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Members of the Class of 2013 Believe Experience is the Key

Experiential Education
Bryan Neumann '13

When Bryan Neumann arrived on campus nearly four years ago, he assumed he would be a forensic science major. But after taking an introductory biology course during his first year, he decided he wanted to closely study clues of a different kind – in the area of cancer biology. He became a triple major in forensic science, biology and biotechnology.

Last summer, he had the opportunity to examine the effects of the drug Exemestance on breast cancer cell cultures as part of an intensive Summer Undergraduate Fellowship (SURF) experience. This fall, he will enroll in a Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular biology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., where he will conduct research in genetics and on the biochemistry of cancer.

"I adored my experience at UNH, everything from the friendships I have made to the course work I have completed," said Neumann.

Kaitlin Fish discovered a home away from home in the lab.

The more time she dedicated to her thesis project in which she studied the death of a stillborn infant at the morgue at Yale University, the more she wanted to learn.

"Without coming to UNH and having the requirement of a capstone experience or experiential education I probably would not be on the path that I am today," she said. Fish will apply to medical school and hopes to become a pathologist.

Janixia Reyes relocated from Atlanta so she could pursue a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology at UNH.

She interned at The Hartford, where she evaluated the recruitment and retention of diverse executive level talent. "I was able to grow and learn so much about myself in three months," she said. She was one of only three people accepted into the highly competitive Human Resources Leadership Development Program at Travelers, which she will begin shortly after graduation.

2013 Commencement

Chris Festa, a criminal justice major, set his sights on pursuing a career in law enforcement.

This year he interned with the State Police Troop G in Bridgeport, riding along with troopers and working with crime scene investigators and members of the gang unit. "I would have to say the internship was one of the greatest experiences of my life," he said.

Abigail Freyer was a member of the Honors Program and completed a SURF experience last summer in which she conducted in-depth research in the chemistry department.

This fall she will continue her studies at the University of Rochester, where she will pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

"UNH has prepared me beyond my expectations for the future," Freyer said. "My successes with be due, in large part, to the opportunities available to me at UNH."

Last summer, Kenneth Hall, a management and music industry double major, attended a Sigma Alpha Epsilon leadership school aboard a cruise ship sailing from the Bahamas to the Florida Keys.

There, he was named Gentleman of the Year, chosen from more than 13,000 undergraduate fraternity members. He was inspired by a line from his fraternity's creed about putting the rights and feelings of others ahead of his own. "Being a good person is always relevant," he said.

Elizabeth Field, who completed a double major in history and political science, will be heading to Dublin, Ireland, this fall to pursue a master's degree in gender history at Trinity College.

A former editor-in-chief of the Charger Bulletin, she credits UNH's emphasis on experiential education for allowing her to pursue her interests through research and internship opportunities.

"Interning at the Connecticut State Capitol in the office of Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney allowed me to apply my classroom lessons to real-world experience," she said. "Completing faculty-mentored undergraduate research in history also helped prepare me for the challenges to come in graduate school."

2013 UNH Graduate

For Maria Aschettino coming to UNH was, in a sense, like coming home.

"My dad graduated from UNH," she said. "He took me around campus since I was a kid, and I immediately fell in love with the campus and the community." She graduated with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in finance.

"The UNH community and my professors always supported me and encouraged me," she said. "I will never forget any of them."

This story was originally posted in Summer 2013.

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