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Drew University Students Gear Up for Launch Communities Expo

Three students discuss the ins and outs

October 2019 – On Friday, October 11, Drew University will host the Launch Communities Expo as part of Family Weekend, introducing Drew’s new Launch approach to undergraduate education. The event will feature a showcase of the 16 career and identity/affinity communities, think tanks, a student poster sessions and a networking reception. Expo guests include students, alums, family members, employers, other community members, faculty and staff.

We spoke with three students who are members of career and identity/affinity communities about their Launch experience and what they’re looking to get out of the Expo.

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Kassel Franco Garibay is a part of the Gender & Sexuality, Ethnic/Racial Heritage and International Student identity/affinity communities.

What does it mean to be a part of your affinity/career community?

“Part of the reason why I came to the U.S. for college was to learn more about gender diversity and LGBTQ issues by becoming a Women’s & Gender Studies major. Being a part of the Gender & Sexuality community allows me to translate what I learn in the classroom into everyday conversations and actions. Similarly, with the Ethnicity/Racial Heritage community, I am excited to have a space where people can relate to each other and learn from each other in a safe and comfortable environment.” —Kassel Franco Garibay C’20

“Being part of the Arts, Communications & Languages community allows me to share my passion for creativity with others who hold the same values and interests. I am excited to partner with my peers, faculty and mentors in gaining real world insight on the arts and communications industries, as well as exploring professional and career opportunities.” —Haley Watson C’20

Commuter, Transfer and Non-Traditional are labels that at first made me feel frightened and scared I would be singled out in the college community. However, knowing that there are fellow students overcoming similar challenges and yet being able to succeed not only eases, but also enhances this experience.” —Fabiana Rocha C’20

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Fabiana Rocha is a part of the Commuter/Transfer/Non-Traditional Identity/Affinity community.

What is your Launch Communities Expo poster about?

“I have shared my experience in creative projects such as my participation in the Drew Commuters Association and TEDxDrewUniversity. These experiences have opened opportunities for my self development and to connect with people on campus. I have acquired important skills such as teamwork, leadership, interpersonal communication and public speaking.” —Rocha

“My poster is about the Día de Muertos altar and celebration I organized last year. … A lot of people don’t know about it, and it is a beautiful Mexican tradition that I hope Drew can make its own.” —Franco Garibay

“I will be presenting on my student employment experience at the Center for Internships and Career Development … as the center’s student marketing assistant and how this student employment experience has helped shape my academic interests and professional development.” —Watson

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Haley Watson is a part of the Arts, Communications & Languages career community.

How can Launch help you?

“As an English and Communications & Media double major, Launch will help me apply my academic experiences to the professional environment. Launch has given me the opportunity to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and make meaningful contributions in discussions and discourse revolving around the communication industry. I am interested in a variety of careers, specifically in marketing, public relations, publishing and education. Launch will help me explore these fields by connecting me with experienced mentors and providing me with opportunities to explore my career paths.” —Watson

“The feature I really like about Launch is its platform to assist students on networking. I have learned that opportunities come through connections one makes along one’s journey, not only during college, but throughout life. Connecting with other students, professors and mentors is fundamental not only to find opportunities of interest, but also to find people who will along the way, get to know you enough to speak, sponsor, recommend and advocate for you.” —Rocha

“I think I will definitely benefit from the networking aspect that [Launch] communities bring, especially now that I am preparing for the steps after Drew.” —Franco Garibay

What are you hoping to get out of the Launch Communities Expo?

“I am hoping to learn more about what other Drew students are up to. But most importantly, this is my parents’ first time at Drew and I am excited for them to see not only my poster but also get a sense of what Drew is like.” —Franco Garibay

“I look forward to sharing my immersive experience with the Drew community, including alumni and employers attending the Expo. The Expo will be a great opportunity for me to engage with members of my Launch community and network with a variety of individuals who work in the communications industry.” —Watson

“Through the Launch Communities Expo I want to be able to share my experience with other students and to meet others in and out of my identity/affinity community.” —Rocha

Launch Expo Info