Olivia Harris

Special Education, M.S.

Hometown/ State:  Ellicottville, NY

Undergraduate Degree: Daemen College

High School:  Ellicottville Central School

Why did you choose Daemen College?

I was looking for a school that had small class sizes and a top-ranked education program.  After my Daemen tour, I absolutely fell in love.  Not only were my institution requirements met, but they were exceeded by the overall atmosphere of the campus.  There is such a sense of community at Daemen that I didn’t feel at other schools that I toured. 

When it came time to apply for graduate school, Daemen was my first choice.  Because of my experiences during undergrad, I knew that I wanted to stay and continue my education here.  I already made connections with all my professors and knew that I wanted to continue learning from them in the professional phase of the program.  

Why did you choose your present major?

I've always wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make an impact in people’s lives and the only way I knew how to do that was to become an educator.  I received a dual Bachelor’s in Childhood Education (1-6) and Special Education.  Prior to my student teaching experiences, the special education aspect of my program was just a requirement to me—I didn’t feel very connected to it.  All of that changed after my student teaching experience—it changed my life.  When it came time to apply for graduate school and chose and area of study, I knew I was going to continue my education in the special education.

Please describe your academic experience at Daemen College.

This program has provided me with countless in-class opportunities that have given me a firsthand look at what it really takes to be a teacher.  The graduate classes provide prospective teachers with an all-around education.  I've learned laws and regulations, how to write about and conduct educational research, and how to address and accommodate the various learning needs of diverse learners.

What is your favorite campus hangout? Why?

I love to be in the RIC.  The bridge area is my favorite place for a few reasons— it’s in the middle of the library with easy access to all areas, and the booths are comfortable for long homework sessions. 

What are your plans after graduation?

 After graduation, I will become a teacher and influence the lives of future collegiate students.