Tori Heckendorn, a graduate student in Stockton’s Physical Therapy program, uses her PT education to help fundraise and provide health care services in the local community and abroad.
In recognition of her dedication to the well-being of others and her acts of selflessness, Heckendorn was awarded the Distinguished Service Award at Stockton’s 12th Annual MLK Day of Service on Jan. 18, 2016.
Come May 2016, Heckendorn can add three more letters to the end of her name: DPT. Heckendorn will earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy during Stockton University’s May 12 Doctoral and Master’s Commencement Ceremony. Commencement, however, will just be another step on her physical therapy journey.
“I fell in love with physical therapy after running cross country in high school [when] an injury left me sidelined my senior season,” Heckendorn said. “My physical therapist got me back to my sport in a much shorter timeline than all of my doctors had predicted and I was simply amazed.”
Jayson Cabrera has made his mark as a force for Latino culture at Stockton University by not giving up.
Now a junior, he is president of the Latin American Students Association, but he has been working on developing a group that would be a strong voice for Latino students since he first arrived at Stockton.
He signed up for a group known as Los Latinos Unidos when he was a freshman, but quickly found out that “the club only had a departing president and a handful of unmotivated club members. Instead of leaving when I had the chance, I saw this as my opportunity to step up to a leadership role and start my mark on Stockton.”
After a number of ups and downs, in which the club lost most of its board due to academic and financial pressures, Cabrera decided to try again.
“I kept getting asked if I was still part of ‘that Spanish club,’ and if I still had meetings,” he said. “After talking to some mentors and upperclassmen as well as some other experiences, I decided that LLU needed to be brought back to our campus, but with some modifications. In a few months’ time, the club underwent a name change, a perception change, and a change of values. Thus LLU was reborn but this time as the Latin American Student Association.
“All in all, my vision for LASA is to give the Stockton community a place to preserve, showcase, and expand our Latino culture,” said Cabrera. He feels he is helping to establish an organization that will continue growing, since the leadership team is made up of freshman and sophomores, with him as president.
Within hours of a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, Julie Kramer got up to move around, as the doctors had advised, and began dancing down the hospital hallway wheeling her IV lines.
“I was feeling something inside. And I was like ‘I’m going to make this fun,’” she told Ellen DeGeneres, while being interviewed on her TV show in December 2014.
Kramer, now a junior Communications major and a cancer survivor, was diagnosed after her 23rd birthday with stage IV Synovial Sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer. After seeing that Ellen DeGeneres was looking to meet dedicated and inspiring women, Kramer’s friends and family started a social media campaign #JulieMeetsEllen in hopes that Ellen would see their tweets and share Kramer’s story of strength, courage and determination.
DeGeneres made the #JulieMeetsEllen dream come true. She “defines the word inspiration,” DeGeneres told her show guests and viewers as she brought up the video clip of Kramer dancing in the hospital.
Cristian Moreno was born in Atlantic City to immigrant parents from Oaxaca, Mexico. His roots are tied to the city, where he grew up regularly seeing immigrant struggles in the community.
“My parents came to America when they were my age. All around me, there was fear and a lack of access to resources from being undocumented,” he said.
These life experiences sparked Moreno’s interest in immigration law, immigrant policy and Chicano studies, the study of Mexican-American culture and identity, as well as Latino/a and indigenous populations in the Americas.
Moreno, a double major studying Political Science and Historical Studies, serves as Stockton University’s student alternate trustee; president of the College Democrats student organization; and president of Stockton’s new mock trial team. Though only in his third year at Stockton University, his credits reflect senior-year status.
Michael Rodriguez, associate professor of Political Science; Linda J. Wharton, professor of Political Science; Cristian Moreno, Stockton’s student alternate trustee; and Claire Abernathy, assistant professor of Political Science/American Politics
Catherine Rosenberg’s research project at Stockton helped her get a full scholarship for a Ph.D. program in Computational Integrative Biology at Rutgers University-Camden beginning in January.
Working with her doctor from Fox Chase Cancer Center and professors at Stockton, Rosenberg applied a much more accurate method of measuring the volume of limbs in patients suffering from lymphedema. This condition results when a compromised lymphatic system cannot drain lymphatic fluids back into the bloodstream due to an obstruction found in the lymphatic system.
Timothy Schmidt, a Political Science major from Berlin, N.J. with a concentration in Pre-Law, gets involved in many aspects of community life at Stockton and beyond, despite a 70-mile daily commute.
He’s president of the student commuters group, Commuters on the Go, because he feels “really strongly about making sure that commuters get full access to all the services that Stockton has to offer.”
Patton Solowey took business, marketing and accounting classes beginning in high school and competed in regional, state and international marketing communications competitions.
These early experiences “quickly showed me what my calling was, and it was definitely working in business and finance,” the Franklinville, N.J. native explained.
Now, as a junior Business Studies major and a Student Senate Finance Committee member at Stockton University, he is managing more than $650,000 in student activity fee money, which is distributed to more than 80 clubs and organizations.
Over the last few months, Nicole Schoenstein has flown a T-38 simulator (where astronauts train), sat inside an Orion spacecraft mockup, met the second person to walk on the moon (New Jerseyan Buzz Aldrin), tested exercise equipment used by astronauts in space, tasted a half dozen potential space foods and rode in the chariot lunar truck at the Planetary Analog Site, which is a multi-acre testing ground that mimics the surface of other planets.
Schoenstein, of Mays Landing, goes by the name @OdysseyofSpace on Twitter, which couldn’t be any more fitting for the senior Psychology major who spent the summer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas as an intern and is back for a second internship this fall. She joined Twitter to chronicle her NASA journey.
Photo Credit: Allison Bills
There is a 17.5-inch Largemouth Bass with a voracious appetite methodically swishing its tail back and forth as it propels through the lily pad stalks beneath Lake Fred’s surface. Avid fisherman Owen Mulvey-McFerron, who hails from landlocked Fairfax, Va., knows this fish exists because it was the first-place trophy catch at the Stockton Fishing Club’s Bass Tournament he hosted last spring as the club president.
Mulvey-McFerron, a Marine Science and Environmental Studies double major, is starting his third year at Stockton, but with his advanced placement credits from high school, he’s already a senior.
Kadeisha Pinkney developed an impressive portfolio during her four years at Stockton University. Most recently, she received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grant, and will serve as a cultural ambassador working to enhance relations between Malaysia and America through the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
She will leave for Malaysia in January 2016, where she will be assigned to a K-12 grade level to teach English for 10 months. She also plans to volunteer at a health clinic or conduct research related to health care in Malaysia.
“I chose Malaysia because it has an interesting mix of culture there. There are not many very Muslim countries in Southeast Asia,” she explained. “[It was a] great opportunity to extend my learning here as a student.”
Pinkney, who earned a B.A. in Economics in May 2015, took advantage of Stockton’s small class sizes, study abroad and research opportunities to explore her interests in international development and health care.
“Since I want to study medicine, I thought it was important to have access with teachers in the classroom,” said Pinkney.