How this Iona Alumna Found Her Fit in the Performing Arts
For Iona University alumna Elizabeth DeLeo ’22, there’s a saying: “Once a Player, always a Player.”
During her time at Iona, DeLeo not only served in various leadership roles across campus, but most notably, she also participated in six theater productions with the Iona Players, the University’s theater club. This included the 2022 production of The Addams Family, where she served as student director and assistant choreographer her senior year.
To say it was a transformative experience is an understatement.
“I was involved from the first read-through to the final bow. This opened my eyes to my future,” said DeLeo, of Middletown, N.J., an Arts Leadership major. “I wanted to work in a theater or a school allowing others to discover their talents and find their own second family in their cast mates. I am beyond grateful for the individuals I have met by being a part of the club.”
Today, DeLeo is not only working in her desired field of the performing arts, but she says she is fortunate to have found the same sense of community in her professional life as she enjoyed at Iona. She currently serves as the International Admissions Advisor for The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. There, she assists in student recruitment, doing everything from attending auditions to guiding interested performers through the admissions process.
“I love helping students pursue their love for the performing arts,” she said. “I enjoy learning about their desire to be in the arts and supporting them in finding a perfect program.”
Her advice to others interested in following a similar path is to become involved in various performing arts organizations – and to not let fear stand in the way.
“There are so many opportunities waiting to be discovered and you will find the one you were meant to do,” DeLeo said. “The leadership opportunities at Iona allowed me to grow into the individual I am today.”
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.