Student scholars continue to demonstrate the value of an independent higher education. The talented students who receive scholarship support through ICFNJ are often asked to speak at campus and donor receptions on behalf of all students who have benefitted from the financial assistance and recognition a scholarship provides.
In 2015, each of the scholars chosen to speak portrayed a different benefit of scholarship support.
Educational Opportunity -
Mitchell Parker, '16, Biology, Monmouth University, shared with a packed audience of students and donors how his experience at Monmouth was enhanced by several factors. Mitchell found a wonderful mentor in Dr. Paladino who allowed him to be part of exciting scientific research. Receiving the Novartis Science Scholarship supported his continued engagement in research and promoted additonal opportunities for professional development keeping him rooted in the sciences and building a strong resume.
Community Engagement -
Kathleen Flynn, '15, Political Science, provided insight into the challenges that face students who must find a way to achieve their dreams without the support of family. At Caldwell, Kathleen found a new support network and demonstrated the talent and drive she possessed to help make a difference for students who depend on financial aid to go to college. Her efforts and commitment beyond self lead to her earning the PNC Barry Gillman Scholarship for Humanitarian Service.
Personal Development -
Jal Trivedi,'17, Biochemistry, Drew University, entered with a purpose earning him the Johnson & Johnson Pre-Professional Health Care Scholarship. Jal found that campus life offers opportunities to engagement in career development and to build the communication and critical thinking skills that will last a lifetime. His humor and passion captivated the luncheon audience.
Johnson & Johnson funds "Explorations In Science"
Rising seniors in high school all across New Jersey applied for the opportunity to spend a week at CSE exploring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Eighteen students were chosen from a pool of 77 applicants to participate in the week that began with their arrival on Sunday, July 10, 2016.
Erin Colfax, the program director, explained the purposes of the week of intensive learning.
"We want to give them the myriad of possibilities a STEM education can offer," she explains. "We are also showing them, through our guest speakers, how they might combine several skill sets into a career – such as a biochemist who became a lawyer specializing in medical and pharmaceutical patents. They are learning about some of the more unusual professions in STEM, such as a sound therapist who works with patients undergoing surgery to foster faster healing."
Each morning the students spent about a half hour discussing the many areas of STEM study.
Student Manuela Palacio of Morristown, N.J., noted, "I now have a deeper appreciation for science and the many fields with which science can be combined. I also have new friends!" Palacio is leaning toward a career in pediatric medicine.
Students lived in a residence hall where they learned a bit about college life. Their activities ranged from dissecting sharks to learning computer programming, taking field trips to Gateway National Park (Sandy Hook) for marine biology lessons, to creating and testing biodiesel fuels. The guest speakers have included science and medical writers, client relations professionals in environmental sciences, and a clinical trials director from a pharmaceutical company.
Vanessa Roman from Elizabeth, N.J., wants to pursue biochemistry. "I have enjoyed seeing the many aspects of the sciences and learning about opportunities. I really enjoyed the shark dissection!"
Emily Metzger of Allamuchy, N.J., and a student at the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, said that this week was an eye-opening experience. "I have learned that there are so many different applications for science. This has been like a test run for college – we even get homework!" Metzger is exploring the career field of genetics.
Colfax said that this group of students were very high energy and very eager to learn. "They are very serious about their future and open to different careers they can pursue."
Bradley Romeus, from Roselle, N.J., said, "This is a very interesting program! My favorite activity so far was the shark dissection. I plan on majoring in biology and eventually attend dental school."
The Explorations in Science program is supported in part by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies through the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.