What would you do if you were rejected from your dream major—twice?
If you’re senior Lauren Dell’Arciprete, you create your own.
The Coatsville, Pennsylvania, native knew immediately she wanted to come to Towson University.
“I knew the second I stepped on campus that Towson was for me—I even came on a rainy day and still loved it.”
Working with a little boy with autism in high school sparked her interest in the occupational therapy field with the goal of working with individuals with autism. Students must apply to the major at TU, and on her first attempt, Dell’Arciprete was rejected.
She redoubled her efforts, focusing on her core classes and reapplied.
Dell’Arciprete was rejected again.
“I was devastated,” she recalled. “I didn’t know what to do. I was majoring in psychology while reapplying, and after serious thought, I added exercise science.”
She joined TU’s cheerleading squad, eventually becoming captain. She began working at the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism at TU’s Institute for Well-being as a peer mentor. She also joined the national honor societies of leadership and success and collegiate scholars as well as Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology. As a senior, she was elected homecoming queen.
That same year, she met Erin Campbell, an interdisciplinary studies major with an individually designed plan in disability studies.
Dell'Arciprete was inspired to try something similar.
She worked with the Interdisciplinary Studies program to define her area of study, ultimately creating a plan under the guidance of assistant professor Connie Anderson. Dell’Arciprete followed strict guidelines about the mandatory number of units and level of courses.
“I have been so impressed by Lauren Dell’Arciprete’s determination to draw from several fields of study and not be limited to the narrow perspectives of any one,” said Anderson. “She has created a unique program of study focused on supporting and advocating for people with a wide variety of disabling conditions. Lauren has had an extraordinary experience while at Towson University, and whatever organization she joins after graduation will benefit from her ability to integrate insights coming from multiple fields of study and her commitment to people with disabilities.”
Her major included an internship, and she spent two months in Rome at Mia Fratello é Figlio Unico (MFFU), working one-on-one with special needs children. The organization was so impressed that it offered her a job after graduation, and she has accepted conditionally.
Dell’Arciprete plans to earn her registered behavioral technologist certification before returning to Italy in 2019.
“I’ve got a lot on my plate, but I’m hungry for more,” she says. “I’m so excited for the future. TU has given me more than I ever could have imagined.”