In just his first year on campus, Andrae Beckford ’12 has made a mark as an Albertus Falcon — the 2008-2009 team won more games than any men’s basketball team in the past 13 years! “At one point, we were in a five-game winning streak,” says Andrae. “And when Coach Oliver said our team had done in months what others had taken years to do.... That’s something I’ll remember for a long time.”
An education major from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Andrae likes Albertus’ small size and credits his campus visit for helping him make the choice to attend. “When I sat in on classes during my visit, I could see how students get one-on-one attention from faculty, and I knew that would help me succeed.”
The Invitation to Insight course with Professor Deborah Frattini has been a highlight in Andrae’s first year. “We discuss what’s happening in the world and what’s good to know.” Andrae also enjoys class activities that expand on what can be found in textbooks. “The discussion on global warming got my attention. Now, I find I hear more about it in the news, including President Obama’s speeches. Before I took the Insight class, I just wasn’t as aware of what was going on as I am now.”
Communications professor Ron Waite is one of Andrae’s favorite faculty members at Albertus. “He brings such positive energy to class every day. He greets everyone by name at the door every day, too. He also starts and ends each class with a joke — and they’re all good ones. I wish I knew where he finds them!”
Andrae also appreciates how seriously Professor Waite takes the subject of communications. Assignments for public speaking have helped Andrae gain confidence with his ‘people’ skills. “We had to write and deliver a five-minute commencement speech for a university. Our goal was to get a major point across and make the audience feel some emotion.” Andrae acknowledges it was one of the hardest things he’s ever done, but he realizes he learned a lot — and says it was also the most fun he’s had in class.
Beyond the classroom, Andrae and his basketball teammates participate in community activities, such as a basketball camp for 8-to-16-year-olds at a New Haven church. They hope to offer basketball clinics to local elementary and middle schools in the future. Andrae also enjoys his teacher education experience in Wilbur Cross, since his goal is to teach in an urban school after playing basketball overseas for a few years following graduation.
Andrae and his Nilan Hall roommates also host get-togethers in their residence and can be found taking in movies and games of pool in the House of Bollstadt campus pub. They’re also getting to know New Haven by sampling Buffalo Wild Wings and other downtown restaurants, movies and nightspots, including 5Senses, Alchemy and Gotham Citi Café.
The small size and structured programs make Albertus a good fit for Andrae. Participating in sports and just saying ‘Hi’ to others in the cafeteria lunch line are ways he makes friends. “You can usually find as much to do as you want, because there are lots of functions on campus and we’re close to downtown for shopping and other activities,” says Andrae. He knows the personal attention of Albertus’ outstanding professors will help him succeed on campus and in life.