Q&A with Nicolina Barone ’25



Nicholas Baron

How did you become interested in pursuing a major in writing and rhetoric?

Writing and reading have been part of my identity since the earliest stages of my life. Words bring people together, connect us through our experiences, and allow us to understand that we are never truly alone in our thoughts and emotions. I always knew that my future career would involve working in the literary world.

Why did you choose to attend Pace?

I chose Pace because the MS in Publishing program was among the top five in the country at the time of my application and it seemed like the perfect way to get your foot in the door and learn more about a career in writing and editing. I plan to start the combined degree program this spring 2023 and graduate in 2024.

What have been your experiences with the Department of Writing and Cultural Studies? Have any faculty members been instrumental in your academic journey?

The benefit of being part of a small liberal arts college was that I could form lasting and impactful relationships with my professors, and I had so many positive experiences with those in the writing and studies department cultural.

The first professor I met who only reinforced the idea that I had chosen the right major was JoAnn Schlesinger. I took three classes with her at Pace, and we developed a bond outside of the classroom as well. One of my essays from her class won the writing award from the Writing and Cultural Studies department, and she gave feedback on the novel I hope to publish, which helped me win the Billie and Curtis Owens Fiction Prize for the first 25 pages of the novel.

Kate Mulhollem was also a fundamental faculty member during my time here at Pace. When I started working at the Learning Commons as a Writing Center consultant, Kate was my boss. She gave me the first job that really got me excited and interested. I loved watching the way she worked with students and the techniques she used to teach, and I really learned a lot from her and ways to implement it into my own tutoring sessions.

In addition, Dana Cadman has been another important faculty member, serving as an academic advisor to CHROMA, Pace’s literary and arts journal, of which I am president and editor. My goal has been to put CHROMA on the map and get everyone on campus to know about our club and want to get involved, and she helped me every step of the way, making sure we created an incredible and inclusive community of creatives on campus.

I also want to point out that Rob Mundy and Bette Kirschstein were also instrumental in my college journey in countless ways.

The benefit of being part of a small liberal arts college was that I could form lasting and impactful relationships with my professors, and I had so many positive experiences with those in the writing and studies department cultural.

You recently completed an internship at WebMD. What was your role and how was this experience for you?

My experience as a writing intern at Krames, a subsidiary of WebMD, was absolutely amazing, as it single-handedly sparked my interest in a career in medical writing and editing. My role was to edit health, wellness and medical content for tone, style, reading level and flow, as well as ensuring compliance with the client’s style guide. I also carefully checked content based on medical research against trusted sources and wrote original content for a range of topics, including patient education materials. It was an extremely gratifying experience to see the assignments I had worked on become publications.

What activities and organizations, if any, did you participate in as a student?

I’m the editor and president of CHROMA, Pace’s literary and arts magazine, having first worked as a poetry writer and editor. I also participated in the writing and editing of Pace Chronicle and HerCampus. Additionally, I am a mentor for Pforzheimer Honors College (where I also serve as secretary of the board), a participant in Setter’s Leadership Program and the National Society of Leadership and Success, and a writing center consultant for Learning Commons. Additionally, I am a college cancer advocate and helped organize Relay For Life last year.

Are there any challenges you have overcome that you are proud of and would like to share?

After two romantic relationships ended, I felt like I lost myself and who I was. Instead of letting the pain consume me, I used it as an engine to pursue the dream I had wanted to achieve all my life: to publish a book. I combined three years of writing to create a poetry book, Serendipity, and then self-published it on Amazon. I wrote, formatted, edited and published this book which has sold hundreds of copies. Upon release, it ranked in Amazon’s Top 30 New Releases in Poetry and Top 10 in the genre Death, Grief, and Loss. Publishing my book taught me that I can use pain as motivation to succeed, grow, and become a better version of myself. Not only did my book help me and my own healing process, but it was able to help so many other people who had gone through similar experiences. I even planned, hosted, and read pages from my book during a book signing at the Hug a Mug Café in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.

What would you like to do after graduation/what are your career goals?

I plan to start the five-year Masters in Publishing program this spring and eventually work as a medical writer or editor. I also plan to continue writing and publishing a romance novel.

What advice, if any, would you like to give to our current students?

Follow your passion and your dreams. Over the years, I have received quite a few comments about my choice of specialization, but that has never stopped me from pursuing my dream. Students must realize that a dream can only be achieved through perseverance in effort. We are in charge of our own lives, and if there’s one thing you can control, it’s how hard you work and how much you want to.


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