Paul Serrato, MA ‘98 was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Deciding to move to the East Coast to pursue his passion for music, he attended Boston University, and later, Empire State college, where he received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Composition and Latin Music.
Later, when tutoring at LaGuardia Community College, professors there encouraged him to pursue a second career path as an ESL teacher. Paul was drawn to Adelphi by its welcoming environment and the convenience of the Manhattan Center. He remembers the warm greeting he received from Eva Roca, TESOL/bilingual program director, who facilitated a smooth transition into the program. Because the ESL program was for working professionals like Paul himself, there was not much social crossover. Outside of juggling a full-time job and classes, Paul continued composing, producing, and recording sessions and rehearsals for club dates. He credits the impactful faculty, such as Carl Vinas and Judith Johnston, who helped to shape his academic experience. “My professors were instrumental in influencing me, making me feel I was on the right path to achieving my educational goal.”
Paul graduated from Adelphi with a masters in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), taking on a position teaching at the Berlitz School. Soon after, he was certified and licensed by the New York State Department of Education. Additionally, his career as a jazz musician also thrived, and he fondly recalls collaborating with artists and with off-Broadway cabaret performers in various clubs around New York City.
Today, Paul lives in Omaha where he continues to teach ESL at Metropolitan Community College. Using skills he gained at Adelphi, he likes to bring his musical experience into the classroom to enrich the learning experience. “Language is Music.”
With both music and his Adelphi experience holding special places in his heart, Paul has donated his archives of manuscripts and copyrights to the University in the hope of inspiring students to conduct educational research into music’s creative process. Additionally, he has bequeathed his collections to Adelphi. “I hope that my works will be a time capsule of what it was like to forge a multiple career as an independent musician and educator in New York City.”