Feature Stories

Meet the Incoming Freshman Class of the Albert Dorman Honors College

Elizabeth Daudelin, one of the top math students in the state, will be a freshman in the Albert Dorman Honors College.

When she was in eighth grade, Elizabeth Daudelin took the SATs -- just to see how she would do.

She didn’t do well; she did spectacularly. On the math section, for instance, she received a 770 – one of the highest scores ever achieved by an eighth grader.She also earned a perfect math score on her PSATs and later was named a National Merit Finalist.

With her academic accomplishments, Elizabeth, who was homeschooled, could have gone to just about any college of her choosing. Yet she chose to attend the Albert Dorman Honors College, where, starting in the fall, she’ll be a freshman.   

She is one of 190 students in the incoming Honors College freshman class, one of the largest and brightest in the school’s existence. The 190 students have an average SAT score of 1371, the highest ever. And the 50 honors freshmen in the accelerated pre-medical and pre-law programs have an even higher SAT average: 1420.The number of women enrolled in the college also rose. At nearly 38 percent women, the freshman class is the most gender-diverse in the history of the college.   

What is attracting an increasing number of top students, especially bright young women, to the Albert Dorman Honors College?

In the case of Elizabeth, she knew about Dorman from her four brothers, three of whom graduated from the college and one of whom will be a junior in the fall. All four are immensely successful, and all four told her to come to NJIT. 

“I knew from my older brothers that the Honors College is a great college that truly cares about its students,” says Elizabeth, who will major in math. “That is important to me. I also was interested in NJIT's rigorous education.”

In addition, when she visited the campus she met Bruce Bukiet, a math professor who uses magic tricks and baseball statistics to show the power of math. His unbridled passion for the subject they both love – math -- won her over.

“Professor Bukiet was very enthusiastic and helpful,” says Elizabeth, “and his positive attitude toward the school was contagious, so much more so than the chairman of the math department at another college I visited.”

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Theresa Wagner, another incoming honors freshman, personifies the caliber of student in the class. While at Morris Hiills High School, she belonged to five national honor societies. An ardent techie, she founded the computer programming club at the school and also edited the newspaper. She was an athlete -- she played varsity softball and fenced – but was also the first girl to study robotics and electrical engineering. She was also the first girl in the school to take four physics classes. 

As a child, Theresa spent a lot of time with her grandfather, who had worked in the computer industry. The two of them would while away a summer day doing what they loved most.

“We’d rip apart a computer and then put it back together again,” recalled Theresa. “Ever since then, I loved technology and computers.  I’d always be the one to fix my friend’s computers and in high school I took every technology class I could take. I also love to play video games like Dead Space and Skyrim.”

What drew her to the Honors College was the scholarship she received as well as the chance to do research. And luckily for her, even though it’s summer, she’s already doing research.  Earlier in the summer, NJIT sent out an email asking if any incoming student would like to do summer research with Physics Professor Gordon Thomas, a national leader in the field of biophysics.

Theresa jumped on it; she was the first to respond to the email and the first one Professor Thomas accepted into his lab. Ever since then, she’s been helping Thomas research a safety device that can tell soldiers if the rounds in their ammunition boxes are damaged. Sometimes, due to heat or jostling, ammo boxes can malfunction, especially when soldiers are moving around on a battlefield. This device, called the vibration-powered-impact-recorder, will allow soldiers to keep tabs on their ammo. That, in the end, could save their lives.

“I love my research project and it’s a fantastic introduction to NJIT,” said Theresa, who recently presented the research at a symposium held at the university. “I’m majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in physics and this research, which is biophysics, allows me to combine my two interests. I knew I wanted to do research at NJIT but never thought I’d have the chance to start the summer before college even begins. It’s fantastic.”

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As a great student and a talented soccer player in high school, Amelia Sapirman was recruited by some of the top colleges in the nation. But when she was a junior, she already knew where she was going.

“I was recruited by many Division 1 universities during my junior year in high school,” says Amelia. “I finally made my decision from among NJIT, Indiana University, Baylor and Florida Gulf Coast. I committed to NJIT’s Honors College in the spring semester of my junior year. And since I had committed, I did not apply to any other schools – this was always my school!"

Amelia is one of the best soccer goalies in the state of Pennsylvania – she’s from Bethlehem.  She has a high school career record of more than 600 saves. But she’s also a scholar. She graduated from Liberty High School with highest honors and a 4.4 GPA and was named an All-Conference Scholar Athlete.

At the Honors College, she’ll major in mechanical engineering, a rigorous major that requires a great deal of study.  So come fall, she’ll either be on the soccer field or in the library, studying, which for her is the perfect mix.

“I feel that the Honors College will challenge me educationally while the soccer program will allow me to grow in my sport. That for me is a great fit!”

By Robert Florida