The Honors College recently sat down with Colin Sheehan, a junior Political Science major, BA/JD student, Civic Scholar, and generally impressive human being. We wanted to chat with Colin about his future plans and how his undergraduate experiences at Rutgers University Camden have impacted those plans.
HC: It’s no secret that you are a very engaged member of both our campus community and of the larger Camden community. What are some of the most meaningful or impactful experiences you’ve had as a result of your engagement at RUC?
CS: Planning the MLK Day of Service and Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week; partnering with AquaCorps and Joseph’s House on homelessness outreach; attending a conference at the Newseum in Washington D.C. with Dr. Dittmar in support of her “Presidental Gender Watch” assignment (for which I was a research assistant); having an article published in Ms. Magazine.
HC: That is an impressive list! How have these experiences shaped your future plans?
CS: One of the things I’ve learned at Rutgers Camden is that if you seek out opportunities to shape the campus, the campus will also shape you. For example, coming in as a freshman I knew I was interested in Political Science, but I had no definite path in mind. My time volunteering in Camden has really opened my eyes to the needs of vulnerable populations when it comes to issues like homelessness, education access, and healthcare, and I realize now that in my future work, I’d like to be able to tackle these issues on a more macro level. Ultimately, once I’m finished law school, I’d like to become a legislative aid so that I can shape public policy and bring those changes back to communities like Camden. But I would have never developed this interest if I hadn’t become involved with the Camden community through my service engagements.
HC: If you could go back in time and offer the freshman version of yourself some advice about college, what would you tell him?
CS: I would say that, especially for commuter students like me, it can be tempting to just go to class each day and drive home again and never really get involved, but for me it has made all the difference. Getting involved and being open to opportunities to enrich your experience is going to make your time in college infinitely more enjoyable, and you might find inspiration in the places you least expect.