They Are Smart, They Are Committed and at Least One Knows How to Knit
Meet the Class of 2017.
They arrived on August 30 to begin their lives at Drew. Although most will spend the next four years finding themselves, they will leave forever bound to the Class of 2017. There are 405 of them, about 40 more than in the Class of 2016. Here’s what else we know about them:
- They come from all corners of the globe. Sixty percent are from New Jersey; the rest are new to the Garden State. It’s a group with an international flavor, with students from Ghana, Italy, China, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Canada, Iran, Egypt, France, India, South Korea, Cameroon, Israel, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Switzerland and Spain. Some are here on student visas, but others are ex-pats educated in foreign countries.
- Females outnumber males by about 60 to 40 percent, a ratio identical to the Class of 2016. Nearly 29 percent are students of color.
- They are smart, they are committed and a historically high number of them have scholarships. Their average GPA was 3.41. Some 114 are Baldwin Scholars, with exceptional academic records; 47 are Civic Scholars, having demonstrated a commitment to community service; 36 are Presidential Arts Scholars who show promise in theater, fine or performing arts and creative writing; and 45 are RISE scholars with a strong bent for science.
They are also driven by wildly different hopes and dreams.
The Class of 2017 includes a young woman who marched during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, a varsity swimmer fascinated by neuroscience, a student who has knit or collected 10,000 winter hats for the poor and homeless and a serious downhill skateboarder.
- Sarah Temraz, from Alexandria, Egypt, hopes to become a novelist. On Jan. 25, 2011, with her father and brothers, the normally crowd-averse teenager joined throngs of people marching in the streets for the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak. “At age 17, I was a freedom fighter,” she says. “Through the Egyptian Revolution, I found my voice and discovered its potency.”
- Logan Amodio, from Wayne, N.J., made a strong showing at the YMCA National Swimming Championship last month and will swim competitively at Drew. But Amodio, an Eagle Scout, is not just athletically gifted. “I want to pursue a career in neuroscience,” says Amodio, a Baldwin Scholar, RISE Science Scholar and Civic Scholar. “I like pretty much every subject, but science has been a passion of mine as long as I can remember.”
- Emily Kubin, from Morristown, N.J., decided to donate eight hats to charity after her grandmother taught her to knit. That modest goal morphed into a nonprofit, “Emily’s Hats for Hope,” with 28 spinoffs in the U.S. and three foreign countries, and widely featured in national media. Kubin, a Civic Scholar, has spotted her hats on people waiting in line at a local soup kitchen. “That’s really cool,” she says. “It feels so rewarding.”
- Michael Brown, from Ringoes, N.J., uses social media to showcase his art and graffiti stickers. By posting his illustrations on Instagram he’s developed a fan base of 5,000 followers. “The name I go by is Cornelius. I have multiple styles, but the more street art version of my work uses bright vibrant colors and bold outlines of really weird creatures,” says Brown, who will play lacrosse at Drew. “I’m really building a brand. I want to study business. The more fans I have, the easier it will be to start a business.”
- Danielle Dorvil and her family escaped harm in the earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, but her school was damaged extensively. Within a matter of days her parents sent Dorvil and two siblings to live with an aunt and uncle in Edison N.J. Dorvil spoke French and Haitian Creole, but was not fluent in English. Undeterred, she joined the school marching band and a volunteer project assisting the homeless. “Community service can have a profound effect,” said Dorvil, a Civic Scholar. “I remember feeling we were so lucky, having a home.”
- Logan Thomson-de Sa, a Baldwin Scholar from Boca Raton, Fla., plans to major in psychology and economics and minor in Italian. He’s also like to start a skateboarding club at Drew. He’s been competing in downhill skateboarding competition for three years and spent the last two weeks of August skating around the Northeast. “It was my first big adventure outside my state. I competed in central Mass., one of the biggest events on the East Coast, ” says Thomson-de Sa, who brought two skateboards to Madison. “If anyone’s interested, just knock on my door.”
- Alec Amato, from Mendham, N.J., likes to race, competing with the ski team out of Mountain Creek. A Civic Scholar pursuing pre-med, he chose Drew to be close to home—his mother has been treated for breast cancer—and because a close family friend, a physician, suggested it. “She’s a really good friend, who actually delivered me and my little brother,” he says. “She said, ‘Look at Drew, it’s right around the corner.’ I did, and fell in love with it.”