More than 335 members in the Rutgers University Class of 2019 are graduating Sunday as part of the inaugural class of the Honors College at Rutgers-New Brunswick earning distinction as Honors College Scholars.
To reach this moment they have completed a combined 20,000 service hours in three years, worked on social innovation projects and completed senior capstones that can range from scholarly research to artistic exhibitions.
The college brings together Rutgers-New Brunswick students from the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, the Mason Gross School of the Arts, the School of Engineering and the Rutgers Business School to live and work together. Dance majors interact with engineers and history scholars share dorm space with tomorrow’s pharmacists and business leaders in pursuit of tackling global issues and transforming ideas into action.
At the college’s recent convocation, Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Molloy told the group, “It’s so apt that you are graduating during the centennial celebration of our Rutgers esteemed alum Paul Robeson, who most surely would have been an Honors College student.”
Meet some members of the first graduating class:
STEPHANIE TU HAS ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN HOW THINGS WORK
As an Honors College Changemaker and engineer, she volunteered more than 100 hours working in her community, mentoring other STEM students and introducing high school girls to all that’s possible in STEM as a member of the Rutgers Society of Women Engineers chapter where she earned the national Guiding Star Award. She is headed to Boeing’s invitation-only two-year Engineering Rotational Program, complete with community service.
Her message to others: “Always be learning.”
ANDREA PFAFF KNEW SHE WANTED TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT SCIENCE
With a double major in film and marine sciences, she took her interdisciplinary background to connect with scientists, historians, and filmmakers, realizing a dream this past year at anthropologist associate professor of anthropology Erin Vogel’s remote research station in Indonesia, where she filmed the team’s work studying orangutans. After graduation she plans to start a film program in a high-needs school in Trenton while applying to graduate school for marine science.
Her dream job: National Geographic.
Her message to others: “There is never a loss for opportunities.”
SAM SNYDER SWITCHED GEARS WHEN HE DISCOVERED WHAT REALLY MATTERS
With interests in biological sciences and community service he pursued a major in public health. As a 2018 Chancellor’s Outstanding Service Award recipient, he put his desire to help people in action through more than 100 hours of direct service, while learning about public health policy and administration. Snyder is heading to a 10-month Princeton in Asia Fellowship in Thailand where he’ll be teaching English to children ages 5-18 in a remote village. After that, he plans to apply to medical school.
His message to others: “Allow yourself to find what feels right.”
JANELLE RAYMUNDO COULDN’T PASS UP A CHANCE TO HELP SHAPE THE NEW HONORS COLLEGE
Recipient of two Chancellor’s Leadership Awards, she has been a lead ambassador at the Honors College, FIGS senior peer instructor and mentor to younger students, transforming many lives through shared purpose and connections. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in education at the University of Vermont with an eye on a career in student affairs.
Her message to others: “Give yourself time to learn who you are.”
RILEY LINK DIDN’T WASTE TIME WHEN SHE ARRIVED AT RUTGERS AND MANY ARE BETTER FOR IT
In her first year, she and other Honors College students cofounded an after-school life skills and homework tutoring program, A2E, in partnership with Youth Empowerment Services in New Brunswick. Four years later, A2E has mobilized nearly 500 Rutgers students to help Roosevelt Elementary School students, strengthening the ties between Rutgers and the city.
She is heading to an Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, a one-year program with six months working in a community experiencing food insecurity and six months working on policy research and advocacy. But first she plans to bicycle with other recent Rutgers grads to Portland, OR, for the Dream Project to raise $40,000 for New Brunswick’s Elijah’s Promise.
Her message to others: “Never be afraid to jump in—when others are counting on you, you realize how much you can do.”
FOR JONATHAN ST. ANGE, LEADERSHIP MEANS LEARNING TO LISTEN
Over the past three years as a resident assistant, he’s tackled tough situations, mentored younger students, experienced people from different places and points of view and built community through conversations. These experiences have prepared him well for what’s next. He is planning to continue working in Distinguished Professor Monica Driscoll’s lab in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry researching how neurodegenerative diseases spread in the brain and preparing to apply to M.D./Ph.D. programs.
His message to others: “Learn to listen.”
FULL SOURCE: Rutgers Today | The Honors College at Rutgers-New Brunswick Graduates Its First Class