Name: Dina Deleasa-Gonsar
Major: Masters of Education in Professional Counseling
Current Occupation: School Counselor
Hometown: Parsippany, New Jersey
Current Location: Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Activities You Were Involved With On Campus: I came to WPUNJ as a graduate student and was very active with my major. I was a part of the Counseling Honors Society: Chi Sigma Iota.
Fun Fact: I've been on the E! Networks’ Married to Jonas, along with the rest of my family.
Favorite Quote: It is actually a Bible Verse! "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13
Dina Deleasa-Gonsar is a WPUNJ graduate alumni who earned her Masters of Education, and has since earned herself a title as a school counselor. In addition to her work life, Dina runs a successful food blog called, Dish It Girl. Through her posts, Dina shares her passion for food and family with the world. Proving that blogging for passion alone is not pointless, but instead, rather satisfying. Whether she's cooking or counseling, her efforts are supported with plenty of heart. This is what makes Dina our campus celebrity for the week.
HC: Tell us about your experiences and achievements throughout your college years.
DDG: I got involved in every way I could at college. I jumped in right away as the Freshman Senator on the Student Government. By my Junior/Senior year I was the President. By being a part of different organizations and staying involved in campus life I was able to relationships with students from all different groups and staff members as well. Being a part of the university beyond classes gave me the ability to have experiences that I may not have been privy to otherwise. In my undergrad years I was able to be a part of the Communication Honors Society, the Programming Committee, and worked on campus as well. Being a part of campus life also allowed me to be recognized for different achievements for service such as outstanding executive board member, homecoming queen, and the a recipient of the Tama Award. The only regret I have is not studying abroad for an extended period of time!
When I came to WPUNJ I was very concentrated on my major. The best part of getting your Masters is you are part of tight knit community. During my time in the Counseling Program I was able to spend a lot of time with the staff within that program. They created a lot of amazing opportunities for us both in and out of the classroom. I still reach out them now that I am out in the workforce.
HC: What advice would you give to current and prospective WPUNJ students to ensure they have the best experiences at WPUNJ?
DDG: Take advantage of all of the opportunities you can. The more extra curricular activities and internships you take, the more you learn about yourself. This will help you as you decide your career path. You get to know different people and experience different work situations that you wouldn't be able to inside of a classroom. Also use your professors as resources; try to take some one on one time with them to pick their brains!
HC: What do you love most about your current job?
DDG: My current job as a School Counselor is full of many different responsibilities and there is never a dull moment. You definitely can never get bored as a school counselor! I am able to use a range of skills whether it’s being creative with a spirit week theme to using my knowledge to navigate a crisis situation. At the end of the day the most rewarding part is no matter how tough your day may be, at some point you've made a difference for someone.
HC: How did you get involved with blogging?
DDG: I actually started blogging as I started graduate school. My friends and family would always ask me for recipes or restaurant recommendations. I have always loved to write so I figured chronicling something I love would be fun.
HC: What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
DDG: My blog is currently undergoing some changes. I am hoping to roll out a brand new, more professional grade site later this spring. My long-term goal is to be able to publish a cookbook or become a food correspondent on different news programs. But for now, a new look and continuing to build my audience will be my priority!
HC: What is your favorite part of running your blog?
DDG: Being able to inspire other people to gather together with friends and family to share a good meal. I like being honest with my cooking experience. I hope it makes cooking feel accessible rather than intimidating. It’s the best way to show people you care about them!
HC: Do you have any advice for someone with interests to expand their food habits?
DDG: Trying new foods and new recipes can be fun regardless if they are successful! Don’t get down on yourself if you feel like you “can’t boil water.” Everyone has to start somewhere! Even if you can just successfully chop a carrot or open a can, celebrate that! Remember that just because someone else says that a restaurant is the “worst” doesn’t mean you might not think it’s the best! Food is a big part if learning about you as much as it is about “taste.”
Follow Dina on all her yummy adventures! Read her blog at dishitgirl.com, watch her in action on youtube: youtube.com/dishitgirl, and keep up on social media, instagram: @dishitgirldina, twitter: @dinadeleasag, and facebook at facebook.com/dishitgirldina.