Leadership series brings high profile executives to campus


The College of Saint Elizabeth is intent on equipping students with both practical and theoretical knowledge. Most recently, CSE’s physician assistant (PA) program launched a lecture series titled “Coffee with the C-Suite.” These lectures, given by CSE’s clinical partners for the PA program, educated students, faculty and staff on what it takes to be a leader.

“Our hope is that students leave the talks with an understanding that success is achieved in a variety of ways. Each speaker has a similar story: No path is ever simple,” explains Lori Tarke, instructor and director of clinical sites for CSE’s physician assistant program. “Success takes hard work, resilience, perseverance, networking, asking for help, jumping at opportunities, risk taking and mentorship.”

To date, the series has featured presentations by Karen Graham, the chief operating officer for Summit Medical Group and Kevin Zealand, the chief executive officer of the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children in Newark, NJ. In the coming months, three more CEO’s from a variety of fields will speak at the College.

In addition to motivating students to achieve their goals, the series affords them the unique ability to network for internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. In fact, one student even earned the opportunity to interview for her dream job.

“I will never forget that moment. I tried to hold back my excitement, but I had the brightest smile on my face as I thanked her and everyone in the room,” says Linda Barria, ’21, who asked Graham for guidance in finding an internship. A few minutes into their conversation, Graham told Barria that she would set up an interview, but she had to earn the internship herself. Within one week of their conversation, Summit Medical Group requested an interview with Barria.

“This series very well may be a defining moment in some of our student’s lives,” says Tarke.


Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth 


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