Thursday, May 13, 2010

The University in the Forest

I’m not going to hide my bias, I love this place! When I look back at decisions made in my life, deciding to pursue my BA at Drew University in Madison, NJ ranks up there in the top 3! Graduating from a large high school, I wanted an experience where the community was more intimate. When I set foot on Drew's campus, I fell in love with not only the beauty of the campus, but the academic offerings and the intimate setting. Going into my first year, I was a History major, but thanks to the late Dr. Julius Mastro and his American Government class, that quickly changed to Political Science.

One of my favorite things about Drew was the open-mindedness of its faculty and students. I entered Drew as a Republican and left Drew as a Republican. Most college campuses across the United States have a liberal bend, Drew included, but it was not forced upon you. Having espoused my beliefs and perspective to my friends, in class, through my opinions column and as College Republicans President, I have never felt pressure from anyone to silence myself, I have never been forced to silence myself and have never had a professor who attempted to indoctrinate me. This is the hidden secret of Drew and it showed me, especially after having a history teacher in high school who loudly proclaimed his liberalism, that education can take place in a non-partisan fashion. It led me to run my classroom the same way, teaching students how to think and not what to think, and sadly, our public schools, in general, need to do a much better job at this.

Between my study abroad trip to Iceland, the George W. Bush campaign stops, the times I’ve been quoted/pictured in the Daily Record and Star-Ledger, working closely with Governor Kean as CRs President and in his class (That’s right, the president taught a class!!!), the friendships I’ve made and the preparation I’ve had for life after Drew, there are all good memories from Drew.

Governor Kean once said in his State Government class/seminar, “Give back to those who have given to you.” I am honored to work closely with Drew today through the College Alumni Association, and am even more proud to give Drew a significant role in The Calling to Lead (the story starts on the Drew campus). If the novel does, one day, get published, it is my hope that all those who read it will discover how Drew University, that University in the Forest, is an incredible institution that takes seriously its role in training tomorrow’s leaders.

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