Before transferring to Montclair State University, I was always very limited by my academic endeavors and was consistently faced with a series of closed doors and discouraging faculty. However, in transferring to MSU, I was delightfully supplied with a comprehensive education, innumerable opportunities for leadership and professional development, and faculty who inspired and guided each student with care.
Academically, I wanted to experience my education hands-on, not just be taught my field of study through rote memorization and PowerPoint presentations. At MSU, learning transcends the typical classroom through state-of-the-art cooking laboratories with video technology, food science labs where we develop and test our own products, private counseling rooms and valuable nutrition assessment equipment for students, and state of the art smart classrooms for students and professors to present research and information. These, along with numerous off-campus learning experiences, which MSU places such value upon, stimulate professional development and group collaboration. It is ultimately MSU’s focus of putting the students into their field of study that has made me both excited and prepared to jump right into the field.
In my experience, the benefits of attending Montclair State University transcend academics. Utilizing every opportunity that comes to you is one thing that I have learned to do at Montclair. At an institution with such a fine reputation for research, students have the opportunity to put ourselves ahead of the curve. Having been provided with opportunities to work on research with professors whom I look up to, I discovered my own passion for research that otherwise would have gone undiscovered. As a member of the CEHS Student Advisory Committee, I have collaborated with students in other fields of study to bring together common messages and ideas. I am proud to be a part of an institution which fosters student collaboration instead of isolation. This emphasis on collaboration has personally furthered my own career, as exposure to different programs and students of different majors allowed me to find my passions for policy and education, both of which I have been able to incorporate into my nutrition focus.
With the confidence and experience that I gained participating in these and other opportunities, from opportunities like complementary leadership workshops I feel empowered. Not only did Montclair provide me with the tools that I need to be a success, but it also supplied me with overwhelming support to excel academically and professionally. My professors and advisors at MSU have encouraged me to take challenging opportunities, and in doing so I became the President of the Montclair State Dietetic Organization, and was elected to two nation positions within the field of dietetics. I have since gone to Capitol Hill twice to talk to senators and representatives from around the nation to advocate for a healthier country, and am currently working with leaders to provide students around the nation with opportunities for growth and experience within the field of nutrition.
Today, I can see that my experience has come full circle. What I once received from leaders at Montclair State University, is now what I am giving back as a leader that it has made me. I find myself seeking to inspire students who just need someone to believe in them; a quality that my own advisors and professors bestowed upon me. I truly became the person that I am today at Montclair State University, and could not be happier with the support, education, and opportunities that I have received throughout my journey as an MSU Red Hawk!