Pandemic-Era Guidance: Professor Ariel Gratch
Utica alumni reflect on the professors who made a lasting impact.
Throughout my years as a Utica student, I have changed my major twice and took many classes in different areas. From math to communications and media to liberal studies, I was able to put myself in the right classes along with some professors with whom I have worked closely outside of class. However, Communications and Media Professor Ariel Gratch has changed my life through class presentations and performances.
I had Professor Gratch for multiple classes, including Intro to Public Speaking, Topics in Communication Arts, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Storytelling, and Communication Theory. Intro to Public Speaking was the first class I had with Professor Gratch. I was able to practice giving speeches based on my personal interests. When the COVID pandemic hit, Professor Gratch’s classes transitioned to an online format, and I had many opportunities to use platforms like VoiceThread and Zoom for my performances and presentations, and I enjoyed learning this new way to be creative.
Not only did I work closely with Professor Gratch in office hours for class, but I also worked with him on my presentation for Utica’s Student Research Day. My presentation was focused on hobbies that help people reduce stress during tough times. Since I have had personal experience with stress, especially during the pandemic, I felt like my research presentation would help people in similar situations. Professor Gratch helped me make sure I had the right sources for my research.
I’m thankful for everything Professor Gratch has done for me inside and outside his class.
- Emmalyn Ylaya ’21; Boonville, NY
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