When Téa Wilmot first visited Sage, she wasn’t thinking she’d become a student herself. She was with a friend who wanted company at an open house event. That’s when everything changed. That’s when she had her first encounter with Bobbi Gabrenya, Ph.D., professor of Law & Society and chair of Interdisciplinary Studies. “Her passion really did something to me that day,” Téa remembers. “It was so clear that she loved what she was doing. I wanted that.”
After applying and being accepted at Sage, Téa had the good fortune to have Professor Gabrenya become her teacher and advisor. “And that’s when she became passionate about guiding and helping me.”
Téa would go on to major in Law & Society with a Legal Pathway. Her academic achievements helped her stand out for acceptance to the selective Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program at the University at Buffalo School of Law, where she won an award for “Best Oral Argument for the Prosecution” at the end of the program. She completed her undergraduate degree in December 2019 (a semester early!), and she has been accepted at two law schools — so far.
While she singles out Professor Gabrenya, Téa says there are many who deserve thanks and credit for all she’s accomplished. “I came from a high school where it seemed everyone was competing against each other,” she says. “At Sage, all the students want you to do your best academically. Any time you need help you get it. You become so close to people that you want to show them how what they did for you made a difference.”
But Téa cautions that you need to give to get back. You need to join, get involved, to put yourself out there. “That’s how you meet the people you belong with.”
Téa was a resident assistant and the president of Student Government’s executive board. She developed leadership skills, and she learned to take chances and show courage. These will be important qualities to have, she knows, for the future she sees for herself. She hopes to practice family law, because she wants to work on behalf of children. “They are often neglected, and yet when we help them we can have such an impact on their entire lives.”
It seems quite likely that Téa will have that kind of impact.