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Kean University

Kean Graduate Persevered Through ‘Unpredictable’ Higher Education Journey

Frank Capone is photographed in front of the fountain at Kean.

Frank Capone ‘22, ’24 M.A. always saw his future working in his family's pastry shop or restaurant instead of going to college, but a high school psychology course changed his plans and put him on a path toward earning two Kean University degrees in psychology.

“My idea for college was non-existent, but I never thought sleep patterns and dreams would be so interesting to learn about,” Capone said. “I was eager to know more.”

Capone enrolled at Ocean County College (OCC), even though he said he was “not totally sold on the college experience.” He received his associate degree, and then continued his studies on the same campus, earning a bachelor’s degree at Kean Ocean in 2022. Kean’s partnership with OCC in Toms River allows a seamless transition for community college graduates seeking a four-year degree. 

Capone didn’t stop there. This week he earned a master’s degree in human behavior and organizational psychology from Kean University.

“It is safe to say OCC, Kean University and Kean Ocean have molded me into the person and professional I am today,” Capone said. 

His step-by-step approach to college included navigating the pandemic.

“My family members were a big reason why I persisted,” Capone said. “The idea of the pandemic was initially scary and confusing, but like all hardships in life, it is our response to the hardship that builds character.” 

Capone, who also held internships during his years at Kean and worked as a graduate assistant, said Kean faculty helped make his success possible. 

Jane O’Brien, Ph.D., coordinator of the School of Psychology at Kean Ocean, described Capone as a compassionate and kind member of the Kean community, and a focused and organized student.

“Frank is a proud graduate of Kean University, and it was an honor to serve as his professor, advisor, and now colleague,” she said. 

Capone works in Kean’s Center for Veterans Student Success and is an adjunct professor teaching community mental health at Kean Ocean. 

“Being able to pass knowledge down to my students through discussion is what I enjoy the most about teaching,” he said. 

Capone said the lessons he’s learned – about perseverance and the power of education – will continue to guide him on his journey toward making a positive impact in the world. 

“My journey through higher education was an unpredictable one,” he said. “The biggest lesson I have learned is if you continue to move forward on your path, conquering each challenge and hardship as you go, you will find success at the end of the road.”