Student Profiles - Selda Cavus

Graduate Student

Class: 2011 and 2015
Major: B.A. Elementary Education, pursing a master's degree in Language and Literacy, along with a Reading Specialist Certificate and an English as a Second Language (ESL) Certificate.
Lehighton, Pa

What are you currently getting your master’s degree in?
I am getting my master’s degree in Language and Literacy, along with a Reading Specialist Certificate and an English as a Second Language (ESL) Certificate.

What campus jobs do you currently hold?
As an undergrad, I was involved with the Students Helping Admissions Recruiting Program (SHARP) team as a tour guide for Millersville’s admissions for two years. Currently, I am a Graduate Assistant at admissions where I am a supervisor for the Millersville University Call Center.

What made you want to attend Millersville?
Ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I knew that Millersville University had an excellent reputation for knowledgeable professors and hands-on educational experiences. However, it was my mom that made me come here for a tour of the campus. As a rebellious 17 year old, I did not want to drive two hours with my mom and take the tour. Within the first five minutes of our campus tour though, I squeezed my mom’s arm and gave her a look of, “Okay…you were right.” I fell in love right away. I knew within five minutes of being in Millersville that this was where I was meant to be. That mindset has not changed, even after being here for four years.

Do you have a particular class and/ or professor that stand out in your mind?
The Philadelphia Urban Seminar with Dr. Timothy Mahoney and Dr. Marcia Nell was my favorite class. This class is designed to take education majors and plunge them into a Philadelphia classroom. Because of this class, I dove into an urban sixth grade classroom for two weeks where I assisted my cooperating teacher and students in their daily routine. It was the most rewarding teaching experience I’ve ever had in my life. The students were some of the most thoughtful and intellectual youth I’ve worked with. They taught me so many valuable life lessons that I’ll never forget.

What has been your favorite memory while at Millersville?My favorite memory of Millersville would have to be my entire freshman year. Freshman year was full of so many new experiences, feelings, opportunities and encounters. It was a time to meet new friends. It was a time to learn what “time management” really meant. It was a time that I was really able to figure out what was important to me. From the moment that freshman orientation started, I knew that my freshman year would be an experience that I’d never forget.

If you have completed an internship, how has this experience prepared you for the rest of your career?
Last semester I did my student teaching experience with fifth grade at Leola Elementary School. While I was there, I assisted my cooperating teacher in her classroom and had the opportunity to construct and teach my own lessons (math, science, social studies and language arts). My cooperating teacher had a hands-on approach and she allowed me to work with students and try different methods/strategies. Also, of her constructive advice and helpful nature, my student teaching experience has prepared me to be an effective and well-rounded educator.

Who do you look up to?
My parents. They came to the United States from Bulgaria about 22 years ago. They left behind their family, their careers and their belongings. They didn’t speak any English when they first came here. My parents made many sacrifices and worked extremely hard in order to provide for my brother and I. I look up to my parents so much. Their perseverance and humble attitude has driven me to be the very best I can be.

Where did you grow up?
My parents lived in Bulgaria, but wanted to live "The American Dream." They traveled to Austria, which is where I was born. When I was about 6 months old, my parents came to live in the United States. We lived in New York for a few months before settling down in Pennsylvania. My parents didn't speak any English, but my dad tried to find work so he could support our family. Our family friend owned a pizza restaurant near Stroudsburg, Pa., so my dad got a job there. When I was five, we moved to Lehighton, Pa., and my dad opened up his own restaurant (Sunny's Pizza).

Did you learn to speak the language growing up?
My family is actually Turkish, so most of my relatives live in Turkey. Turkish was my first language. When I was in pre-school, my teacher used to come over to our house and she would teach my mom and me English. I feel like I can relate so well to English Language Learners (ELL), because I was an ELL, which is why I want to get my ESL certificate.

Do you travel outside of the United States often?
Ever since we came to the U.S., my family tries to visit our relatives every year. My brother and I went to Turkey two years ago and my entire family went to Turkey and Bulgaria last summer.