By Angely M. Melendez (SEB’20), Continuing Transfer Student
National Transfer Student Week—every third week in October—celebrates transfer students and the professionals who support them on their journeys. Join us in recognizing those who have made this journey! #TransferStudentWeek. Here we meet Angely Melendez (SEB’20), majoring in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behaviors in the Department of Human Ecology.
My name is Angely Melendez and I am currently completing my last semester as an undergrad and will be receiving a SEBS degree in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behaviors (EPIB).
My education at Rutgers began after completing my Associate’s Degree in International Studies over at the Community College of Morris. I was extremely excited to finally start classes at Rutgers, but also understandably worried considering how huge Rutgers is. What helped me really solidify my place at this university, though, was my admittance to both SEBS EOF and Helyar House. These places both gave me a home base to run back to and guidance to help me move forward. They both connected me to resources like talks from professionals within the field, de-stressing events, and resume building workshops.
As a team, SEBS EOF works to create multiple, intentional spaces within our program to keep our students engaged. We value the connections we create with our students, as each of us are first-generation college students from diverse backgrounds. Through clubs, workshops, one-on-one monthly counseling visits and the mandatory transfer student seminar in the fall semester, incoming transfer students have several touch points within our program. Transfer students can connect with other students who have similar backgrounds and experiences which helps them feel more at home sooner than most.” — Mrs. Edrice Robinson-Wyatt, Senior Counselor, Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program
Besides the two organizations mentioned above, my major has also been one of my greatest supports. EPIB is a close knit community where most students know each other, along with the professors and staff. You continuously see each other and truly feel a sense of belonging. The professors also go above and beyond to not only make sure you understand their material, but also help with future planning whether it be about continuing education or going straight into the working field.
For example, Angela Oberg, assistant teaching professor, has been a great professor. She helps explain complicated concepts in an easy to understand manner, makes class enjoyable, and helps you really think outside the box regarding your future. She was my professor for three classes, all regarding sustainability. Alongside her are the likes of Karen O’Neill, my Environmental History professor, who was extremely fun and knowledgeable. Quite honestly, if given the chance, I would name almost every EPIB professor I’ve had. Truly, this major is exactly what a student would ask for, in terms of support and teaching.
Post graduation I hope to do one of two things, find a career within my field or continue my education. I am applying for both and whichever seems to fit the best at the time, I will pursue. My long term plan is to pursue a masters degree and to work in a field that helps the environment and surrounding communities prosper. Whether that means working within government, non-profits, or etc. is left to time, I just hope that I can make an impact.