Business student

“This place seems like the right choice”

A new explorer decorates her dorm room during move-in weekend last year. Learn about three new explorers who begin their journey in La Salle this fall.

Three new explorers explain why they chose La Salle and where their education may take them

At La Salle University, students turn their dreams into reality.

For the class of 2026, the journey has only just begun. This fall, students at all three colleges will begin laying the foundation for their careers, regardless of their program of study or career path.

Meet three students from La Salle’s new class of new students, who talk about why they knew La Salle was right for them.

Carissa Gabriel, ’26

Wanting to follow in her mother’s footsteps in a career in nursing, Carissa Gabriel sought a university that would provide her with the best academic and practical training. She began her college search by looking at a variety of institutions. Quickly, La Salle became the favourite.

Carissa Gabriel, '26
Carissa Gabriel, ’26

Choosing La Salle — with small class sizes, clinics starting in a student’s sophomore year, and a high first-time NCLEX pass rate — was an easy decision.

“This place seems like the right choice,” she said.

Gabriel, who will be commuting from his home in Philadelphia, received a community service scholarship. She sees it as a lifeline for herself and her single mother, Marie. Gabriel said La Salle’s admissions team and faculty in the Department of Nursing helped her through the admissions process, which made her job easier.

Gabriel intends to use his degree as the first step to becoming a women’s health nurse practitioner and midwife.

“After I graduate from La Salle, I plan to work as a nurse in a hospital in Philadelphia,” she said. “I would like to specialize in mother and baby, labor and delivery, or even trauma. And as a community service scholar at La Salle, I plan to use some of my resources to help with public health and reduce disparities in low-income communities like Philadelphia. I also hope to spend some time as a traveling nurse before returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.

John “Jake” Hallinan, ’26

For Jake Hallinan, choosing to major in accounting was a family prophecy – the Downingtown native’s parents work in the field. He made the decision to pursue studies at La Salle because of his practical faculty.

“When I visited different schools, I was really drawn to the values ​​and the strong sense of community at La Salle,” he added. “I plan to get involved in campus activities and recreational sports while here. I really look forward to being part of the La Salle community.

John
John “Jake” Hallinan, ’26

During a visit to campus, Hallinan was able to attend a class taught by C. Andrew “Andy” Lafond, DBA, CPA, associate professor of accounting. After speaking with Lafond after class, Hallinan felt this was the right place for him.

Hallinan will pursue the dual four-year program of a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration (BS/MBA). He said the ability to receive two degrees in four years was a major draw to the program, as well as La Salle’s reputation for helping students land high-quality internships and jobs in Philadelphia and beyond.

“I loved the small, interactive classes and how engaging the teaching was when I took it for a day,” he said. “My goals are to make the most of classroom training and internship opportunities over the next four years, so I am well prepared with the strong accounting and technical knowledge, as well as the communication and leadership skills needed to succeed in this profession.”

Karianie Burgos, ’26

Pursuing her studies close to home was a priority for Karianie Burgos. Originally from Philadelphia, Burgos is the guardian of her father, Arrian, as he battles muscular dystrophy. She also helps take care of her little sister. La Salle stood out when searching for a university because of its programs and location.

Karianie Burgos, '26
Karianie Burgos, ’26

Burgos will major in criminal justice and will also be part of the Academic Discovery Program (ADP), an admissions program that provides free support services to students who may qualify for academic assistance and meet a certain financial need test. .

“The ADP program has helped me a lot,” she says.

Burgos said the program has not only helped make college affordable, but will provide additional resources to help him succeed academically. Burgos was drawn to La Salle’s criminal justice program because she dreams of working in law enforcement and ultimately becoming a federal agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She said a friend recommended La Salle’s program to her, as they had already completed it.

Upon visiting, Burgos was immediately drawn to the campus community, and the criminal justice major had a lot to offer compared to other universities.

“I liked La Salle’s program much more,” she says.

—Meg Ryan