Genevieve Joly was homeschooled until junior year when she wanted to experience a traditional school system. “My goal was to get a well-rounded education that would help inform my future decisions in terms of career paths,” said Genevieve. Her older brother had also attended Nashua Community College for his junior and senior year of high school, and had a good experience. He was able to transfer his credits to a four-year program after NCC.

Genevieve enrolled in the Early College program in 2015, a Dual Enrollment program that awards both high school and college credit for college courses taken on campus. She dove in to her studies, taking a variety of general education classes. “I took writing, history, psychology, and public speaking classes, along with a couple math classes.”

She also got over her fear of math.

“Math had always been absolutely terrifying to me and I always struggled to understand it. However, I started by taking a basic algebra class at NCC and finally found myself understanding and enjoying the topic. By the end of my time at NCC, I had taken statistics and trigonometry courses and passed both with A’s, which I was very proud of.”

Honors Program

 “I am a firm believer of seeking out any opportunity to learn more and the honors program was a perfect place to do that,” she said. While all NCC classes are designed to challenge students, the college has a selection of especially rigorous classes designated as “Honors” courses. Dual Enrollment students like Genevieve can choose to participate in honors studies along with matriculated NCC students.

“Additionally, Stephen Meidell, the Honor Program Coordinator, was such an incredible welcoming and supportive person. He convinced me to try new things and gave me the confidence to explore what I wanted to do.”


As she prepared to transfer her NCC credits to a four-year program, she chose Keene State College because of its reputation as a great teaching school, and its dance education program.

“While I was very nervous about the prospect of moving away from home and immersing myself in the college experience, I was fully supported along the way,” said Genevieve, adding that the transfer process itself was easy. “Stephen Meidell was incredible through the whole process and wrote a very nice recommendation letter for my applications.”

Bachelor’s Experience

“My four-year program at Keene State College was a bit of an adventure. When I was applying to colleges, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. In my mind, my entire career path was planned out for me,” she said. However, she found new interests along the way. “Within the first semester, I dropped my dance education major and picked up technical theatre instead. Then, a year later, I dropped my elementary education major and started studying geography instead. During this time and beyond, I got incredibly involved on campus, in clubs, jobs, and the honors program,” said Genevieve.
“While I definitely did not end up where I thought I would have, I have absolutely no regrets about how the process went.”

Master’s Program

 During her senior year at Keene State College, she realized she wanted to explore geography studies further. “While I am going for an M.S. in Geography, I will be focusing specifically on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This was a topic that I had taken several classes in and I knew I wanted to learn more about and focus on it as a career. My professors were incredibly supportive through the process and helped me narrow down my search for grad schools and ultimately make a decision.”

Career Goals

 “Ideally, I will be working in some GIS related field and doing something to help make a difference in the world. However, if my college experience has taught me anything, it is that I should not have any set assumptions,” she said. “Maybe I will end up getting my Ph.D. and stay in academia. As much as I like plans and want to have my whole life set, I am slowly learning to set plans but embrace changes to them.”

Advice for Prospective Students

 Above all else, she urged future students to ask questions, and seek help if they need it. “Professors, and often other students, want to help. People love answering questions and getting the chance to help others,” said Genevieve. “As I am now often in leadership positions and have the capacity to help others, I have come to realize how much I want others to ask because I want to be able to help.”

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