By Myara Gomez
The College hosted an informative alumni panel led by Brittany Aydelotte, the director of the Center for Community Engagement at the College, on Friday, Oct. 8 at 11:00 a.m. Both Aydelotte and the Director of Leadership Dr. Avani Rana helped set up this event. The three alumni on the panel were Kari Osmond, Brandon McKoy and Rob Matos Moran. All of the panelists were members of Student Government (SG) when they were at the College.
Osmond graduated from the College in 2009 with a major in women’s gender and sexuality studies and a focus in public policy analysis. Since 2015, she has worked as the chief of staff for Bonnie Watson Coleman. According to house.gov, Bonnie Watson Coleman is the U.S. representative for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District.
When Osmond attended the College, she was involved in the Women in Learning and Leadership program. Being a part of the Women in Learning and Leadership program provided her with a large support system that helped Osmond once she graduated. The program also helped her to find some internships.
“When I left TCNJ, I had created this support network of women that were so enthusiastic and engaging and supportive,” Osmond said.
The second panelist, McKoy, is the president of the New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP). According to njpp.org, NJPP is an organization that performs independent research on important policy issues. McKoy was a social psychology major with a sociology minor at the College and was also a 2009 graduate.
McKoy said his experience at the College was mostly class-based. He was able to do some research under Dr. James Graham in the psychology department, and he said his time as an undergraduate taught him to not be afraid and always take an opportunity when given.
“Even if you don’t have internships or you don’t have a formal thing that you are doing, at least always be aware and prepared for opportunity when it comes your way. I don’t do this as much anymore because my calendar is too full but early on if someone is asking you to do something, really say yes,” McKoy said.
The third and final panelist, Moran, is currently an aid to Governor Phil Murphy in the outreach department. He got his first work experience from the Bonner Scholarship Program through the College.
As a student, Moran was involved in multiple activities which constantly kept him busy. He was a member of the debate team, the founder of Sigma Lambda Beta and was in the Bonner Scholarship program. Finally, he got to study in Washington D.C.
“Going and having these experiences will put you out of the box and really allow you to show up at places where you may not have otherwise been in. You never know what opportunities may come,” Moran said.
Senior international studies and women, gender and sexuality studies major Roshni Raji was sworn in as the new SG president in May and provided her perspective as a current student at the College who is a part of SG. Raji has been involved with SG since the spring of 2019, and she said many encouraging and supportive friends convinced her to join as a delegate.
“Once I got involved I truly fell in love with the organization and its work and I ended up sticking with it,” Raji said.
She is not completely certain on what she plans to pursue in the future but she knows that she would like to be involved in public service in some capacity.
If a student is interested in joining Student Government, they can reach out to them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.