talk too many of those students to this day and they all have been such an inspiration for me. Just knowing I helped make the difference in one person’s life means the world to me. I stopped to think about the four years of growth I had when I was ending my senior year. I stepped onto campus as a shy person who did not know who I was or what I stood for. I did not even know what I wanted to do with my life!

After meeting all of the wonderful professors, staff, and students, I was able to understand who I was and be more confident in my work.

Currently, I am working towards my Master’s in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Psychology with the online program through Saint Leo University. The program adds convenience to my life and it is wonderful that the place that I called home for four years was able to further help me beyond campus. I work at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay in the 2-1-1 call center. My job covers everything from providing information to callers to crisis counseling in suicidal situation. I never know what to expect when I answer the phone but I feel that I am always prepared to do my job. To me, working with others and being able to provided them with help and hope is something that would never have happened without the guidance and support I had received from Saint Leo University.

The mission statement that I choose to live by parallels the mission statement that was taught to me for four years.

I make sure that each day I am blessed with; I make the most of it. I strive to do my best to help those around me to make sure everyone can reach their full potential and get the assistance that they need. I challenge myself to learn from my mistakes and others to be a person that others can view me as support, help, and comfort.

2010 Graduation

All of that was made possible with the loving and caring support of everyone I was lucky enough to have learned from, and met, at Saint Leo University.
Thank you!

Lisa Esposito is enrolled in Saint Leo University’s Center for Online Learning and anticipates graduating with a M.S. in Criminal Justice in 2013.


If you or know someone currently enrolled or alumni of Saint Leo University who has a positive story to share, please email Dr. Shannon Farris at 

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Posted on May 24, 2012, in iNKED and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

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