Meet Graduate Students

Why choose Fisher? Learn more about the Fisher graduate student experience from those who know it best—members of the Fisher community.

Graduate students are happy to share their personal stories about why they chose Fisher.

Valerie Kolossovsky '16

MBA Student

Valerie Kolossovsky

Valerie Kolossovsky

While considering graduate programs in the field of human resources, Valerie Kolossovsky decided to pursue an MBA at Fisher to prepare her for an executive-level position in business. “I chose an MBA because I would like to have visibility to all parts of an organization, not just HR.”

As a benefits administrator at ESL Federal Credit Union, Kolossovsky welcomes new hires into their roles, assists with benefits enrollment, manages the tuition reimbursement program, and supports other human resources projects.

Kolossovsky works daily with people, and she believes MBA courses like Better Thinking and Leadership Development have helped her to develop critical thinking and professional conversation skills for her role. She appreciates the flexibility of the online MBA program as well as the strong network. “Fisher has an incredible reputation in the community
and has been very helpful in my career development.”

The online MBA is a convenient option to fast-track career advancement in the business sector, and Kolossovsky believes this program is a crucial step in her development as an HR professional. “I made incredible connections with professors and students, and I am so happy I chose to continue my education through Fisher.”

Now, she tells everyone, “Go to Fisher, you won’t regret it.”

Elizabeth Mazzullo '22

Teacher and Library Media Specialist

Elizabeth Mazzullo

Elizabeth Mazzullo

As an educator in New York City, Elizabeth Mazzullo considered pursuing certification as a library media specialist to better serve her students. She was attracted to Fisher’s program because of the flexibility and convenience of online learning. “I was able to complete my master’s degree while teaching both high school and graduate-level courses.”

As a teacher and library media specialist, Mazzullo guides students through the research process. She believes the M.S. in Library Media helped her strengthen her skills in supporting student research. “This program helped me create more lessons that incorporate inquiry and lead to authentic student learning.”

She explained that her Fisher professors made themselves available to support students in their learning, and she appreciated their professional backgrounds as educators. “They have worked in the field so they often provided real-world connections with the course content.”

Mazzullo attributes her success in her current role to skills she enhanced through the cohort model of the library media specialist program. “Though the program was only one year, I learned so many skills and strategies to add to my teaching toolkit while interacting with other educators throughout the state.”

Quarnisha White, RN, MS, FNP-C ’11, ’17

Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Quarnisha White

Quarnisha White

Quarnisha White is not ashamed to admit that she enjoys a great debate. She started in a legal studies program with her sights on practicing law until she witnessed a loved one’s struggle in the ICU while recovering from multiple gunshot wounds. She began to envision herself as a fierce advocate in the medical field rather than in the courtroom: “I saw nurses caring in a way with such compassion and empathy that my own career path changed.”

She switched her major to nursing and completed her undergraduate program at Fisher in 2011. “The faculty and staff of Fisher’s nursing programs are dedicated to helping you succeed,” explained White. “The programs set you up for success as a future nurse.” She became a nurse at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and soon enrolled in Fisher’s graduate program for nursing. She became a board-certified nurse practitioner in 2017 and advanced in her career within URMC within the Division of Colorectal Surgery.

White’s path did not always seem so clear. As she reflected on her journey to nursing leadership, she recalled the challenges of being born into poverty, growing up in the foster care system, and becoming a mother at age 17. Equipped with lessons from her own experiences, she is now on a mission to create an environment where each patient is given the same access and opportunity to engage the health care system. “I strive toward a brighter future for our patients and community.”

In 2021, White became the first Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for URMC. Within this leadership role, she focuses on equitable patient engagement and community outreach for which one area of focus has been within the Black community on colorectal cancer and screening. Her experiences combined with her education have positioned her as the advocate she always envisioned. “Without the education that I received from Fisher, I would not be able to have the platform to promote change that I have today.”

White smiles when she sees Fisher students on the hospital floors. “My expectations are high when I see them, but that’s because Fisher made me that way.”