New Jersey Institute of Technology students arrived on campus en masse today, with a record 1,600 new students leading the way, plus thousands more sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students excited to start a new semester fully in-person for the first time since fall 2020.
Underrepresented minorities are 42% of the class of 2026, and women are 31%, both also school records. Students in the class of 2026 come from 24 countries, 23 U.S. states and two U.S. territories.
“On behalf of Student Affairs, we are thrilled to welcome students back for the first time in three years to engage in a robust on-campus experience for our newest Highlanders,” Dean of Students Marybeth Boger said. “Our team is committed to the success of our students through advocacy, support services and campus programs.”
Hannah Shahinian is still getting adjusted to freshman life at NJIT, but as an environmental science major in NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts, she’s already been doing her part to clean up New Jersey’s freshwater and tackle climate change.
Shahinian volunteered for Raritan Headwaters throughout the summer, testing water in various streams across the watershed for pollutants. Her path toward environmentalism was sparked after witnessing the impacts of Hurricane Ida on her hometown of Somerville, NJ. She’s even been working on how to combat such environmental issues — presenting research at YMCA’s New Jersey Youth and Government Conference, and recently, at YMCA’s Conference on National Affairs.
“My town was devastated by Hurricane Ida. So, I began researching permeable concrete as a solution to flooding and had the opportunity to give a presentation on how to complete road repairs or replacements using this new technology,” said Shahinian, an Albert Dorman Honors College scholar. “One of my main goals is to get to a point where someone could ask me how to solve an environmental issue and I could give them a well thought out, feasible and creative solution. … I am really excited to start learning at NJIT!”
Shahinian said she briefly met new university President Teik C. Lim and came away impressed by his own enthusiasm.
“I think the new president is very welcoming and accepting. He embodies the atmosphere of kindness that I have experienced already at NJIT,” she added. “I haven’t interacted with him much, but I appreciated the fact that he took his time to introduce himself to every student in the Italian ice line at the back-to-school carnival.”
The day was rainy, yet commuters who found a dry haven at the Wellness and Events Center between classes were ready to tackle courses, internships and recreation after a summer of work. Other students settled into their resident halls including NJIT’s newest building, Maple Hall, which just opened.
Over in Newark College of Engineering, Alec Fox is returning for his sophomore year as a computer engineering major and said he’s excited about two classes in particular. “One is my philosophy and engineering ethics class. My second one is statistics because I enjoyed statistics when I was in high school,” in the western Essex County suburb of Roseland, he said.
“I’m excited to be in a new environment,” said Abigail Chango, a first-year bioengineering major. “This year I hope to really catch up academically and just stay rooted in my beliefs, not lose who I am and just keep on being a great role model for many of my siblings.”
First-year mechanical engineering major Sean Mayerhauser, fresh out of a chemistry lab, was mulling a morning workout before his next class, at 1 p.m. As for the year ahead, he’s focused on “pass the classes, don’t get behind on the work, manage my time.”
Among new students in Ying Wu College of Computing, Nashly Moyo, a new student from Passaic, is majoring in data science. It’s a relatively new major, though long a popular research topic at NJIT. She chose to become a Highlander because of the economic value and because she kept hearing positive comments from friends who attend the school. Over the summer she traveled to the Dominican Republic and volunteered as a marching band instructor.
Renzo Cuyuche, a Carteret resident studying computer science, spent the summer playing soccer with friends and said he’s excited to make new friends here and become a software developer. His favorite programming language is Python, but he knows that much more advanced topics are ahead.
As a junior, David Turon, an information technology major, anticipates more specialization in his classes, so “I can try to figure out what I want to do in the field,” he said. Beyond his studies, he enjoys playing soccer recreationally and working out at the WEC. And after a summer job at a sneaker store and trips to Florida and Georgia, Turon seemed at home in University Heights.
Kelsey Ramos, a first-year student in Martin Tuchman School of Management, was recruited out of Wayne to join the women’s soccer team. The forward scored her first collegiate goal against St. John’s University a few weeks ago. She isn’t yet sure what she wants to do in the business world, and said she is excited to learn about other NJIT activities and organizations.
Silvester Eduardo, a second-year transfer student from Bergen Community College who’s majoring in architecture, said he looks forward to meeting his studio class professor.
Since 2018, Eduardo has been an associate draftsmen in Kearney. For him, that working experience is straightforward, whereas his time in school is more abstract. At work, he works on 2D plans for a rear yard addition to a house, a new second floor or a new kitchen layout. While at NJIT, he could be working on projects where he has to design a zoo and think about all the animals and how you’re going to control the temperature in all the spaces.
“I want to legitimize this experience with a bachelor’s degree,” said Eduardo, of Fort Lee. “So I have both a creative education and hands-on experience, where people need drawings done at a certain time, and they need to be done a certain way.”
At the Hillier College of Architecture and Design, he wants to improve his 3D graphic design skills this year and synthesize everything he’s been able to learn in class. He’s expecting to join a club called Kits for Kids, which will teach architectural concepts to 10- to 13-year-olds in Newark.
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