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Two Degrees of Difference

As dual-degree Honors College student Vittoria Cristante, ‘21, prepares to enter Tufts University for a master’s degree program in pure mathematics, she looks back on five productive and rewarding years at Southern, steeped in two distinctly different disciplines.

For much of her time at Southern, Cristante immersed herself in the arts. As an award-winning 2020 theatre major, she completed an honors thesis entitled “A Study of Musical Number Storyline Integration of ‘Golden Age’ Musicals Versus ‘Juke-Box’ Musicals,” and received the departmental Theatre Scholar award.

In 2020, Cristante also won awards from the Kennedy Center Region 1 American College Theatre Festival, was assistant choreographer and production manager of Pippin (2020), as well as production manager on The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (2019) and Red Velvet (2020). She served as president of the Crescent Players in 2019-2020.

Cristante remembers fondly her time at Southern working on theater productions.

“My favorite production was probably either Pippin or The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged!” Cristante said. “With Pippin, I was given the opportunity to be the assistant choreographer under the (truly wonderful) Professor Larry Nye and during Complete Works, as associate production manager, there were a couple of weeks where the main production manager wasn’t on campus, so I was really able to step into the PM role and grow as a leader in theater!”

After graduating in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in theater, Cristante was so close to completing the requirements for a degree in mathematics that she could not resist returning to Southern for another year, this time immersing herself in mathematics. During the academic year, Cristante served as secretary of the Math Club and a math tutor in in the Academic Success Center, and worked in the Office of Sustainability.

Although excited for the adventures ahead, Cristante says she’ll miss the community at Southern.

“Coming back to school in a completely different department, during a pandemic nonetheless, was a little scary, but the professors and students were all so kind and welcoming and made the return easy,” she said. “Not to mention, I wouldn’t be going to Tufts without the help of the wonderful Math Department professors!”


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