Inaugural Presidential Scholars Call Montclair State Home
Karsen Griffin can recite all 30 NBA franchises and every bone in the human body. She’s also sure that she was born to become an athletic trainer. That’s why she chose Montclair State University – joining the first class of Presidential Scholars – to major in exercise science. Representing just over 10 percent of the freshmen class, the Presidential Scholars have formed a small cohort who are getting to know each other through shared coursework in specialized learning communities. “Presidential Scholars are highly diverse and among New Jersey’s most ambitious and determined young people who are looking to explore opportunities and gain every possible advantage,” says Jeffrey Gant, director of Undergraduate Admissions. Staying in New Jersey was important to Griffin. “I just felt that I would never be able to get that diversity, differing opinions and exposure to the real world anywhere else.”
Additions to Academic Lineup Strengthen Choices
Like many students coming out of high school, freshman Ally Ayers wasn’t sure exactly what major she wanted to pursue. That’s why Montclair State this fall launched University College, to give students like Ayers the time and space and help guide them in choosing majors and career paths. Ayers is considering studying Animation/Illustration but is open to other avenues. As a University College student, she had the chance for education exploration, literally “crashing” classes in business and communications during a special academic discovery week. “I want to my take time, complete my general ed requirements and see where it goes. I still have time to decide my major,” she says.
Jason Lynch, a graduate student in the newly launched Master of Social Work program, says he was attracted to the program because of its important work of providing clinical and advocacy services to vulnerable children, adolescents and their families. “Being in a small cohort, there’s a real sense of community and support here,” he says.
Candise Maoire graduated with Montclair State’s first class of nurses who earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Now, she’s continuing her education in the University’s newly launched online Master of Science in Nursing, with a concentration in education to inspire colleagues at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair.
Will Cherry is curious about how the world works. It was this curiosity and the opportunities at the University’s new Department of Physics and Astronomy that attracted him to Montclair State. In its labs, Cherry, a freshman, hopes to realize his dream of designing a safer football helmet.
State-of-the-Art Classrooms, NYC Connections Enhance Learning Experiences
Amanda Peacock, a sophomore at Montclair State, is preparing for a career as a strategic communication pro. “What drew me to Montclair State and their public relations program is that we have this beautiful new facility to use,” she says. The high-tech studios and labs provide real-life experiences. Freshman Jack Barteck says already gained valuable on-air time providing color commentary for Red Hawk athletics.
Joseph Tornquist graduated in Spring 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in music and is continuing his studies at Montclair State University in the Master’s in Music program. Tornquist is dedicated to music performance and his lessons at the John J. Cali School of Music. But the connections to Montclair State’s academic community at large, he says, makes for a fuller, well-rounded college experience. “You’re at Montclair State you’re a student of Montclair State and everyone is just in this one big kind of bubble of community.”
Casey Owens says her “dream internships” while a student at Montclair State has led to work on live sports shows broadcast of New York Red Bulls II games on ESPN +.
Students Shine On and Off Campus
At just 22 years old, George Garcia, a senior, has had a hand in two startup companies and a seat on a government agency looking at economic development. He’s a young professional to watch, according to NJBIZ, which named him to its 2018 list of 40 Under 40.
George Alexandris leapt into the history books when he captured the national long jump title last spring at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships and is showing even stronger jumps this winter season. “The feeling of turning in a championship performance is truly magical,” the senior health and physical education major says.