Just as Quoron Walker ’14 started his sophomore year in the University of Hartford’s Hillyer College, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. Determined to beat the disease and continue his studies, he sought guidance from his advisor, associate sociology professor Melinda Miceli whose father had just died from cancer. During Walker’s one and a half years of chemotherapy and treatment, Miceli was in regular contact with him and his mom. She would cheer him up and keep him updated on what was going on at the University.
“She really helped me through it and gave me a lot of advice from her personal experiences,” says Walker. When he was ready to come back from medical leave, Miceli had an academic plan in place and a group of faculty members ready to help him. With Miceli’s advice and support, he finished his second year at Hillyer College with a high grade point average.
“Getting to know Quoron and his mother and seeing him recover has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” says Miceli.
Not only did Miceli support Walker through a rough time, but she also guided him toward choosing the right major. When he entered college, Walker wanted to pursue a degree in psychology, but after taking several communication classes he began leaning toward journalism. So after earning his associate’s degree from Hillyer College, he entered the College of Arts and Sciences to pursue a double major in media and journalism and public relations and advertising in the University’s School of Communication.
That appears to have been a good choice. Right after graduation, Walker got a full-time job at the Hartford Courant as a writer mainly covering local stories for Manchester, Bolton, and South Windsor.
“Hillyer is a great place to figure out what you want to do and there are several resources to help you,” says Walker. “It is like a close-knit family and faculty really want you to succeed,” he adds.