For a restless dreamer like Elisabeth Cardiello, Wagner College turned out to be the perfect match.

"I never knew what I wanted to do 'when I grew up,'” she says. “So, at Wagner I got involved in everything — from Division I soccer to the Honors Program, and everything in between.”

Not only did Wagner allow her to fulfill long-held dreams, like studying in Italy on a DaVinci Society travel scholarship, but it also instilled new aspirations and opened new doors.

For example, the international business major recalls a unique undergraduate art course: an independent study entitled “Urban Landscapes,” created for her by her professor to allow her to sketch scenes from Wagner's campus and New York City. “Incorporating Manhattan into the framework of a class isn't uncommon,” she says, “and neither is finding a professor who's willing to fuel your passions.”

Professor Donald Crooks '69 M'72, director of graduate business programs, inspired her to take on another new challenge: becoming a member of the first class in Wagner's Accelerated MBA program, which takes freshly-minted bachelor's-degree graduates through a whirlwind year of management studies.

Today, she works in marketing for Protégé Partners LLC, a $3.4 billion asset-management firm in Manhattan, and is laying the foundation for an entrepreneurial venture of her own.

“Wagner's atmosphere motivates students to want to do more in their studies and in their lives,” says Cardiello, a member of the First Decade Society, Wagner's leadership giving group for young alumni. Cardiello also recently joined the board of the National Alumni Association.

“From graduating summa cum laude, to serving as president of ODK national leadership honor society, to starting a support fund to benefit the family of one of the 'Lost Boys' of Sudan, a friend and classmate, I always wanted to do more and give more.”

The First Decade Society

Alumni in their first 10 years out of college are eligible to join the First Decade Society. Members are recognized in the Wagner College Annual Report and invited to exclusive activities, including presidential receptions and alumni networking events. For more information, please contact Kristen Koehler, director of development, at 718-390-3304 or