The Perfect Fit

The Perfect Fit

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When it comes to selecting a college, finding the one that’s the “right fit” is of the utmost importance to young people, according to a recent nationwide report¹. Even with the economy in flux and families tightening their purse strings, what matters most to college-bound students isn’t cost, but the perception that a school fits them to a tee.

The report got us thinking: with 5,600 full-time undergraduates enrolled in more than 50 academic programs, could TCNJ really be the perfect fit for all of its students? To try to determine this, we sent our student writers across campus to ask their classmates why TCNJ was the perfect fit for them.

While we admit our own survey methods are by no means scientific, we found the results interesting nonetheless. The unique individuals our writers interviewed cited several recurring qualities and characteristics of TCNJ that made them realize this school was their perfect fit. Perhaps one size really can fit all.

Matthew Kita ’12

matt kita

Major: Chemistry (Secondary Education, Physical Sciences Track)
Activities: All College Theatre
Favorite Class: Organic Chemistry
I think you should know: Six of my family members attended TCNJ. It’s the family college.
After graduation I’ll be: Teaching high school chemistry.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The close-knit community. The FYE Program made me feel welcome, and my department is supportive yet small enough that I know all of the Class of 2012 chemistry majors. Even better, the professors know all of the students’ names, so we don’t feel like just a number.

Melissa Standish ’12

melissa standish

Major: English Secondary Education
Activities: Secondary Education Teacher’s Association, All College Theatre
Favorite Class: The Cultural Phenomenon of Harry Potter
I think you should know: I make and sew my own clothes. I even made both of my prom dresses, one of which I am wearing in this photo.
After graduation I’ll be: Teaching high school English, possibly abroad.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: When I toured campus something said to me, “You belong here!” The location is just right, and the College has something for everyone—whether you want to join a sports team, an academic honor society, or participate in the arts.

Michele Rotella ’09

michelle rotella

Major: Biomedical Engineering (Mechanical option)
Activities: Best Buddies, WILL, Swing Dance Club, Biomedical Engineering Society
Favorite Class: Physiology I/II and Bioinstrumentation (It’s too hard to name just one!)
I think you should know: I enjoy kayaking.
After graduation I’ll be: Applying to graduate school (I’ve already started) and eventually working in rehabilitation engineering, using robotics to help restore motor function.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The great community. My engineering classmates have become a second family: We work, study, and socialize together. The professors are excellent too, and always provide guidance and support.

Jennifer Garrison ’10

jennifer garrison

Major: Nursing
Activities: Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority, Student Nurses Association, Lions’ EMS, Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Favorite class: Maternity
I think you should know: I love to travel, and have visited Belize, Mexico, London, Paris, Rome, and Uganda.
After graduation I’ll be: Working as a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit, getting my master’s degree, and becoming a certified nurse practitioner.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The facilities (especially the new library) and the College’s outstanding reputation for starters, but also because of the student population. TCNJ students know how to have fun and take academics seriously.

Namrta Bhurjee ’10

namrta bhurjee

Major: Accounting, with minors in Economics and Psychology
Activities: Institute of Management Accounts Student Chapter, Business Student Advisory Board, Founder of TCNJ’s Collegiate Chamber of Commerce
Favorite Class: Cost Accounting
I think you should know: I’m fluent in Hindi, Punjabi, and English.
After graduation I’ll be: Working full time and pursuing my CPA.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: It has everything I want in a college: proximity to home, approachable faculty, small classes, diversity among students, and exemplary student organizations.

Gerald Tower ’10

gerald tower

Major: History and International Studies double major, with minors in French and USA Studies
Activities: Phi Beta Kappa, TCNJ Musical Theatre Treasurer
Favorite class: American History
I think you should know: The semester I spent studying in Paris was a life-changing experience.
After graduation I’ll be: Getting my PhD in American History, then teaching at a college or university.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The combination of high academic standards and an active social community. Between the quality discussions in the classroom and the positive attitude that envelops campus, it’s pretty hard to have a bad day here. Plus, I get to live in Hausdoerffer Hall—it’s an awesome living space!

Anthony Steverson ’10

anthony steverson

Major: Graphic Design
Activities: Fashion Design Club
Favorite Class: Intro. to Graphic Design
I think you should know: I’m African American and German. A lot of people don’t expect to hear “German” when they ask about my ethnicity.
After graduation I’ll be: Establishing my own freelance business and specializing in vector designs for apparel.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The campus isn’t too big or too small. It provides the perfect environment in which to learn, because professors can notice each student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Ed’s note: Our student writers—Maddie Patrick ’10, Matt Huston ’12, and Kelli Plasket ’10—contributed to this article. Here’s why TCNJ is the perfect fit for each of them:

Maddie Patrick ’10

maddie patrick

Major: Sociology and Communication Studies double major
Activities: President of All College Theatre, student writer for TCNJ’s Department of Public Relations and Communications, NJ Blood Center blood drive chairperson
I think you should know: Research that I did as an undergrad is cited in the textbook Choices in Relationships by David Knox and Caroline Schacht.
After graduation I’ll be: Getting a nursing degree.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The close knit community among the students, faculty, and staff.

Matt Huston ’12

matt huston

Major: Journalism/Professional Writing
Activities: Arts & Entertainment editor for The Signal
I think you should know: I sing, play guitar, and write songs. I perform at the Rat every chance I get.
After graduation I’ll be: Writing something, somewhere.
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: The College is big enough to foster a community and small enough that the community is encompassing and worthwhile. Oh, did I mention it has a first-rate student newspaper?

Kelli Plasket ’10

kelli plasket

Major: Interactive Multimedia and Journalism/Professional Writing double major
Activities: The Signal, ED@TCNJ, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, INK
I think you should know: I once shared the stage with Meredith Viera, Brian Williams, Tom Hanks, Julianne Moore, and Campbell Brown while accepting a scholarship from New York Women in Communications, Inc. It was an unforgettable day!
After graduation I’ll be: Looking for a job in digital media, hopefully in the city!
Why TCNJ is the perfect fit for me: TCNJ is just the right size for me: small enough that I get to know my professors well, big enough to maintain a vibrant student-activity community. I also came here for the innovative programs, like Interactive Multimedia—one of the few in the country that emphasizes the importance of combining professional writing, digital media, and computer science.
¹ The report, “High-Achieving Seniors and the College Decision,” was compiled by Lipman Hearne with assistance from the National Research Center for College University Admissions.

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