Karlena worked with a soil sample from Costa Rica to try to enhance the calcium and magnesium content to help people there with growing coffee beans. Students in the course work with a faculty mentor to do research over a semester on topics they choose.

During her time at DelVal, she could be found pumping up the fans during football games, checking out comedians and other acts that come to campus with friends, giving campus tours, making a difference through her work with the club Students for Diversity or working in the campus labs.

She made the most of her experience on campus.

Karlena knew her requirements when she was choosing a college. She wanted a place that was people-oriented, where she wouldn’t just be a number. She wanted to get hands-on experience working in a lab as a student. She wanted a school she could afford that would offer competitive financial aid, a strong program in her major and the activities she wanted to participate in.

She found all of that at DelVal.

Karlena developed close relationships with the faculty in her department and she had a paying job in the campus labs since September of her freshman year.

She started out setting up and cleaning up the lab.  By her senior year, Karlena could fabricate chemicals, knew how the equipment worked, could set up experiments from memory, and was on call to help with problems or to replenish supplies.

What is your advice for a prospective student?

Make sure the college you choose has everything you want. Don’t ever leave any part of you out. That part of you is going to miss it.

How do students get roommates?

Students take a survey answering questions like whether they are an early bird or a night owl, whether they’re loud or quiet. Then also rank the buildings based on where they’d like to live. The survey is used to assign roommates for people who don’t have one they’d like to live with already. Two students who know they want to live together can put each other’s names down and live together.

How has your experience with financial aid been?

The people in financial aid have been really good about helping me with applying for loans and scholarships. They’ve been really good mentors.

How’s the food?

The food has gotten a lot better. I like the variety, how it changes. There are two places to eat on campus. The grocery store also delivers here, which a lot of people don’t know. My mom sends groceries every month. I think the food is fantastic, but when I just want that little extra I eat the food she sends me.I also like that the dining hall is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (and I can eat as many times as I want during those times).

What do people do on weekends at DelVal?

I think the college is very lively on weekends. There are dances, football games, New York trips…A-Day is always exciting…I go to karaoke nights…

What are your classes like?

The classes are challenging. As long as you do your work, read, study, and go to professors for help, you should be fine.

What are your professors like?

I’m really close to the entire chemistry department. They’ve been wonderful teachers, mentors and friends. They’re very good at explaining. I also really liked Mr. Tabachnick. I was horrible at physics and he was very accessible and friendly. He would break it down for me and ask if I needed him to break it down further.

Karlena works with her soil sample from Costa Rica.

Above: Karlena works with her soil sample from Costa Rica.

Hard at work in the labs.

Above: Hard at work in the labs.

Karlena with the Students for Diversity club.

Above: Karlena with the Students for Diversity club.

Having fun in the Dining Center!

Above: Having fun in the Dining Center!