“I can name all of my students. Every one I’ve ever had I remember.”
An impressive feat for an equally impressive member of the Chancellor University team, Maria Rapitis, who has worked for the school for almost nine years in the Admissions and Advising departments.
“Working here, we’re like family. You get to know and love your students,” said Maria. “It’s a proud moment to see them walk across the stage at graduation – like watching your own family.”
Family is a theme that runs throughout our conversation. Maria works diligently to forge strong connections to everyone here, particularly her students.
“It’s a great joy sharing our lives with our students and getting to be a part of their success,” she said. “When they succeed, we succeed. When I came to Chancellor, I loved it from day one. I picked up on everything fast and it became my baby and the students became my family.”
She added, “Students here are different. They’re very motivated and dedicated. They have obstacles that younger students fresh out of high school often don’t – they’re adults with families, jobs and limited time. They make the time and that’s not always easy to do.”
Maria, who is an avid arts fan and travel lover, speaks from a particular point of authority in the matter of time.
“Do what you really want to do now, because you don’t know what the future holds. Take opportunity when it arises.”
She herself has taken that mantra to heart, spending her free time traveling and immersing herself in the art world, while simultaneously working through traditional brick-and-mortar college and eventually obtaining a second degree online here at Chancellor, too.
Maria’s motivation to improve and help others do the same comes from a place close to her heart – her own family.
“I learned to do what I do from my mom. She had so many struggles and she could have been bitter but she wasn’t,” Maria said. “She taught me to help myself become better and stronger. Have confidence and stand taller. No one else can do it for you.”