While she didn’t know for sure until she made that final decision, the chances were always pretty good that Anna Schicker (SEBS’27) would attend Rutgers.
Rutgers feels like home. A tradition, almost, going by her small nuclear family who have all attended Rutgers. Her parents, Eric and Sue, met in graduate school at Rutgers-Newark. Her mother was an undergraduate on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus, and her sister, Elise, is a junior at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS).
Anna will be living at Helyar House, a living-learning community on the Cook Campus. She’s no stranger to the cooperative, communal living in this special house that serves as an alternative to traditional campus residence halls. In fact, her sister, Elise, is a resident of Helyar House and serves as its current president. Anna has visited her sister on campus often enough that she’s already familiar with the rhythm and expectations of this unique student living space.
“I already feel like I have a very close connection with many of the students living at Helyar House. I’m also looking forward to joining clubs and doing extra-curricular activities to make even more connections.”
While a sense of feeling connected was important to Anna, ultimately her decision to attend Rutgers rested on its stellar reputation and, in no small measure, to its access and proximity. Her enthusiasm at being a new face on the New Brunswick campus reads like a commercial for the university.
“I ultimately picked Rutgers because I loved their community, the opportunities they create, their resources/research, and how close it was to home. I have heard so many positive things about what Rutgers has to offer, and I knew I would get a good education by attending.”
A high-achieving student at Pascack Valley HS in Hillsdale, NJ, Anna was a not surprising, part of the honors cohort. She was a member of both the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society.
Anna spent time during school tutoring students in other grades in math and science. She emerged as a leader in high school, serving as president of the Research in Molecular Genetics Club and a teacher’s assistant for the Honors Research in Molecular Genetics class during her senior year.
She represented her peers on the student council for three years. “I’ve always been comfortable speaking to my peers, and working on fundraising projects and volunteering with them.”
Anna always knew she’d be pursuing the sciences at college. “I’m passionate about anything in the sciences. During high school, I tended to enjoy my math and science classes more than others.”
She adds. “I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that was involved in science, so I looked at SEBS. I loved the diverse community of students at SEBS, and I wanted to get involved in that.”
She plans to major in Biotechnology. Her sister, Elise, is also a biotechnology major, but she’s not merely following in her sister’s footsteps. Anna’s interest in biotechnology and her choosing it as her major are a means to an end, that includes her desire “to work to communicate science issues and ethics to the public.”
Anna shows a maturity that belies her age as it relates to her understanding of social issues. She cites this example. “Lab-grown meat is a very controversial topic that I feel many people don’t fully understand the ethics of.”
For her, pursing the biotechnology major gives her the tools to better be able to both understand and communicate similarly complex issues based on science.
“I feel like there is a big disconnect in what people believe about scientific research and the actual data derived from such research. In the future, we are going to face issues like food and water insecurity. I feel that it’s important for everyone to have a full understanding of these global concerns and my desire is to help shape the public’s perception and trust in science.”