From Fear to Leadership

When Steve Carella entered Nichols College in the fall of 2008, he was overcome with fear, he says. Much has changed since then. His almost perfect grade point average as a double major in Finance and Accounting earned him the honor of Class of ’12 valedictorian.

In his valedictorian speech, Carella admitted, “I used to be afraid of change, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of losing, and even afraid of succeeding,” adding that “the Nichols community is the ideal setting to overcome self-doubt. I have never been around so many people willing to face the challenges around them. That’s why I am proud to be a member of this class,” he added.

To what does Carella attribute his change in philosophy? It’s the Nichols small school environment he says. “Going to a small school, I think I changed a lot as a person. The overall community of students and teachers here was good for my development.”

In addition to his excellence in the classroom, Carella has succeeded on the tennis court. Shortly after the graduation ceremony, Carella, the captain of the Nichols men’s tennis team, and four fellow seniors led the squad to the Commonwealth Coast Conference title in a 5-1 victory over Roger Williams and their first berth in the NCAA post-season tournament.

Last month, Carella was named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America® Division III At-Large First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and is the eighth Academic All-American in Nichols College history, and the first men's tennis student-athlete selected. Clearly Carella has overcome his fear to achieve excellence both in the classroom and on the court. Carella says of his four years at Nichols. “I’ve made relationships that are going to last a lifetime.”