Karolyn DeMarco is a positive light in the journey of success that her students take at Lackawanna College.

“By giving back to others and being there for people, I find myself happier and more at peace,” admitted the assistant professor and chair of the Academic Development Division at the college.

DeMarco instructs and supports students in developmental reading, writing, and math courses.

“Our students need someone to believe in them and that is one of my favorite parts of teaching. I teach content as well as basic skills to help students be proud of the work they complete. I hold each student to the standard that anything is possible as long as they try,” explains the professor. She is also an academic advisor; chair of the curriculum committee; and an active member of the faculty intervention team.

Having earned her bachelor’s degree in counseling and human services and a master’s degree in education from the University of Scranton, while raising her son, Ryan and daughter, Madelyn.

“It was a busy time to be finishing graduate school, but I knew it was worth it because of them. I always say that Ryan saved my life and Madelyn completed it. I would not be the person I am without them,” she noted.

DeMarco began as an adjunct at Lackawanna College in the education department and Dr. Sharon Nazarchuk, who saw in her what the young student could not at the time see in herself, telling her, “You will do amazing things one day.” She also has many co-workers who have become like family to her including Erica Barone Pricci, whose work ethic, knowledge, and dedication to the college are things that DeMarco has admired and aspired to achieve in her time at the college.

A positive attitude has brought DeMarco far in life. “I really try to see the good in people and situations., I try to stay in the moment and realize that it could always be worse. I have a genuine care for people and truly want the best for my students,” she noted.

Lately, the professor has been using the expression “one minute at a time” frequently as her daughter was recently diagnosed and struggles with the burden of managing several diseases. “It might sound like a silly motto, but it helps ease the worry of the big picture and realize that in the moment, we are okay, and we got this!” she explained

DeMarco’s father raised her to know that she was always loved to which she is forever thankful. Her sisters have become her biggest fans, always reminding her that she is doing a great job. In addition, her husband, mother-in-law, and sister- in-law welcomed her into their family and their traditions from the first day she met them. “Their love and support have been endless. I am so grateful,” she added.

She has been active in her school and home community as a volunteer coach for basketball and cheerleading; coordinator of the Roundball program in high school basketball; organizes a field trip for elementary students to visit Lackawanna; helps to raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes by organizing walks, including a 5k race next year.

DeMarco is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators, and will be a speaker at its conference in April of 2023. She was also chosen to be a speaker at the 2023 EMPOWER Women’s Leadership Conference.

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