Patricia “Trish” Feliciano

When Patricia “Trish” Feliciano, 51, graduated high school, she hoped to study architecture, but a car accident made it impossible to lean over a drafting table. Unsure about her future, she entered the workforce, first as a teller at People’s Bank and later at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, working as a Behavorial Health Specialist. While at Anthem, she decided to give college a try, enrolling part-time at Gateway’s Long Wharf campus. She graduated in 1999 with an associate degree in General Studies.

In 2010, she became a secretary in the University of New Haven’s Facilities Department and now serves as Facilities Coordinator. A member of the United Professional and Service Employees Union’s (UPSEU) Local #1222 Clerical Unit, she became active on the Unit’s Executive Board about six years ago and became its President in 2016. In that position, she represents the interests of about 50 UNH employees and has helped negotiate two contracts with the university. In January 2020, Trish enrolled at UNH to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, “for my own personal growth,” as she explains. “I always enjoyed learning, and I want to set a good example for my 13-year-old daughter Selena.” Her husband Enrique was supportive of her decision, and Trish was pleased to discover that UNH accepted all but six of her Gateway credits, meaning that she started as “almost a junior.”

‘I want to be a good example for my daughter.’

Patricia “Trish” Feliciano

Looking back at Gateway, where she majored in both General Studies and Gerontology and Therapeutic Recreation, Trish found attending school nights and intercessions while working full time at UNH convenient and affordable. “Honestly, community colleges are a great place to find yourself and earn credits you can transfer to a four-year program, like I did. I wish I hadn’t waited to go back to school!”

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