Edward Horan, Enhancing the Lives of Students

Edward Horan of Old Bridge, NJ, is a first-year graduate student in the American Studies program who previously graduated from Stockton with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. However, Horan doesn’t stop there – he finds time to help students whenever possible.

Currently, Horan is head tutor at Stockton’s Writing Center and teaches a Developmental Writing course at Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC). While an undergraduate, Horan was a tutor at Stockton’s Writing Center, Vice President of Student Senate, and a tutor and coordinator of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Summer Program.

Horan’s desire to help students, particularly in writing, started early in his college career with his preceptor, Pam Cross. As Horan puts it, “Pam Cross made me.”

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Cross encouraged Horan to apply to work for the EOF Summer Program at Stockton. The program involves incoming freshmen enrolled in EOF to spend five weeks at Stockton prior to the fall semester. During this time, students work with faculty and tutors to improve their study skills for both writing and mathematics as well as acclimate to the college environment.  Over the course of four summers, Horan spent three as a tutor and the most recent as a residential coordinator.

“When I came to Stockton as an 18 year-old, fresh from high school, I thought I had this ‘life’ thing figured out. As I look back on my college career, I realize that Stockton is actually where I figured out who I was and what I would be doing with my life,” notes Horan.

Through EOF, Horan accumulated an extensive contact list, which helped open the door to his being elected to Student Senate. Originally, Horan joined Senate to let students’ voices be heard about the Chick-fil-A issue.

For those unfamiliar or needing a reminder, the issue arose when word got out that the CEO of Chick-fil-A was donating money to antigay groups. Through Chartwells, Stockton had just contracted Chick-fil-A, and even if students chose not to eat there, the money they spent for their meal plan went to Chartwells, which then made its way to the businesses set up at the Campus Center food court, including Chick-fil-A. Many students were concerned to see their money going to the franchise, and it was their voices that Horan sought to amplify.

Over the course of his time on Senate, Horan often found his patience being tested, mainly as a result of discussions going around in circles. However, in the end he remembered his original goal: “to give back to the Stockton community and help people’s voices get through.”

Pam Cross continued to be a significant part of Horan’s college life in her role as Writing Center coordinator, and it was not long before Horan became a writing tutor. Now in graduate school, Horan says, “I am glad to be here as head writing tutor. Being a writing tutor has been a major part of my Stockton career.”

In that role, Horan meets regularly with a group of students, and focuses on their writing and study skills. Having a consistent group allows him to better understand each student’s progress, allowing for a more personalized tutoring experience.

Additionally, Horan acts as an assistant to Cross. One responsibility as assistant is mentoring new tutors. If there are questions about how to approach a specific assignment or if a professor has left guidelines on what they are looking for from their students, the tutors can ask Horan for guidance or clarification. When asked about his future goals, Horan made it clear why he continues to tutor: “I hope someday to teach at Stockton or remain involved with the college in some capacity.”

He has been gaining teaching experience through his course at ACCC. The course is designed to teach students elements of different types of writing, which is done through reading pre-selected works of writing. Students are tested by applying what they learned to their own writing assignments.

Somehow, he manages to find time for his own education. Horan was eager to share the work he has been doing since spring 2014 with Dr. David Roessel, professor of Greek Language and Literature at Stockton, whom Horan acknowledges as helping him grow as a scholar. Together, they have been researching “Seven People Dancing,” an unpublished story by Langston Hughes. Horan explains that their research will be presented for the Hellenic Association of American Studies: “In November, I will be presenting an introduction to the story at a conference in Athens, and another student will be acting out an interpretation of the story.”

Over the course of a college career, it is not uncommon to hear students trying to find time away from their studies. However, Edward Horan may very well face the opposite situation. He often finds time to spend enhancing the lives of fellow students. Perhaps this is a result of the support he received from professors at Stockton, or according to him, it may be a little more personal: “I like to live by my grandmother’s advice: ‘It never hurts to be friendly.’”