Featured Alumni - Mary J. Goodwin, Esq. ‘06
Mary J. Goodwin, Esq. '06
History/Political Science Major
"Coming from a huge public high school, I wanted to attend a smaller private school that was close to home. Additionally, SJC offered me a full academic scholarship that made getting a quality college education very affordable for me and my family.
"I graduated [from SJC] in 2006 and started law school at Syracuse University College of Law immediately thereafter. I graduated from Syracuse with my Juris Doctor in 2009 and have been working at Jo Anne Simon P.C. (a disability civil rights law firm) ever since.
"Since I was a little girl, I felt it my duty to give a voice to the voiceless."
"I recently served on the executive board of the New York Urban League Young Professionals as the Chair of Civics & Economics, where I was responsible for creating professional development programming and outreach opportunities in the areas of civic education and engagement, and wealth creation and management. I currently serve on the National Urban League Young Professionals Programs Committee, which develops programs for all affiliate chapters throughout the United States.
"Since I was a little girl, I felt it my duty to give a voice to the voiceless. I wanted to be an attorney, educator and restaurant owner. I've accomplished the attorney bit, but I'd still like to work in higher education in an advisory capacity, and I plan on having that restaurant/food truck one day!
"While at St. Joseph's University, I was a member of the student government and served as a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions. I also founded the Student Legal Society, a student-run organization that was created to assist students with the law school application process and educate them on the many facets of our legal system.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and why?
"My mother has been the biggest influence in my life. I am brave, confident, and loving because of her example."
If you had to give one reason for a student to choose St. Joseph's University, what would it be?
"You will have room to grow."
Aside from earning a degree and getting a job, what did you hope to get out of your time at SJC?
"I wanted to be challenged and encounter new experiences."
What is the best advice someone else has given you?
"The best advice I've ever been given is that no one has gotten to where they are in life, wherever that may be, without the assistance of someone else, so it is incumbent upon all of us to pay it forward."
Who is your favorite SJC professor?
"Too many to name, but Professor Dehne, Professor Bauzon, Professor Glanc and Professor Nevins are the first to come to mind."
Do you have any hobbies or talents? What do you do in your spare time?
"I've been told that I am a great home-cook, so I enjoy hosting dinner parties. I also enjoy painting and choir singing in my spare time."
Have you been a part of any service activities through the University that were meaningful to you?
"September 2015 I participated in the TEAL Walk. This was a fundraiser walk to raise awareness and money for ovarian cancer. Throughout the fall semester I helped sell merchandise on campus to donate to research. I also attended the TEAL Talk on campus, which had the founder of the company educate us on the warning signs of ovarian cancer. These events were meaningful to me because it highlights a disease that can affect many women."
What have you learned about yourself during your time at SJC?
"I learned that I was responsible for my future."
What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
"My biggest challenge has been my health. I have fibromyalgia, a neuro-muscular condition that causes chronic widespread pain, stiffness and fatigue. I had some symptoms of "Fibro" in high school, but I was not diagnosed until college. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, it's just something that you have to learn to live with. I've learned so much about myself over the past decade, since graduating from St. Joseph's University. I'm naturally a "go-getter" but I have experienced moments of self-doubt when I feared that I would be unable to be successful due to my disability. I've learned to listen to my body and balance my professional and personal aspirations with my health limitations. There is a lot of trial and error, but this is how I've been able to be successful."
Who would play you in a movie about your life and why?
"Hmmmm... Maybe Jordin Sparks? We both have bright smiles!"
If you made front page news, what would be the headline?
"Goodwin gets justice for all!"
Aside from content material, what is the best lesson a professor taught you in class?
"Keep an open mind."
Photo credit: Amy Anaiz Photography