The class of 2013 -- with nearly 1,000 students -- is the largest freshman class ever to enter NJIT. The overall enrollment of nearly 9,000 students is second largest in university history. But it’s not just class size that’s impressive. There’s been an 11 point rise in composite SAT scores to 1143. The national composite is 1016.
Most impressive are the students. The following three enrolled in NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College-- are particularly notable. (ATTENTION EDITORS: To interview students, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)
Jonathan Daudelin, of Hackettstown, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering is one of 10 children, all of whom were home-schooled. Being home-schooled gave him the luxury to study what he loved most and one of the things he loved most was to build robots. He spent endless hours playing with LEGOs and eventually began building LEGO robots. It was the kind of play that paid off.
When he was 13, Daudelin led a team that won first place awards at the First LEGO League World Festival. His team’s robot earned perfect scores in three of rounds of the competition – something achieved only once before at the Festival. Over the years, he’s built dozens of robots, but his favorites are a robotic ATM machine and a bionic glove that straps onto his arm. Daudelin is also a published writer. He co-authored four popular books and a blog about the NXT robotics system.
Daudelin wanted to attend NJIT since elementary school. During middle school, he attended NJIT’s MathCounts, a math competition for students. While on campus, he heard that the Albert Dorman Honors College offered scholarships to students who scored 1,500 on the SAT (in math and critical reading). So in eighth grade he took the SAT, scoring a near 1,200. He retook it in his senior year and scored 1,500 – good enough to earn him a full scholarship to Dorman Honors College.
Daudelin lives on campus and dorms with his brother David, a sophomore who majors in computer science and also attends the Honors College. He hopes his engineering and honors classes will help him learn to build more sophisticated robots.
The freshman class also includes William Barry, of Dayton, an Honors College student who majors in computing and business. Like Daudelin, he’s a logical thinker. In high school, Barry belonged to a problem-solving team that won first place in the Odyssey of the Mind, a national competition for problem-solving teams. He graduated from South Brunswick High School with a weighted GPA of 4.12.
Barry’s logical mind extends to music. He’s a good singer and played the trumpet in his high school band which won first place in the Northeast Marching Band Competition. Thanks to his strong baritone, he earned a spot on NJ All-State Choir. Even more impressive is that Barry accomplished all this while helping his parents care for his three adopted siblings, all of whom have Down’s syndrome.
Throughout middle and high school, Barry woke up at 5 a.m. to help his siblings, who are by nature early risers. One of his sisters also had serious medical problems that required several surgeries; Barry helped his sister, and his parents, overcome that ordeal.
And though it was hard work, caring for his siblings had its rewards. “My brothers and sisters are so affectionate that if I left the house for 15 minutes, I’d return and they’d give me big hugs,” said Barry.
Christie Schulz, of Long Valley, a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering, also comes to NJIT with achievements. In her junior year in high school, she won the Smith College Book Award. Schulz also excelled academically at the Academy for Mathematics, Science and Engineering, a magnet high school in Rockaway. She loves the sciences and while still in high school she worked on three research projects: one on bacterial transformation, a second on biofuels and a third on the purification of DNA extraction. In her senior year, she took NJIT classes. She was also the only girl in her high school graduating class.
She did much good work outside of school. She interned in the emergency room at the Hackettstown Regional Medical Center. She witnessed a live birth and did EKG tests on patients. She hopes to attend medical school. Schulz founded a non-profit group to help the people of Darfur, Sudan, where genocide has killed nearly a half million civilians. The group raised thousands of dollars, she said.