Spotlight Archive

Alumni Portrait
Megan Gillman
Rutgers College '10
Major(s): Linguistics
Minor(s): Biological Sciences

Activities: College Avenue Players, New Student Orientation Leader, NSCS, NJPIRG, FIG Leader, Aresty Research Program

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
I really loved being able to take honors seminars that were interdisciplinary, and had students from all majors and different class years. My first semester I was in a seminar about modern myths with only seven students, including myself, and I was one of only two freshman in the class. To this day it's one of the best courses I've ever taken.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
I've always loved studying languages, but I could never make up my mind on which one to study. I chose Rutgers in part because the Linguistics major there was ranked so highly. I knew I would be learning with some of the best faculty in the world. I was also very interested in the sciences, and so I took courses in chemistry, physics, and biology while at Rutgers. The biology courses, though, were some of my favorite, and eventually I had taken enough to earn my minor.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where do you live? 
When I graduated Rutgers I started a Masters of Education program at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. After earning my Master's with a focus in Higher Education and Student Affairs, I worked in New Orleans for a year as a Student Success Counselor, and then returned to Tallahassee to be with my now-husband. I've worked in several departments at FSU, and now I'm the Assistant Director for their Honors Program! I work with all of our honors students and coordinate the Honors in the Major program for students pursuing an Honors Thesis option. The Rutgers College honors program is a big reason that I ended up where I am today.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
My greatest professional accomplishment has been presenting at a national conference, and being accepted to present at the international conference for the National Association for Academic Advising. My colleague and I were able to present and share our work with colleagues from all over the country at the annual conference in Las Vegas in 2015, and were accepted to present in Melbourne, Australia.

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
My experience as a student leader at Rutgers University, specifically my work with the orientation program, helped spark a passion for helping other students succeed in college. I was so changed by my time in college that I felt motivated to be a resource for new students, and that lead to a career in higher education administration.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Prolific. Passionate. Enlightening.

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
Rutgers gave me a chance to explore many academic areas, not just my major and minor, and to get involved in leadership and research opportunities that really changed the direction of my career. I found out about my graduate program through peers and mentors at Rutgers university, and my experience with the honors program gave me the experience I needed to land my current job.

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Take at least one course each year that sounds incredibly interesting. Don't wait until your last semester to explore interesting electives or honors seminars, take them throughout your time in college. You never regret taking a course you really love, and it could even change the course of your life!

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