Honors Student Profiles
Meet Our Honors Students
Students may complete the University Honors Program at St. John's in any of the University's undergraduate colleges and majors. All of the students profiled below are presently completing their core requirements (those courses all undergraduates at St. John's take) in special honors sections of these courses even as they pursue a wide variety of majors in the college or school appropriate to that major.
The abbreviations that follow the names of the students profiled below stand for St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Tobin College of Business, the School of Education, and the College of Professional Studies.
These young people differ considerably from one another, yet all of them love learning. The Honors Program, as they themselves are first to say, unites them and broadens their educational experience.
We are very proud of them, and believe that you will be as impressed by their ambition and achievements as we are.
Min Guy Ahn, also known as William, was born in Korea, but raised in Queens, New York. He is a pharmacy major, but enjoys just about everything academic. The honors core courses he has taken, philosophy, first-year writing, and honors global literature, have been his particular favorites. He believes that they have deepened his appreciation for the science and mathematics courses his pharmacy curriculum has required. William sees his career as a pharmacist in terms of its value to the community rather than as just a career. His service involvements are one indication of this.
William has lived in New York for practically his entire life, but he feels like as though he had not really known it until he took the honors version of the required Discover New York course. He believes that this course has allowed him to see the city in ways directly connected with the University’s mission as well as his own impulse toward service. His honors writing course allowed him to further develop his writing and creative skills. Another of William's favorite courses was Honors Global Literature. This course allowed him to read a wide range of literature, from Homer's Odyssey to a contemporary novel about the search for meaning and patterns in life: Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store.
The Honors Program has become a home away from home for William, particularly on days with long class and lab hours. He frequents the Honors Commons, which is open at all times and every day for study, socializing with other members of the program from across the University, and simply as a place to relax. William has also taken advantage of the program’s museum gallery tours, its Manhattan walking tours, and its theatre programs at the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet. In short, William believes the Honors Program has been a great experience.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Lara Albrechcinski attended the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, a small private school located in Edison, from Pre-K to 12th grade. In choosing a college, Lara was looking for the same strong sense of community and diversity that her school had, and she found it at St. John’s. She has now experienced what a “perfect fit” feels like and is incredibly grateful for the opportunities that present themselves here. She loves the atmosphere of New York City and plans to expand her horizons even more by studying abroad and visiting Italy, France, and Spain through the Discover the World program.
Lara has wanted to be a pharmacist ever since she was little; she was always interested in science and medicine. She was vice-president of the STEM Society in her high school and would help run the annual Science Fair. Lara enjoys her time learning about pharmacy related topics and focuses on her studies in hope that she will be accepted into the Rho Chi Society, the international Honors Society for pharmaceutical sciences, when she is eligible.
In high school, Lara found a passion for volleyball and became the captain of her team two years in a row. Now when she is free from her studies, Lara can be seen participating in intramural volleyball and in the other workout classes that St. John’s has to offer, especially Blacklight Spin and Bootcamp class. Lara appreciates the Vincentian mission of St. John’s and enjoys volunteering to help out the community. She finds solace in participating in New York Cares Day, Midnight Runs, and Academic Service Learning around St. John’s University.
Lara The Honors Program has allowed Lara to try activities that she otherwise would not have, as well as learn a great deal about things she had never been exposed to before. Thanks to the Honors Program Lara has a newfound love for the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. She recently saw her first opera, Carmen, and plans to attend many more. She also appreciates the smaller size of honors classes and the Honors Commons, where students can be found quietly studying, enjoying each other’s company, and enjoying special snack days, all of which remind her of her honors high school community at home. Thanks to the Honors Program, Lara knows she will excel and grow not only academically, but culturally and experientially.
Melanie Butron had never visited St. John’s University until Accepted Students Day, but she immediately knew it was the place she wanted to be. After having graduated from Brooklyn Tech, one of the best public high schools in the city, she knew that she wanted to attend a major university. She was drawn to the beautiful campus and enthusiastic students that welcomed her almost immediately. St. John’s mission of being Vincentian is what sealed the deal. She liked the idea of giving back to the community, doing community service work, and the core curriculum, which emphasized faith and morality.
Melanie enjoys expressing herself through different mediums, especially art. Being creative and thinking outside of the box is what makes her stand out from the crowd. Knowing that she wanted to incorporate her artistic talents within her career, Melanie decided to pursue marketing in hopes of starting her own website in the near future.
Staying active and in tune with nature is also essential for Melanie. She was captain of her high school lacrosse team, which had an undefeated season and won the championship in her senior year. These days, Melanie can be seen attending yoga classes and running at the gym or around the track. She enjoys the outdoor seating all around campus during the warmer months, but takes refuge in the Honors Commons or library when it gets colder.
Melanie is maintaining a 4.0 GPA so far, and is determined to continue her hard work, though she realizes that student quality is not defined by numbers. Her goal is to learn as much as possible and apply it to her everyday life. Melanie takes advantage of the wide variety of honors courses and takes as many as she can to benefit from the smaller class sizes. They allow her to get to know more students who often share other classes with her, as well.
A particularly attractive aspect of the honors program is the numerous exclusive events that are available for Honors Program students: free tickets to the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the New york City Ballet as well as walking tours of historical Manhattan neighborhoods and visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters. There are also many opportunities to meet other students and take a break from school work. Through the Honors Program, Melanie has been able to see the city in a new light and experience the arts in way she has never experienced before.
Jacqueline ("Jackie") Canino, a Queens campus residential student from Greenlawn, Long Island, is majoring in Homeland and Corporate Security. She is currently the Secretary for the Homeland and Corporate Security Students Association and is a student worker at the Student Resident Mail Room.
During high school, Jackie was involved in anything and everything. She was the senior editor of the school's yearbook as well as senior editor of her school's literary magazine. Aside from that, she was also the vice president of the Forensics Club and team captain for the forensics competition team her senior year, while participating in many other clubs and honor societies. It is this drive that brought Jackie to St. John's University.
Proximity to Manhattan as well as being close enough to return home whenever she wished, is part of what first sparked her interest in St. John's. In high school, she had participated in the University’s College Advantage Program through which she was able to enter freshman year with twelve college credits. Logically, St. John's became a perfect academic home for Jackie, and it was on her first visit to the Queens campus that Jackie knew she would be a “Johnnie.”
Jackie’s passion for school has led her to get involved in many different academic and extracurricular activities on campus. She regularly attends the St. John’s basketball and baseball games and even plays intramural softball.
Jackie also has the Vincentian spirit of St. John's. At home on Long Island, she volunteers with two fire departments and works in local projects for children. On campus, Jackie also likes to serve at “Midnight Runs” (a Campus Ministry program to feed the homeless) and other community service opportunities.
When Jackie was initially invited into the Honors Program she was hesitant, unsure if this would mean that there would be extra, more difficult courses and intimidating professors, but she decided to dive in and give it a try. She was pleasantly surprised when she discovered that the professors were supportive in the success of their students and that classes were smaller, not harder. Every honors class she takes becomes a new favorite, as each of the honors professors has a distinctive teaching style and often encourages individuality beyond test taking.
Jackie takes full advantage of the Honors Commons, and she likes to spend time there in study groups with others in the program. She also enjoys attending the different events that are available exclusively to honors program students, her favorite being performances of the New York City Ballet.
Sarah Guthrie is a Queens Campus commuter student from Queens Village, New York who majors in Computer Science with a focus on cyber security. After hearing remarkable things about St. John’s from her brother who graduated several years ago, she knew this was the place for her.
In high school Sarah was very involved in community service and was delighted when she found out about St. John’s Vincentian Mission. One of the highlights of Sarah’s high school career was being part of New York Cares, an organization that allows teenagers to participate in many different community service projects. Sarah has been able to continue giving back to her community in college through the many service opportunities offered by campus ministry. Sarah hopes to get more involved in her sophomore year and to eventually go on a plunge.
Sarah’s first experience at St. John’s was the St. Lazare retreat, available to all incoming freshmen. It allowed her to make friends as well as get involved with campus ministry. She appreciates the retreats they offer as well as various activities because it allows her to grow deeper in her faith. Sarah has been inspired to spread her faith with others as she has led the Search 9 retreat and will lead the St. Lazare retreat.
One of Sarah’s favorite parts of the St. John’s campus is the Honors Commons. As a commuter she often spends her breaks between classes there. The Honors Commons serves as a quiet oasis that allows Sarah to settle down after a long of day class or as a place to study. Sarah appreciates the small classes that the Honors Program offers. It allows her to have a better learning experience. The Honors Program has clearly enriched her experience at St. John’s.
Hailing from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Brianna Hairston has found her home away from home at St. John’s University. Upon graduating from the prestigious Charlotte Amalie High School, Brianna knew that she wanted to further her studies in a location that was different from the beautiful yet tiny island on which she was raised. St. John’s, with its diverse academic community, has allowed Brianna to find a true family of friends consisting of people from all walks of life. In Brianna’s own words, “One of the most beautiful things about St. John’s is the diversity that can be found all over campus.”
With a major in biology and a minor in business, Brianna plans to pursue a career as a medical doctor specializing in ophthalmology. In high school she was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Role Model award and was recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. Similar recognitions have continued during her college years. She is a member of various organizations on campus including the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and the National Society for Leadership and Success. Brianna also has a passion for community service, which is another reason for her attraction to St. John’s University. Since the eighth grade she has utilized her culinary talent to host cupcake sales, and donate the proceeds to organizations such as Feed the Children and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
On learning of her acceptance into the Honors Program, Brianna worried about the intensity of the work load, yet has found her honors courses stimulating and original rather than difficult. Her honors curriculum has motivated and pushed Brianna continuously to excel. She cites the professors of the honors program as an important contribution to her academic success. “The professors are dedicated and passionate about the courses they teach, and this makes learning more enjoyable,” she states. “Dr. Forman was one of my favorite teachers, and his wisdom is truly inspiring. His love for literature further expanded my love for Literature. There was never a dull moment in his class. The Honors Program at St. John’s University is an amazing program to be a part of. In addition to a wonderful educational curriculum, the Honors Program also offers various activities for students to part take in off campus. These activities include trips to the Bronx Zoo and walking tours in Manhattan. I am truly thankful for the Honors Program.”
Rose Haslbauer is a Queens campus commuter student from Levittown, New York who majors in Theology with a double minor in English and Psychology. She initially entered St. John’s as an undeclared major in hopes that through her core curriculum classes and honors program courses, she would be able to find where her passion lies.
During high school at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, she was involved in many extracurricular activities, especially ones that involved her faith and the aspect of service. She would become a student leader in a service-based club that ran special events held at the school, a retreat program leader, and senior co-captain of her varsity swim team. When she first visited St. John’s University, she was able to clearly see the spirit of the Vincentian mission of service, which was one of the leading factors in her college decision.
Upon entering St. John’s, she quickly became involved in organizations through Campus Ministry as a part of the Catholic Scholars Program. She started off her freshman year with the Rendu Service Experience, which was a formative step to acclimating herself to college life and the service opportunities St. John’s offers. Because of the great experience she has had with Rendu, she has become a leader for this service experience as well.
In addition to the Rendu Service Experience, she has gone on other service trips, such as the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Greensboro, North Carolina Plunges. She fully immerses herself in the ideals of St. John’s and the Vincentian mission, going on retreats as well as helping lead them. She is the treasurer of Students For Life, the pro-life organization and is involved in other religious based organizations as well. It is through her involvement in Campus Ministry that she was able to find her passion and declare her major in Theology.
More than that, Rose knows that her primary focus is on her academics and moving towards the goal of a career after she graduates from St. John’s. When she was invited to be a member of the Honors Program, she knew that it would be a great step to further advance her collegiate studies. She has been more than happy with her decision to join the Honors Program and has enjoyed her experiences with it. Some examples include taking engaging, discussion-based classes and going on walking tours of New York with other Honors Program students to enrich her knowledge of her native New York. She hopes to attend more trips such as the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera with the Program as well.
Most days you can find Rose start her morning in the Honors Commons studying and working on homework before her classes begin. On campus, you can see her doing service through Campus Ministry, too. Over the summer, she takes a break from her faith-based organizations to put on a red polo and khakis as a New Student Orientation Leader, helping welcome students to St. John’s University in hopes to help incoming students fall in love with St. John’s, just as she has.
Sean Ismaili, a resident of nearby Hillsborough, New Jersey, might appear the typical St. John’s student. He was, however, born in the Republic of Ireland to an expatriated Albanian American chemical engineer and the daughter of Irish Catholic immigrants to the United States. With this background, he satisfies the often-heard phrase “global citizen.” As such, he appreciates the global focus of St. John’s. He understands the continuity of the University’s history in its service to immigrant communities, one that dates back to Bishop John Loughlin’s original mandate for a Catholic college in the post-Civil War Diocese of Brooklyn.
Sean spent his childhood in New Jersey and he learned at a young age the value of service to others. During high school, he became a firefighter with Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 having graduated from the Somerset County Fire Academy. Even so, he balanced his role in the fire service with his studies.
Sean began to passionately follow public affairs early in life, so it was hardly a surprise that government and politics became his major at St. John’s. A logical adjunct to his major is Sean’s participation in the Speech and Debate Society.
Sean was elected treasurer of the St. John’s College Democrats in January of 2016 and in May of that year, was accepted into the University’s chapter of the National Political Science Honors Society Pi Sigma Alpha. He credits the reputation of the University Honors Program with opening the door to professional experiences, including an internship with the New Jersey Superior Court.
Thanks to the Honors Program, Sean has been able to explore broader interests as well. He has participated in Manhattan walking tours and gallery visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art led by Dr. Forman, the Honors Program’s Director. He has also attended a notable performance of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera.
Sean has found the Honors Commons, a special lounge set aside for members of the Honors Program, to be a valuable resource when he needed a quiet place to get work done or just wanted to pass the time with other Honors Program students between classes.
After St. John’s, Sean hopes to continue his education by earning an advanced degree in either political science or law. No matter what lies ahead for him, Sean is confident that the honors program has been and will continue to be of major importance in his academic and personal development.
Wesley Martinez, hailing from Southern California, was intrigued by the idea of studying in New York. After consulting with several teachers from his high school, Chaminade College Prep, he applied to St. John’s, was accepted with a generous scholarship, and was offered a place in its honors program. The combination of a scholarship, the benefits of the University Honors Program, and the chance to spend his college years in New York City quickly sealed the deal for him.
Always interested in history and learning in general, Wesley promptly took advantage of what the University Honors Program had to offer. Joining Dr. Forman, the program’s director, on walking tours of New York taught him about the culture and history of the city. He also took every opportunity for complimentary tickets available to honors program students for the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet.
Wesley is currently majoring in history and will likely add a second major in economics. A minor in photography may be a possibility as well. Wesley is the official photographer of the St. John’s University Track Club and has helped record several Honors Program events including the first ever Quidditch match held at St. John’s University and a trip to the Cloisters.
Having fenced for twelve years, both in Southern California and around the United States, and earning his “A” rating, he continues to fence in Manhattan as well as at home in California and hopes to start a fencing club on campus.
When not fencing or studying, Wesley often works on continuing to refine his work in copperplate calligraphy, a skill which he taught himself. He also enjoys reading and will often spend hours completely engrossed in books. Wesley also enjoys strategy games such as Sid Meir’s Civilization V and Axis & Allies. When not occupying his time with any of the aforementioned activities he can be found in the library or on his computer researching various topics in all areas of study and keeping up with world events.
In the future, Wesley hopes to study abroad in Rome with some of his honors program classmates. Despite not having a clear idea where his interests and studies ultimately may take him, Wesley knows that in the future he will be able to influence his community and the world in general for the better.
After graduating from high school in Hagerstown, Maryland with her International Baccalaureate diploma, Taylor McCauley felt that she needed a change, so she accepted her offer of admission to St. John’s and began getting excited about life in the Big City. Currently in her junior year, she has not yet been disappointed. Taylor was elated when she was accepted into the University Honors Program. Not only has being an honors student provided her with wonderful accommodations for studying, like the Honors Commons, but it has also made it possible for her to take advantage of the cultural events that being in honors has provided her, such as going to the New York Ballet or seeing Aida at the Metropolitan Opera in the Fall of 2014, as well as providing her with many opportunities for friendships in the small, personal honors classes offered.
Taylor is an English major with a double minor in Italian and Classics, though finding her way to that was not without its challenges. She started off at St. John’s with the intention of being a double major with Education, then spent her sophomore year as an Adolescent Education major, only to find her way back to St. John’s College after a semester abroad in Rome. She is still figuring out what she definitely wants to do after college, but her dream is to work in the Metropolitan Museum’s MetTeens program, and create a post-secondary school program within which will aid high school students on finding their path to college, trade school, or a career.
Taylor is not all about work, though! She also enjoys exploring the city with friends, crocheting, watching Netflix, and participating in clubs. She wrote for the St. John’s chapter of HerCampus.com before studying abroad, and is currently a member of the Irish Society and Circle K International, with hopes of spreading her wings even further to more groups on campus.
Growing up in the ethnically diverse islands of Hawai’i, Erin “Mahina” McGarry has always had a passion for learning about various cultures and languages. This brought her directly to her major in anthropology and to St. John’s. The University’s multicultural Queens campus has allowed her to meet students with very different backgrounds and has widened her own intellectual horizons. The exceptional students she has met through the Honors Program have especially helped her to think complexly and comprehensively about a variety of topics. Indeed, the conversations and exchanges that she has had while at St. John’s have brought new meaning to the phrase she was taught growing up: ʻAʻole pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi (“Not all knowledge is found in one school”). This traditional Hawaiian proverb emphasizes the benefits of cultural exchange and collaboration with others as a means to grow and develop a more inclusive view of the world.
From a young age, Mahina has been interested in traveling. Various trips she has taken to Europe, Canada, as well as various regions of the Pacific have encouraged her love of this pastime. The far-reaching study abroad program at St. John's also has given Mahina an opportunity to continue doing this. She plans to spend a semester abroad in Rome and perhaps even a semester in Japan, during which she plans to complete her minor in Asian Studies.
When she is not in class or working on campus with the College Bound Liberty Partnerships Program, a government funded program aimed to provide further educational opportunities to high school students in the Queens area, Mahina participates in a variety of other pursuits. She enjoys writing and plans to obtain a minor in journalism. Mahina hopes to write for a variety of publications during her time at St. John's, including the student newspaper, The Torch. She is also passionate about music and singing, and has sung with the St. John's University Mixed Choir.
In her additional free time, Mahina enjoys volunteering at the Queens Botanical Gardens and plans to serve there on a regular basis in order to learn more about various environmental issues we are faced with today as well as help to construct and run an aquaponics system on site.
In addition to these things, Mahina enjoys having the opportunity to learn more about the exciting City of New York, whether through Honors Program walking tours guided by Dr. Forman or by attending cultural events like performances by the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. All said, Mahina is grateful to the University and its Honors Program. She believes it has contributed to her unique and comprehensive education.
Danielle Santevecchi is a Psychology major from Long Island, New York. She graduated from Kellenberg Memorial High School, a Catholic school located on Long Island, where she spent most of her time in a variety of clubs. She heavily participated in activities that involved public speaking, taking up the attorney position for three years on the Mock Trial team and participating in Oral Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation categories in Speech and Debate. In Speech and Debate, she competed at both the national and state levels, travelling to Fort Lauderdale, FL and Sacramento, CA. She also was heavily involved in Campus Ministry and served as a mentor for seventh graders and a retreat staff leader.
Danielle applied for the Honors Program prior to entering Saint John’s and was thrilled to be a part of such a driven and diverse community. She loves the opportunities offered and met many different friends who also are in the program. At Saint John’s, Danielle is involved in the Campus Ministry organization as a Eucharistic Minister and a Lector and is involved in the mission trip to Lourdes, France.
In her free time, Danielle enjoys attending Broadway shows and participating in her local theatre community. She has performed in a variety of shows including Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, and the Wedding Singer. She loves the dynamic environment of Saint John’s where she can study on a traditional campus one day and travel to Manhattan with friends the next. Being an avid fan of Disney, she hopes to one day enter into the Disney College Program to work in Disney World and eventually study abroad in Rome. With an interest in the workings of the mind, she hopes to use her Psychology major to become a clinical psychologist or enter into law school. She also hopes to take on a Theology minor in order to better study her own Catholic faith and other faiths of the world. The Honors Program greatly helps Danielle to meet a variety of incredible professors and become invested in all of her classes.
A proud Southern California native, Joseph Robert Schneider is excited to find himself far from home in New York City. Having decided to attend St. John’s for a number of reasons ranging from the lure of the Honors Program to the generous Provost Scholarship offered to him, Joseph has come to love the University for the many opportunities available to its students. His lifelong bond with his church also has made Saint John’s an especially good fit.
Growing up in a scouting family instilled Joseph with an outgoing spirit, which motivated him to become involved with most anything he found interesting. His extracurricular activities the past several years have included music, competitive and recreational sports, service-based organizations, and Army Junior ROTC. He is most proud of having become an Eagle Scout in August, 2014. He has taken this adventurous spirit with him to New York, taking full advantage of the university’s metropolitan setting and enjoying the many cultural events sponsored by the Honors Program. Now on campus, he has found his niche as a member of the university’s improvisational comedy troupe, the Bad Astronauts.
Joseph had originally planned to attend one of the military academies. As early as middle school, he had been set on joining the military. He even had gone so far as to start the process of congressional nominations to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. During his senior year of high school, however, he chose the civilian route for his education after much deliberation and personal reflection.
Coming to the Saint John’s sight unseen and still wondering whether a civilian education was the right choice, Joseph did not know what to expect, but St. John's has come to pleasantly surprise him. He appreciates the smaller, more intimate classroom settings he can find through the Honors Program, as well as the many academic resources the university can provide as a tier one research university. He frequents the university’s library in St. Augustine Hall and often will first go to the library’s online archives when working on any research-based assignment. He finds the faculty to be one of the best parts of the Honors Program and the university in general, as in his experience, they all have a genuine passion for what they teach and are always ready to help their students succeed. Outside of academics, Joseph enjoys following the University’s Division 1 athletics teams, especially soccer and basketball.
With a longtime passion for the literary arts, Joseph has set his sights on a future career as an editor, perhaps for one of the east coast’s many major publishing firms. He hopes that the University’s five-year combined English BA/MA program will better his chances of realizing this goal. Nonetheless, Joseph has many other plans before graduation, including participating in the university’s exchange program. He is confident that during his years at Saint John’s and in the University’s Honors Program, he will grow intellectually, professionally, and spiritually, and enjoy himself along the way.
Teagan Sweet is a chemistry major in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Having come to St. John's from a small town in Massachusetts, she found the excitement of New York City enthralling and the Queens campus welcoming.
Teagan can be found at a number of places across campus and the city. She spends a great deal of time studying and in the laboratory, working hard towards her major. She also works under a professor in a laboratory on campus. Teagan is a part of the STEM Scholars Program at St. John’s, a creative program that incorporates disciplines in science, technology, engineering, and math. She is also an active member of Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors, and this provides an outlet for her desire for service. Teagan has participated as well in numerous “Midnight Runs,” delivering food and supplies to the homeless in Manhattan.
One might see Teagan, a photography minor, with her cameras at her side, looking for a new perspective and a great shot. She often spends weekends taking photographs across the city and finding peace in the galleries of the numerous museums that New York City has to offer. As an avid rock climber, one might need to look up in order to find her. She enjoys climbing at a nearby gym and conquering the boulders of Central Park. With any free time that she has left, she enjoys typing poetry on her baby blue typewriter or strumming a few cords on her ukulele.
Teagan is truly grateful for the Honors Program here at St. John’s. She thoroughly enjoys class time with a dynamic atmosphere, small class size, and lots of discussion. The amazing professors have become such fantastic mentors for her, sharing their knowledge and wisdom of subjects and experience. The Honors Commons has become a great resource for studying, which she uses regularly along with her friends. Not only this, but the Honors Program provides wonderful opportunities to see the ballet and opera, explore the city on walking tours, and experience the Metropolitan Museum of Art in new ways on tours, and Teagan takes advantage of all of these. The Honors Program is perfect for a life-long learner like Teagan, a young woman with a wide variety of interests.
Born and raised in Queens, Natalie Williams has always felt at home at St. John’s. After graduating from St. Agnes Academic High School in neighboring College Point, Natalie wanted to continue her education in a Catholic learning institution. She took St. John’s accredited classes at St. Agnes that helped her adjust to her life in college. Natalie is currently a freshman chemistry major in St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Choosing this major was simple for Natalie, even though she was interested in many subjects in high school. When asked why she chose to major in chemistry, she answered, “It was the only subject that I can see myself pursuing the future.” Natalie’s favorite classes are her chemistry labs, despite the hard work they demand, because she is intrigued by the hands-on learning and understanding they require.
Natalie is a member of the STEM Scholars Programs, which supports research and teamwork among students majoring in fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. In the future, she hopes to study abroad in Paris through the Discover France Chemistry Program. When Natalie graduates with her bachelors degree in Chemistry in the spring of 2020, she hopes to go on to graduate school with the goal of earning her doctorate and becoming a cosmetic chemist.
Natalie is also a lover of the arts. She has an interest in interior design and enjoys drawing and attending Broadway plays. Her true passion, however, is music. She is currently a music minor and loves it. Natalie plays two instruments: piano since age seven and trumpet since age nine. She loves to perform, and it seems she is always asked to dance and sing when with her friends and family. Her fondest memories include playing trumpet in her middle school concert and jazz bands and piano in high school performances. If there is a concert or any instrument playing on campus, you can almost be sure that Natalie is either there or on her way there to experience the music. She chose to be a music minor to spread her wings and develop her musical abilities.
Natalie is extremely grateful to be a member of the Honors Program at St. John’s. She appreciates its smaller classes and experienced professors. She is often in the Honors Commons, whether to study for her classes or even to just hang out with friends. She is looking forward to becoming an even brighter shining star on campus.