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How Was Your Transition to Remote Learning?

Students share their experiences from the Spring 2020 semester.

Anna Root

Year: Junior
Major: Biology
Hometown: Andover, MA

" 'Systems Physiology' is known for being a tough, detail-oriented course that many pre-med, life science, and exercise science students take. This semester, Dr. Nelson went above and beyond to support our learning with loads of resources. Something that I really appreciated was that she took extra time to interview friends who are medical professionals/researchers over webchats. They shared their personal journeys and relevant examples of topics that we were learning in class. These interviews connected the coursework to real life and offered helpful advice to undergrads trying to figure out career plans."

Anna Root

Calvin Kuo

Year: Senior
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Parsippany, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"When my computer science professor heard our frustration, trying to implement what we learned during our online lectures into working code for our programming assignments, he decided to help by providing a skeleton code format for each of our remaining assignments. By providing a skeleton code, each assignment's requirements became clearer and students were able to complete assignments without wandering aimlessly to find solutions."

Calvin Kuo

Cassie Cuddihy

Year: Freshman
Major: Communication
Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"I’ve had a very positive experience transitioning from in-person to virtual courses. My professors were all organized, reliable and supportive with the transition. They also were all very understanding if some students met obstacles or needed help along the way. I had many opportunities to connect with my communities online. Many of the groups I am a part of have connected via Webex or Zoom for casual meet-ups to check in on everyone."

Cassie Cuddihy

Devan Patel

Year: Sophomore
Major: Finance
Hometown: Mt. Laurel, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"Rutgers University has done a great job engaging with their students, despite not being on campus. Many professors not only held live lectures but also recorded and uploaded them to accommodate us, which made access very easy and stress-free. That was also a great study tool when finals came around. All around, Rutgers made the best out of online classes that allowed me to grow as a student."

Devan Patel

Nicholas DeGennaro

Year: Freshman
Major/School: Undecided, School of Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Clifton, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"My professors have done such a great job in the transition to online learning in the past few weeks. Not only have they come up with new ways for us to grasp concepts, they've maximized them and utilized new tools and features to make class time as enjoyable as possible and to feel like we are all still together. Melissa Lieberman, my math professor, offered several online office hours a week and allowed for face-to-face video chats in the last days of class to maintain a good student-teacher relationship. It was much appreciated and allowed me to realize how much my professors really care about me as a student."

Nicholas DeGennaro

Priya Agarwal

Year: Sophomore
Major: Cell Biology and Neuroscience
Hometown: Piscataway, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"Although our trip to Japan was canceled, we were still able to meet and interact with students from Fukui University. It was amazing to get a more global perspective on world events and to talk about the course material. Professor Wakabayashi from Rutgers and Professor Hosoya from Fukui did an excellent job putting this together."

Priya Agarwal

Sabrina Jordan

Year: Senior
Major: Latino and Caribbean Studies
Hometown: Hackensack, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"My 'History of Mexico' class did something really cool by giving us the option to swap our final essay for a digital timeline. It was a really cool use of digital technologies and I was really happy with how it turned out."

Sabrina Jordan

Siddharth Marwaha

Year: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"(As) both a student and helping to teach a class during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has really allowed me to understand the difficulties that come with being on either side, and I overwhelmingly found that Rutgers students and faculty were able to be flexible, understanding, and kind during this challenge. My professors had extended office hours and offered multiple ways to learn, while my students used different ways to reach out with questions and ensure that their work was the best that it could be. Scarlet Knights can be resilient when the moment calls for it, and I know that this resiliency will translate into real-world success for me and my peers down the road."

Student Siddharth Marwaha

Tiffany Yang

Year: Senior
Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Annandale, NJ

How was your transition to remote learning during the Spring 2020 semester?

"For my senior design class in chemical engineering, my professor was able to modify the course so that we were able to continue working collaboratively with other students, while learning the technical skills required. By recording live lectures and hosting more office hours with the teaching assistants, there was increased flexibility for students to learn on their own time and find extra help when needed. These efforts culminated into a realistic and finished simulation of a biomass plant that is comparable to what is used in industry today!"

Tiffany Yang
Anna Root
Calvin Kuo
Cassie Cuddihy
Devan Patel
Nicholas DeGennaro
Priya Agarwal
Sabrina Jordan
Student Siddharth Marwaha
Tiffany Yang

Read More Student Stories

Adrienne Wartawan

Year: Sophmore
Major: Public Health
Hometown: Marlboro, NJ

What’s your favorite spot on campus and why?

The Student Activity Center. It’s peaceful, quiet, and close to my dorm. Plus, on a nice, sunny day, the view of the river is beautiful and relaxing.

What’s the most interesting class you’ve taken and why? 

Health Care Systems, which was about health insurance, turned out to be the most interesting class I've taken. It was an eye-opener to how insurance operates and how it affects us. I think college students only understand the base level of insurance, but taking Health Care Systems really let me understand how I will be paying into the system.

What do you do on the weekends? 

I’m finishing any assignments or hanging out with my friends. We’re in this service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega and sometimes we’ll participate in service projects in our local Rutgers community on weekends.

Where do you see yourself a year after graduation? 

I hope to land a full-time job working as a clinical informatics analyst, or even a population health specialist. I'm hoping my work will help improve people's lives.

Adrienne Wartawan

Amir Jamal

Year: Junior
Major: Health Administration
Hometown: Hyde Park, NY

What’s been the most surprising thing about being a Rutgers student?

How diverse the people are here: I’ve met and gotten to know people from all different races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations and gender identities. I feel like I have grown so much as a person by being around people from such different backgrounds.

Tell us your favorite Rutgers story.

The spring semester of my freshman year, there was a snow day so my group of friends and I spent the entire day studying, taking pictures in the snow, watching movies and drinking hot chocolate.

What’s the most interesting class you’ve taken and why?

I took a class called Basic Acting to improve my skills as an actor, and for three hours twice a week we would talk about emotional vulnerability and how to live honestly. This class helped me become a better actor… and a better person overall.

What do you do when you’re not in class?

I’m involved with the College Avenue Players (CAP), a comedic theater group on campus where I act and also help to build sets and run lights and sound. So, when I'm not in class, I'm usually there, or at RWJ Hospital-Somerset, where I’m a housekeeper.

Amir Jamal

Caroline Barkemeyer

Year: Junior
Major: Urban Planning and Design 
Hometown: Morristown, NJ

Tell us your favorite Rutgers story.

I look back on my time at Rutgers and the friends I have made I now consider them to be my family. We’re always there for each other, if we’re having a bad day, just hanging out and talking, or going to grab food and watch football. Our late-night IHOP runs are top of the list!

What’s been the most surprising thing about being a Rutgers student?

It’s crazy how you can meet someone your first year in one random gen-ed class and then you may not see them for two years. Then you suddenly see them walking on the street or riding the bus and talk and catch up right where you left off. Even though Rutgers is such a large school, there is such community.

How do you manage the stresses of college life? 

As a transfer student, I have been able to see how two completely different schools operate and really learn what triggers the bulk of my stress and how to keep it at a minimum. I’ve developed the mindset that my health and happiness is my main priority. I think what most college students forget is that if you aren’t happy and healthy first, then school, work and family stress can really pile up and weigh you down: You need to have some kind of outlet.

What’s the most interesting class you’ve taken and why? 

In US Housing Policy with Dr. Alan Cander, I learned how housing policy is connected to the social framework and composition of society. Our government literally dictates who can achieve wealth and how much of it they can achieve and who can’t. The current housing policies have shed light on our past and how we are trying to better ourselves as a country on the whole.

Caroline Barkemeyer

Cole Kaufman

Year: Senior
Major: Communications
Hometown: Roxbury, NJ

What’s been the most surprising thing about being a Rutgers student?

Being able to find your own identity within the crowd. As an LGBTQ+ student, I was not always confident in who I was. However, since being at Rutgers, I’ve been able to find my voice and be proud of the journey I’ve been on. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how you identify yourself: When you come to Rutgers, you can always find your community. There is always someone who will accept you with open arms.

In what ways do you think Rutgers is preparing you for the future?

Rutgers is allowing me the opportunity to have my voice heard, in and out of the classroom. From academic development to social activism, Rutgers lets its students to push the boundaries of what “possible” is.

What do you do when you’re not in class?

I keep busy with the on-campus organizations I’m part of. I also have on-campus jobs and school work. I’m an Assistant Director of Marketing for Rutgers University Dance Marathon, which supports children suffering from cancer and other blood disorders through the Embrace Kids Foundation. I’m also a Resident Assistant to sophomore students on College Avenue Campus, where I help build community. I also work as a lifeguard for both the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center and the College Avenue Gym. You can always find something to do around campus, and get involved.

What’s the Rutgers social scene like?

Very diverse. You can be a part of Greek Life, a student leadership position, or find your community through multicultural and service organizations. There are so many ways to find your place at Rutgers, and once you’re immersed in the many communities, you can truly find your identity. There’s something for everyone, you just have to go out there and find it!

Cole Kaufman

Ashley Abrams

Year: Senior
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Hamilton Township, NJ

What’s been the most surprising thing about being a Rutgers student?

What was so surprising to me about Rutgers is how small it feels sometimes, in spite of its size. I keep running into the same people when I’m walking around campus, and I run into friends from classes and activities more often than I thought I would, which is always nice.

How do you get around campus, and what’s that like?

I don't have a car, so I take the bus between classes. Last semester, most of my classes were on the campus I lived on (College Avenue), but I took the bus to Douglass two to three times per week. I actually love traveling to Douglass because I spend that time at the Eagleton Institute in the Wood Lawn mansion, which is beautiful.

How are the residence halls?

I am a Resident Assistant in a multi-year Honors Program community, and I love it! My building is very diverse and I've been able to meet people from all majors, ages and backgrounds. It’s super social.

Tell us your favorite Rutgers story.

I was part of the group of students who brought comedian Hasan Minhaj to campus in the fall of 2018, and the event hosted over 1,000 students. After the event, I was able to shake Hasan's hand and take a photo with him! Seeing the event come to fruition after months of planning with my executive board and the opportunity to meet someone prominent like Minhaj was an amazing experience.

Ashley Abrams
Adrienne Wartawan
Amir Jamal
Caroline Barkemeyer
Cole Kaufman
Ashley Abrams