Student Success: Elaine Sorto-Justiniano
March 15, 2023
Meet Elaine Sorto-Justiniano, a first-generation Rhode Island Promise Scholar from Providence, RI; a soon-to-be Class of 2023 graduate; and the college's Student Government Director of Student Relations.
In her director's role, Elaine, 19, serves as the Student Representative on the Student and College Success committee, one of nine standing communities that falls under the leadership of CCRI's Faculty Senate.
In addition to her committee position, Elaine is also a part-time Student Ambassador – a role in which she helps conduct campus tours and assists at various campus events – and is a member of the President's Scholars, a select group of students that meet monthly with President Meghan Hughes to provide feedback on their personal experiences and present issues directly to the administration.
Among the many hats she wears as both a student and an advocate for fellow students, Elaine takes great pride in her role as Director of Student Relations. Her focus this semester is positioning the college's Student Government for future success through campus-wide outreach to boost participation and encourage current and new students to get involved.
In today's Student Success feature, we learn more about Elaine's plans beyond CCRI and the many benefits of joining Student Government.
What are you currently studying at CCRI?
I’m majoring in General Studies with a concentration in Psychology. It's been great studying at CCRI, and I've had some wonderful professors who have helped me discover my passion for Psychology.
I’m so excited to be graduating with the Class of 2023! As a first-generation college student, it's been difficult to get to this point, so I'm really looking forward to graduating with my friends and seeing all my hard work pay off.
What are your plans beyond CCRI?
I'm grateful to the Joint Admissions Agreement (JAA) program, which is allowing me to transfer to URI to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in the fall. After that, I want to attend Grad School to earn a degree in School Psychology. I've always had a strong desire to help people, and pursuing psychology is one of the ways I plan on giving back to my community.
Tell us about your role as the Director of Student Relations for CCRI’s Student Government and how does that role translate to the Faculty Senate?
As the Director of Student Relations for CCRI’s Student Government, my main responsibility is to advocate for the concerns and needs of students and student groups. One of the best ways to serve the student body is by listening to them, which is the main reason Student Government offers office hours for students to schedule a time to talk to a Student Government member and share ideas or offer feedback on their experiences at CCRI.
I have had a great experience serving as a Student Representative on the Student and College Success committee, which is one of the committees of the Faculty Senate. I've learned so much about the formulation of academic policies and their impacts on the greater student body. My role as a representative of the student body on the committee is to provide input to ensure that student concerns are being taken into account. Being a Student Representative is an extension of my role as Director of Student Relations, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.
Has it been increasingly more challenging to get students involved in Student Government since the pandemic?
When I first got involved with Student Government in the spring of last year, it was challenging to recruit students because many were struggling and didn't have the time to get involved. Since then, we've seen an increased interest in joining Student Government due to the Involvement Fair and other recruitment initiatives.
Most students might think that being part of Student Government is time-consuming, but we have various roles available to students, depending on how much they want to get involved. Currently, there are roles in Student Government that need to be filled and I encourage anyone interested in joining Student Government to apply to them.
What are some of the benefits of being involved in Student Government?
Joining Student Government has been an incredible experience for me. I've been able to grow as a person and develop my voice as a leader, which is something I didn't expect to accomplish when I initially joined. Being a part of Student Government has also given me the chance to meet so many passionate people who are dedicated to making a meaningful impact on the college community.
Overall, I think that being involved in Student Government is a great way to earn essential leadership experience and make a difference during your time as a student at CCRI.
Hughes announces departure
Dr. Meghan Hughes, the fifth overall and first female President of the Community College of Rhode Island since 2016, has announced she will step down from her position, effective August 31, 2023.
Student Success: Elaine Sorto-Justiniano
Student Government Director of Student Relations Elaine Sorto-Justiniano, a first-generation Rhode Island Promise Scholar from Providence, RI, is working to boost participation in Student Government.
CCRI sophomore and Providence, RI, resident Precious Lijofi, born and raised in Nigeria, has been named a 2023 New Century Transfer Scholar and will receive a $2,250 scholarship.
More for your money
In response to labor market needs, CCRI was recently approved by the Council on Postsecondary Education to add four new certificate and degree programs to its expansive list of academic programming.
A learning experience
CCRI's Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Laboratory has been granted full accreditation for its simulation program in the area of Teaching/Education by The Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Fall 2022 Dean's List
Students enrolled in a degree program who have completed 12 credits with a grade point average of 3.25 or higher this semester with no grade lower than “C” are eligible for this scholastic honor.
Putting students first
Jonathan Miller joins CCRI as the Dean of Student Engagement, where he will develop programs to improve the transition of students to and through CCRI with an emphasis on retention and graduation.
Tasked with providing a vibrant and engaging college and campus experience for all students, Providence's Taiwo Adefiyiju joins CCRI as the new Dean of Students.
Suspense is in the air
The CCRI Players return to the stage tomorrow in Providence with Deathtrap, a comedic thriller in which a struggling playwright wrestles with his moral compass when presented with a major opportunity.
CCRI receives a $400,000 grant from the Strada’s Employer and Community College Partnership Challenge to address emergent workforce training needs in the state’s oral healthcare sector.
In the limelight
After building his theater career as a director and actor, longtime CCRI professor Ted Clement has finally written his first play, which premiers this Thursday at the Bobby Hackett Theatre.
An enlightening experience
Technical Assistant Luis Paz recently spent a week in his home country of Guatemala with members of his church on a dental mission trip to educate youth on the importance of proper dental care.
Lightening the mood
In a departure from their usual adaptation of Shakespearean works, the CCRI Players are bringing levity to their 2022–23 season opener this Thursday with Clown Bar live from the Bobby Hackett Theatre.