Meet Noreaga Davis

I’ve really valued my experience at USJ because all my professors have been able to provide support inside and outside of the classroom. Immediately, I felt staff and faculty showed their intent and explicitly reflected where their heart is. Most professors want to stretch students, yet also make them feel comfortable. For example, Anthony Johnston, who teaches my Foundations of Education course, likes to be referred to as simply “Tony”. The same goes for Professor Susan Budris who likes to be called “Suzy”. They sincerely want what’s best for all students they encounter. In addition, all classes involve constructive, student-centered styles of teaching. Those which have had the most impact are those that can be based off personal experience, enabling better retention of the material at hand. By making these diverse connections, I’m able to understand concepts better as well.

My Foundation of Education has been the most interesting course I’ve taken thus far. It has enabled me to view education from the beginning and the implications that make school districts function the way they do. I specifically was intrigued by the equity versus equality dilemma comparing schools in inner cities to those in more affluent, rural areas. It’s telling of the factors that make our schools what they are including zoning, taxes, resource allocation, and how they weigh in consideration to student success rates.

Professor, Eileen Gonzalez comes into every class exemplifying channeled passion with purpose. Her passion resonates with me allowing a connection with deeper meaning. Professor Tony has demonstrated ways our differences can lead to similarities. Although he’s from a different culture and ethnicity, he shares the same objective and strategizes methods to impact civil rights. Professor Suzy has opened my eyes to the nuances of Special Education. In her course, Special Education 237: Exceptional Children, she makes significant connections by assisting students in self-expression on a meaningful level.

My community field experience enabled me to observe and interact with seniors and staff within a senior center. One woman from Brazil shared stories of her plight from Brazil to America shedding light on the obstacles she encountered. She originally only spoke Portuguese and later learned more than three languages! Her determination hit home for me and I use it as a source of inspiration.

All of this has helped make me a more well-rounded student and person. Prior to USJ, I thought I’d have to wait until I was in a certain position to provide more for my community and family. Quickly, staff and faculty helped me realize I don’t have to wait and change starts now. The environment has led me to embrace being an agent or advocate of change. Though I do not have the financial backing for philanthropy, USJ has helped me in connecting the dots to bring goals to fruition. I am more aware of social issues, not as concerned with rejection of ideas, and can establish a sound action plan utilizing various resources.

I say this to show that USJ has been an integral part of my growth over the past year and a half. This place allows you so much flexibility to get involved in an array of things but also provides the resources needed to make sure you’re successful in those endeavors. I chose USJ is because everyone on campus took my education and holistic development seriously.