Hills graduate studying social work at Monmouth University

Brittany Macaluso is a Pascack Hills alumni of the Class of 2017 and is currently a student at Monmouth University. 

Macaluso%2C+fourth+from+the+left%2C+pictured+with+her+peers+and+former+senator+Lesniak+at+last+year%E2%80%99s+opioid+crisis+teach-in.+

Brittany Macaluso

Macaluso, fourth from the left, pictured with her peers and former senator Lesniak at last year’s opioid crisis teach-in.

Brittany Macaluso is a Pascack Hills alumni of the Class of 2017 and is currently a student at Monmouth University. 

While she was still a student at Hills, Macaluso was part of the cheerleading and golf teams. Golf coach, Ed Sandt, worked with her in and out of the classroom.

“I had Brittany as a junior in American Studies, and she was a member of the golf team also. Brittany was a bright, positive light in class –– always pleasant and always interested in what we were learning. She was mature, personable, and a hard worker. On the golf course, though a beginner, Brittany was the same as she was in class: always happy, smiling, enjoying herself and looking for ways to improve,” he said.

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A few deciding factors led Macaluso to make the decision to attend Monmouth.

“I first attended an info session at Hills. I really loved the location and the size of the school, so I took a visit to Monmouth and decided to go there,” she explained. 

Macaluso has a younger sister, Samantha, who is currently a junior at Hills. She agrees that Monmouth University was right for Brittany.

“I think [it] was a good choice for her because she didn’t seem to be interested in the other colleges like she was with Monmouth,” she said. 

Samantha also likes the location of Monmouth University because of the public places they spend time together in. 

“My favorite part about visiting Brittany at school is eating at the different restaurants in her area with her,” she commented. 

When Macaluso graduated from Hills, she had a different major in mind than what she is currently studying. 

“I originally decided to be a psychology major, but after I took an intro to social work class at Monmouth, I decided to switch my major,” Macaluso stated.

I originally decided to be a psychology major, but after I took an intro to social work class at Monmouth, I decided to switch my major. ”

— Brittany Macaluso

She also chose to switch majors because of the large number of different career opportunities in social work. 

“Internships and opportunities have helped solidify what I want to do,” Macaluso explained. 

In addition to the location and size of the school, Macaluso likes the class sizes at Monmouth.

“One of my favorite things about Monmouth is the small class sizes, which allow for amazing conversations in the classroom,” she said. 

Outside of the classroom, Macaluso is involved in a few clubs that relate to social work.

“I am the president of the social work society and the vice president of the Phi Alpha Honors Society. I am also involved in the Students for Systemic Change, which is a club where we make changes to the system of higher education,” she said. 

In these groups, Macaluso partakes in community service and brings in resources to educate others on different social problems. 

“Within those social workgroups, we engage in community service projects, and our main event is called a ‘teach-in’ where we shut down the school of social work for the day and bring professionals to talk about a current social issue that plagues the world,” she commented.

Monmouth University has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and wants to ensure the safety of their students while they learn.

“[There] have been outbreaks of Covid-19, but our university is doing everything we can to have in-person classes. After these outbreaks, they have made more space for testing,” she said. 

In order to prepare for her life after college, Macaluso has been working closely with different people on prison reforms.

“Right now, I intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office re-entry court in Camden where we work with people released from federal prison, help them on probation, and give them access to resources. I have also worked alongside former senator Raymond Lesniak with policies around prison reform,” she commented.

When Macaluso graduates from Monmouth, she has a plan in mind for her career. 

“I plan on working with people who were formerly incarcerated. I want to change policies alongside people who have been released from prison and work with them to implement programs into prisons,” she stated.