Notable Alumni

Melissa A. Bonar

Melissa A. Bonar (2010)

Location:
Buffalo, NY
Program/Degree:
B.A., Adolescent Social Studies Education (5-12), M.S. Ed., Special Education (7-12)
Profession:
Special Education Consultant Teacher, STARS Program, City Honors School
Bio:

Soon after graduating with my master’s degree in special education in 2010, I was hired as a consultant Tteacher for the STARS (STudents with Autism Rising to Success) program at City Honors School in Buffalo, N.Y. This unique program provides students with autism a tailored instructional experience and support from a team of educators specializing in autism spectrum disorders.

Although sometimes challenging, I absolutely love my job and having the opportunity to help my students reach their fullest potential.

I can honestly say that much of my success as an educator can be attributed to Niagara University's College of Education. I was given the opportunity to gain valuable experience both in the classroom and the community and was surrounded by knowledgeable, compassionate faculty and staff that were genuinely concerned with my individual success.

While pursuing my master’s degree, I was also fortunate enough to be selected for a graduate assistantship position in the College of Education’s Institute of Applied Learning. Here, under the mentorship of the assistant dean, Mrs. Patricia Wrobel, I developed and co-taught the Transition Readiness for Employment in the Community (TREC) Program in partnership with Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. This program continues to provide job readiness and self-advocacy skills to adults with developmental disabilities and is one of my proudest achievements.

When I graduated, I was well prepared to begin the job hunt in a highly competitive market. The College of Education's dedication to constructivist practice and principles and its strong reputation amongst the educational community were both brought up in my interview and most certainly worked in my favor because I have now been working in my current position at a highly reputable school for almost three years. Not to mention, that many of my colleagues here at City Honors are also Niagara Univesity graduates!