Christian Marcel Sets a Standard of Excellence at NJIT

Senior Christian Marcel is a soocer standout and a scholar.

NJIT is a nationally-ranked university with a Division 1 athletics program. As such, it appeals to students who excel academically and athletically.

Take, for example, Cristian Marcel, a senior at NJIT: He’s a top soccer player – the Sunbelt Conference named him Offensive Player of the Week three times this season – but he’s also a scholar in the Albert Dorman Honors College. He majors in biomedical engineering and spent the last summer doing breast cancer research at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He’s a perennial on the dean’s list and belongs to Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.

His fleet-footed success on the soccer field hit a new high recently, when the NJIT men’s soccer team blanked Howard 5-0. In that game, Marcel had two goals and one assist, thereby setting a new standard in NJIT’s Division 1 soccer.

In this interview, Marcel talks about how he’s been able to excel both in the classroom and on the soccer field.  

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Why did you pick NJIT as your college?

NJIT is great academically and also offered me the chance to play Division 1 soccer and enjoy the game I love. I was also recruited to play soccer here.

How do you balance soccer and engineering, two rigorous undertakings?

Doing both teaches you time management. For both, you must also be dedicated and motivated and never give up, despite setbacks. Soccer also calls for vision and intelligence, and so does engineering. 

How did you take an interest in biomedical engineering?

I always liked biology and the study of the human body, but when I was in high school I had a knee injury. My doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, told me precisely what was happening in my knee, and how the knee works. That sparked my interest in biomedical engineering, especially in bio-mechanics, which is my main interest in the field.

What are your plans for after you graduate? Can you play professional soccer?

If the opportunity comes I’ll consider it. But I have a passion for biomedical engineering and my plan is to pursue a master’s in the field.  I’m lucky to have picked a school (NJIT) that gave me a great education and the chance to play a game I’ve loved since I was a 5-year-old boy.

(By Robert Florida)

Robert.Florida@njit.edu