Accelerated Dual-Degree (3+1) student doesn't let Cystic Fibrosis slow her down

Cray sits at a table and speaks in to a microphone.

Sharing her journey

Cray is a Cystic Fibrosis advocate who speaks publicly about her experience with the disease.

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ive from #BobcatNation, it’s Mara Cray ’19, MS ‘20!

The accelerated dual-degree (3+1) advertising and integrated communications major/public relations master’s student is a key member of Q30-TV’s “Quinnipiac Tonight” on-campus sketch comedy show — who is spending the semester in our #QUinLA program. She also has Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a progressive, genetic disease that causes lung infections and limits her ability to breathe.

“What you notice first about Mara is her positivity and her energy, not her CF,” said Terry Bloom, an associate dean in the School of Communications. “She’s just one of those people who puts a smile on your face.”

Since CF doesn’t define who Cray is, she didn’t want it to define her college experience either. That’s why she chose Quinnipiac.

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“Out of all the schools I looked at, Quinnipiac was the most prepared to take on disabled students,” Cray said. “Residential life, in particular, has been so supportive, making sure that I have the living situation that I need.”

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Group of students smile and pose for a photos by brick wall.

Learning together

Cray enjoyed spending time her freshman year with members of her Living Learning Community.

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Cray wanted to be part of the Living Learning Community for her accelerated dual-degree (3+1) program, but because of her special housing needs, she was unable to live in the traditional housing. Instead, she was welcomed in to the community as an honorary resident, spending lots of time in Dana Hall with other members her freshman year.

Cray doesn’t let the limitations of CF affect her academic decisions either. She chose to enroll in an accelerated degree program specifically so she could jumpstart her career. 

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“I loved the idea of the 3+1 program because it meant that I would get the education I need as quickly as possible,” she said. “I’m chomping at the bit to enter the workforce.”