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SBU News > Academics > College of Arts & Sciences > SBUH Stroke Care, English Department Inspire Student to Get Her Master’s Degree

SBUH Stroke Care, English Department Inspire Student to Get Her Master’s Degree

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Kim Posillico celebrated earning her MA in English from Stony Brook University with her three children (from left) Joey, Arielle and Kaitlin.

On May 17, Kim Posillico proudly attended Stony Brook University Commencement to celebrate earning her Master of Arts in English.

Posillico started the program in January 2022. Only 11 months prior, she found herself on the way to Stony Brook University Hospital in the Stony Brook Mobile Stroke Unit after visiting the doctor with symptoms of her second stroke.

Upon arriving at Stony Brook, Posillico received care from neurologists and other specialists to aid in her recovery. One of the recommendations from her neurologists to help alleviate some of the lingering side effects from the stroke were to read and write. As an individual with a passion for lifelong learning, Posillico took this as a sign to enroll in a graduate English program at Stony Brook. This was always a pursuit that she was interested in, but the care she received from Stony Brook motivated her to take a big step and return to school for her degree.

Posillico sqThe Department of English provided a strong sense of community for Posillico. During her time in the graduate program, she was a member of the Graduate English Society, participated in the Graduate English Conference and was active in community events. Faculty and staff in the program were extremely supportive and were consistently encouraging as she pursued her degree. 

“Theresa Spadola was very reassuring and encouraging in every aspect from helping me get accepted into the grad program to sitting with me to ensure I was taking the right classes,” Posillico said.

Posillico was open about her story from the very first course she took, sharing with others about her recovery as assignments started to include public speaking elements in front of the class. The kindness demonstrated from not only her professors, but also other students in the class, made Posillico beyond grateful to be part of the Seawolf community.

“Dr. August has been supportive of me and every other grad student in the English department every time I see or talk to him,” she said. “I really want to thank Dr. Pfeiffer for helping me find the courage to get through classes in which I felt daunted or lacking in intelligence to my fellow students because of my situation. He really pushed me in my writing to create a thesis I am proud of.”

Her thesis focused on the work of Shakespeare, mainly her passion for Hamlet and Macbeth

Posillico is currently working as a technical editor and has aspirations of becoming an adjunct professor and sharing her passion for Shakespeare with others. She celebrated this incredible accomplishment at the Commencement ceremony with her parents and three very proud children. Posillico was overjoyed to share this with her family and demonstrate the importance of resilience as an example for her kids.

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