Marcia Y. Cantarella, PhD, has held positions at Hunter College, Princeton University, New York University, and Metropolitan College of New York. During her 22 year career as a dean and vice president of student affairs she has enhanced the academic experiences of and outcomes for generations of students.


Cantarella Consulting works with colleges and organizations on issues of higher education pipelines, access, diversity, and student success. Current consulting projects and clients include the Hunter College Black Male Initiative, Kingsborough Community College, The One Club, and Saint Augustine’s College. The firm has also done work for several UNCF colleges.

The website for the book, I CANFinishCollege: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide


How First Generation, Low Income Students Can Succeed in College


Majors and Careers

College Networks

The Transitions in College


Surviving College

The Good News and the Bad News About College Students and Technology

Favorite Books

Trilogy by Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys. Witten in the late 1800s they are still among the best representations of thoughtful parenting I have ever seen.

Pauli Murray: Autobiography Black Activist Feminist Lawyer—the story of a life fully lived: four full careers—teacher, social worker, lawyer and minister –with the academic degrees appropriate to each.

A Hole is to Dig—by Maurice Sendak—these wonderful children’s definitions illustrated by Sendak have passed from my mother to me, to my children and now to all of my grandchildren

Favorite Quotes

From my father the late Civil Rights Leader Whitney M. Young, Jr.

“Every man is our brother, and every man’s burden is our own. Where poverty exists, all are poorer. Where hate flourishes, all are corrupted. Where injustice reins, all are unequal.”

“I’d rather be prepared for an opportunity that never comes than have an opportunity come and I am not prepared.”