Writer and Aspiring Teacher Olivia Oravets Wins Jennifer Cakert Writing Award

314088_4694187266412_482238921_n (2)Olivia Oravets had never heard of a fragment essay, but that didn’t impede her from writing an award-winning piece her freshman year. Her essay “Click In a Catch Tray,” written for Emari DiGiorgio’s Writing From Experience course, took 2nd place in the fifth annual Jennifer Cakert Writing Awards in the first-year, creative nonfiction division.

Oravets, a Literature major with a concentration in secondary education, fearlessly confronted her assignment and submitted the finished product to compete.

“The style of writing isn’t widely known. It can include pieces of poetry, news articles, and photography, both original and cited. I consider this type of writing a literary collage, and writing the piece was sort of a shot in the dark for me at first,” the rising sophomore from Tuckerton explained.

As for the title, it “sort of sums up the piece; a ‘click’ is one of many copies that come out of a copy machine and lands in the ‘catch tray,’” she said.

Her thoughtfully arranged excerpts intertwined with original passages vividly depict “ancestry versus individualism and breaking away from the habits of one’s family.”

“I wanted this piece to convey that the traditions or reputation of a person’s family does not define that person, and each person, whether they try or not, is different from their parents,” she said.

“Essentially, a family has similar general qualities, like the original copy, but each carbon copy has its own uniqueness if one takes a closer look. And each copy, or person, starts out in the same place, the catch tray, to eventually be dispersed to wherever time takes them.” Continue reading »

Stockton Prepared Maria Berezin for Research at Academy of Natural Sciences and Ph.D. Program

Biology graduate Maria Berezin, ’13, tackled every opportunity to get involved in local fisheries research during her undergraduate years at Stockton. The depth of her involvement paid off as she reeled in an acceptance to her top choice school. She is spending the summer at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University as a research assistant and then starting her Ph.D. program in Environmental Science there in the fall.

“The day that I received my acceptance letter was the happiest day of my life to date. I now work for Dr. [Richard] Horwitz at the Academy of Natural Sciences,” the Vineland native said.

She credits her Stockton roots with helping her build a strong educational foundation for growth. “I could not have achieved any of this without the guidance and experiences that I was awarded at Stockton. My advisors, Tara Luke and Mark Sullivan, were always available to me whenever I had any questions and helped me grow and gain confidence in myself and my abilities,” she said.

Maria Berezin with Dr. Tara Luke, associate professor of Biology

Maria Berezin with Dr. Tara Luke, associate professor of Biology

Continue reading »