Anthony Ruggiero ’17 ’19 immersed himself in his two passions while studying at SJC Brooklyn: history and education.
And now he has found early career successes immediately after graduation, including securing a job as a U.S. history teacher at St. Anges Academic High School in College Point, Queens; publishing an article about special education in the National Association for Special Education Teachers eJournal; and writing a book about former Queen Mary I of England.
“I had such an amazing experience at St. Joe’s,” said Ruggiero, who earned degrees in secondary education in history (B.A.) and childhood or adolescent special education, with an annotation in severe or multiple disabilities (M.A.). “A lot of my success — whether it has to do with writing or teaching — is because of St. Joe’s. I am really grateful. I hope anyone considering St. Joe’s goes because they will gain an amazing opportunity and experience.”
Publishing Special Education Research
Ruggiero published a paper called “The Curious Case of Fragile X Syndrome” in the August edition of the National Association for Special Education Teachers eJournal. He started researching Fragile X Syndrome while pursuing his master’s degree at St. Joseph’s.
Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes mild to severe intellectual disabilities. Ruggiero took an interest in Fragile X Syndrome, explaining that the practices teachers use to help students with this genetic condition could be used in a general education classroom, as well.
His article explored the prognosis of the condition and the best practices for teachers to use when working with a child with it.
“In my first year in the program, we looked at all of these different classifications in both their general forms, and then you get more specific, such as Fragile X Syndrome,” explained Ruggiero. “My hope for writing this research is for teachers who encounter Fragile X Syndrome to learn the best practices and ways to handle the exceptionality.”
Sarah Birch, Ph.D., an assistant professor and the director of the Master’s in Childhood and Adolescence Special Education program at SJC, said she and her department are delighted to hear Ruggiero is achieving such lofty accomplishments early in his career.
“Anthony was a dedicated and engaged student,” Dr. Birch said. “He was an active participant in class sessions and could always apply the material taught in class to his work as a teacher.”
Sharing His Love of Queen Mary
While completing his undergraduate degree at SJC Brooklyn, Ruggiero studied Queen Mary I of England — also known as Mary Tudor — for his senior thesis. Ruggiero took a deep look into her life, including her private life, her marriage and her reign as Queen.
Peter Maust, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, and Ruggiero’s thesis adviser at SJC, pushed him to keep diving more in-depth in his research. Ruggiero became more intrigued by Mary Tudor with every additional fact he learned about her — so much so, that he continued his research about her after graduation. He published a series of articles about her and received such great feedback that he decided to compile the articles into a book.
He self-published the 48-page book — “Mary Tudor: A Story of Triumph, Sorrow and Fire” — on Amazon last month. The book is available as an ebook and in paperback.
“It was one of my favorite projects to work on,” Ruggiero said. “It’s been a great experience. There’s so much that goes into writing a book. It’s a lot of work — it’s a lot of reading, a lot of editing, a lot of reviewing copyrights. But the other day I received the book, and it was so satisfying to get the physical book in my hands.”
Dr. Maust said he is proud of the way Ruggiero went above and beyond with his research.
“I served as Anthony’s adviser for his senior research project; that year he produced one of the best pieces of work in the department,” Dr. Maust said. “It was striking how dedicated he was to improve his work by revising, refining and expanding his essay, as well as doing additional research to add to his knowledge. Every draft he submitted showed more polish and detail.
He continued: “I remember thinking his dedication would serve him well in the future, and am very happy to hear that he is doing so well … I am grateful to have had him as a student.”