Elena Dupaly: #CommunityCollegeBecause it makes a difference for people around the world

Stasia Lopez's picture

Elena Dupaly is working on her Associate Degree in Business at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), Boyce Campus. Currently, she is working on getting her online business, Mad About Jewelry, off the ground. 

Elena Dupaly: #CommunityCollegeBecause it makes a difference for people around the world

How did you choose your major in college? How did you choose CCAC? Did you have a mentor or person who helped guide you through that process? 

I chose my major, because I am trying to work on owning my own business making jewelry. I chose CCAC because I thought it was an opportunity to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life and save money. I would say my mom and dad and my family helped me get through this process. 

What student activities were you involved in, while attending college? Were you involved with any activities or work experience outside of school? Any advice for current students about getting involved to gain relevant skills and experience? 

I am president of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honors Society. PTK is a wonderful organization with opportunities to apply for scholarships, work on community projects, and get to know other students. To be a member, a student must have a 3.5 GPA and must have at least 12 CCAC credits taken. The invitation to join comes through the student’s email. I encourage students who receive this email to go ahead and join! Recently, I came back from the National Catalyst Convention in Denver, Colorado. It was a wonderful experience! The educational sessions were interesting, and the speakers were motivational and inspiring to hear. 

One activity that the Sigma Omicron Boyce Campus branch is working on is a professional clothes closet for students who may need professional clothes to wear on job interviews and on-the-job. Our goal for opening it is at the end of April. 

Elena Dupaly: #CommunityCollegeBecause it makes a difference for people around the world

What skills did you gain from being involved and/or working? 

The skills I have gained from being involved in PTK and, also, starting my business, have been time management and organizational skills. Also, communication skills have been extremely valuable during this time of virtual education. 

What special memories, if any, can you share from your time at CCAC? 

Going to campus for the first time after being virtual for a year was a thrilling experience where I finally felt like I was part of a community! Also, the PTK conventions that I attended in New Jersey and Colorado were so memorable! I was able to network with other members from all over the United States.

Elena Dupaly: #CommunityCollegeBecause it makes a difference for people around the world


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Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is Director of Student Life and Engagement at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), as well as an Instructor for a class on "The Job Search" at CCAC. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in 2013 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel, college to career topics and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando, precious daughter, Maya, and playful kitty-cat Zorro.