Smiling WPU Female Student

We are Will. Power.

Will. Power. is the resourcefulness that sets the students, faculty and alumni of William Paterson University apart. Check out these inspiring examples of Will. Power. and then share your own stories, videos and photos here or on your other social networks using the hashtag #WeAreWillPower. We can't wait to see your Will. Power.

“I transferred into William Paterson University from Passaic County Community College as an unmotivated student with a 2.9 GPA and without any career aspirations. However, as I started to discover my passions I found that WP had the tools I needed to aid me in achieving my dreams. Professors such as Dr. Camille Alexander in the Africana world studies department, Dr. Solomon Nyaanga in the marketing and management department, Ms. Jackson on Valley Road, and countless others have challenged me to tap into my potential, thrive for greatness and never settle. In addition to my academics, I am heavily involved on campus in leadership positions including serving as President of the Caribbean Student Association, Club Council Senator in the Student Government Association, a business Peer Leader, and a Resident Assistant. I have learned to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. From academics to community service to campus activities, I have grown in my studies and in my overall character. I am no longer afraid of the world and am confident that I will achieve my dreams. As a senior with a 3.6 GPA preparing to graduate with a BS in Marketing, I have come so far in just two years. My Will.Power. is my ability to be the revolution I desire to see on campus and in the world. Now when I look at the word ‘impossible’ all I see is 'I’m possible.’ I am all possibilities.” Submitted by Dani Carr ‘18
“When I first came to WP as a freshman, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I quickly found my passion after becoming involved with the Student Government Association. In this role, I became passionate about planning and participating in hands-on community service opportunities. Over the years, my work with civic engagement expanded to helping to lead and create service opportunities within the other campus organizations I was involved in including Greek Life and the Latino Heritage Celebration. I was born in Paterson to a single-family household. William Paterson has given me the opportunity to give back to many of the community that helped support me and my family growing up including the Father English Center, Eva’s Kitchen and Oasis. From holding leadership roles across campus to winning a national award for civic engagement, William Paterson has helped me find the Will.Power. I needed to grow into the leader I always knew I had the potential to be.” Submitted by Kody Guedes ‘18
“When I took my first step onto campus, I had no idea that it would become my home away from home. During my freshman year, I was scared that I wouldn’t find a place to fit in. Those fears went away as soon as I joined the Student Film Association, and today I am so proud to serve as the club’s Vice President. From the time I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to be involved in the film industry. Not only has William Paterson helped me grow closer to achieving my dreams, it has allowed me to surround myself with talented, like-minded people who inspire me with all they create. These past four years have flown by so quickly, and I am forever grateful for the amazing experiences I’ve had and everyone who has helped me get where I am today.” Submitted by Jamie Sharpe ‘18
“I came to William Paterson as a football player who was eager to get involved across campus. Being a Pioneer has helped me find what I love doing the most. WP has expanded my passion for helping others by providing me with tools and opportunities to be a positive influence in the community. I have been able to participate in a range of civic engagement activities that allow me to do good and represent my school. I’m also proud to be an orientation leader where I help guide first-year students in finding their Pioneer Pride. Sometimes on my way to class, a first-year student will approach me and say hi, and it always makes my day to know that I have made a difference. WP has shown me that I have a genuine passion for helping others, and after graduation I hope to pursue a career in the field of athletic training where I can provide care for people with injuries and illnesses. I thank William Paterson for the opportunities I’ve been given, and I know that there are so many more to come. #IhaveWillPower” Submitted by Jason Gustave ‘20
When judged simply by the numbers, the career of William Paterson swimming and diving head coach Ed Gurka has been one for the record books. However, his true legacy lies in the influence he’s had on helping hundreds of Pioneers find their Will. Power. Learn more:
“While my educational journey did not start at William Paterson, I am confident that it will end on a high note once I graduate this year. As an average student attending my first four-year institution eight years ago, I did not have a set path or clear idea of what I wanted to do once I graduated. In fact, I didn’t even have a declared major going into my junior year. Therefore, after much debate, I joined the Army to gain structure and focus. The Army has influenced various aspects of my life including the construction of my own personal code of ethics, as well as understanding various customs and cultures. With that knowledge and gained belief in ethics and integrity, I grew to love the field of sociology. I knew I needed to find a university that catered to my veteran status, in addition to my interest in sociology. Within my first couple days at William Paterson, I knew that I had been welcomed into a community that not only cared about my unique needs as a veteran, but also my academic progression and post-military life. I was able to settle into WP without any regret. My sociology professors, including my incredible advisor, have invested their time and efforts into making sure my academic experience at WP has been nothing short of spectacular. Not only has William Paterson offered me a variety of life-changing opportunities, but it has given me the will power and knowledge to create a successful future.” Submitted by Rebekah Battersby ‘17
“Starting my college career at William Paterson University, I knew I wanted to get involved, but I didn’t realize until now how involved I would really become. I started off with joining the cheerleading team and then getting involved in greek life. This is where my Will.Power. story really begins. At William Paterson, I have gained leadership skills and become connected to faculty, staff and peers on campus. I was able to pursue amazing internships and become a student ambassador, orientation leader, and peer leader to first-year students. My Will. Power. is my drive to help others, and by holding these various jobs on campus I am able to do just that. I thank WP every day for giving me the opportunities that have made me who I am today.” Submitted by Taylor Dulemba ‘17
A Dream Come True “William Paterson has revealed to me the significance of being united with my peers and my ability to overcome any obstacle that stands before me. I am proud to say I am graduating in May 2017. It is truly a blessing that would not have been possible without the support and love of my colleagues, professors, and mentors on campus. Throughout the years, I was able to network with so many professionals that encouraged me to reach every goal I set for myself and to never give up on a dream. I can finally say I am the first male in my family to graduate from a university, and I can continue my dream of becoming a famous music artist with confidence. William Paterson is the university that helps you realize that any dream is possible if you’re willing to work for it. It was a dream to finish college, and now it has finally become a reality. Thank you, William Paterson.” Submitted by John Watkins ‘17
“The courses that I have taken at William Paterson University have really helped me understand how everything is connected. How the choices that we do or do not make on a day-to-day basis impact not only humans, but nature as well. As a double major, the anthropology and earth science departments at William Paterson have really brought the saying “Knowledge is #POWER” to light. Just three years ago, I would never have dreamed of pursuing cultural anthropology. However, after embarking on this journey and recognizing the struggles that people around the world are going through in order to survive, I realize that I have made the right choice, not only choosing William Paterson University, but also in choosing the anthropology department. The knowledge that I’ve gained over the last three years has given me the #WILL to fight for change. I’m eager to see where my destiny leads me. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that if a person’s #WILL is strong enough, they have the #POWER to change anything. It may start small, but, as a quote from Prometheus goes, ‘big things have small beginnings,’ and I dream BIG.” Submitted by Rae Cade ‘18
“Happy to announce that I’ll be beginning my nursing school journey this fall at my institution of choice, William Paterson University! ❤️👩🏼‍⚕️💉 #WPAccepted #FutureNurse” Shared by @julesfairless on Instagram.
“I am the youngest of three raised by a single mother. We moved here from Colombia when I was six years old. We didn’t have much growing up, but I was always told that I could accomplish all of my dreams in this country. I have always been hungry for success, but I haven’t had a lot of examples to follow or people to guide me in the right direction. When I declared a major in professional sales, I knew I had made the best decision of my life. Not only am I studying what I love, but every single professor has personally invested themselves into my future and my goals. I know that I will be able to count on them as mentors even after graduation. I’ve made lifelong relationships and connections with people who share my vision for a brighter future, and for that I will always be grateful. I am graduating in spring 2017 and I’ve already had an offer for my dream job since the summer. I couldn’t have done it without them and Will. Power.” Submitted by Estefania Correa ‘17.
“My name is Kevin Steele, and I love to create. It is a joy for me to bring something to life, whether it’s a song that didn’t exist before or a melody that has never been heard, but makes you feel like you’ve known it all along. It can be a speech with a fresh message that inspires others, a movie script, or even a blog post that someone else finds relatable and encouraging. At William Paterson, I have been able to further experience the beauty of creating. I have been given opportunities to grow in mediums that I love, like music, and open myself up to new outlets, like a love of screenwriting that I discovered after taking an inspiring class. I’ve found new avenues that allow me to express myself and communicate what’s on my mind. As a WP student, I have met so many different people who share my love of creating. It is inspiring, and it challenges me to work on my craft every day to be the best I can possibly be.” Submitted by Kevin Steele ‘18
“When I entered my freshman year at William Paterson University, I was terribly shy and didn’t have the confidence to be myself. Fast forward two years and I am now a junior that has held leadership positions in clubs, attended multiple conferences, and serves in on-campus positions as a resident assistant and a social media coordinator. William Paterson has provided me with a space where I have been able to learn, grow and discover my authentic self. In high school, I never would have imagined that I would be able to accomplish even a fraction of the things that I have done here. From serving in leadership positions to pushing myself out of my comfort zone, William Paterson has given me the opportunity to be myself and follow my dreams.” Submitted by Brittany Line ‘18
“Justin Kauflin and his career and his music personify Will. Power.“ – David Demsey, #WPUNJ Jazz Studies Coordinator“ After going blind at age 11, WP Jazz Studies alumnus Justin Kauflin harnessed his Will. Power. and pursued his passion for jazz. At William Paterson, he studied under jazz legends Mulgrew Miller and Clark Terry, and went on to become an award-winning jazz pianist. Learn more:
“I still can’t believe I’ll be graduating from William Paterson in May. I started off hesitant and nervous as a new graduate student at a new university looking to find direction in my professional career. The nervousness was quickly replaced by confidence as I found a supporting face at every turn. I came to William Paterson looking to enter the music industry with an MBA in Management, distressed over the intense competition. I have learned so much about business at William Paterson, and now have a business-like attitude in everything I do. I approach every challenge with confidence and professionalism. Not only has the community of the Cotsakos College of Business helped me, but the music department is more invested in seeing students succeed than I’ve ever seen before. They are always eager to push you, while throwing endless opportunities your way. When I first arrived, I had an idea of what career I wanted to pursue, but they’ve helped me find direction and a passion for music publishing. Not only do the academic professionals lend themselves as mentors, but the wonderful staff I get to work with at Alumni Relations has also given me irreplaceable experience and development as a professional. From each of these three corners, I have incredible individuals pushing me, throwing new challenges at me every day. Without them, I would still be a timid and apprehensive young woman hesitant to step into the professional world. This May, I’m going to walk away, diploma in hand, with confidence and direction, ready to use my Will. Power. to make myself and my university proud.” Submitted by Samantha Shank MBA ‘17
If you have the will to succeed, William Paterson can give you the power to achieve. Watch to learn more:
“She WILL. emPOWER. Yes, it’s me, @forever_topmodel. But despite what some may believe, there is more to me then my Instagram posts and the clubs I’m in. I am a small town girl with big city dreams, but I never had the confidence to step out and reach my full potential. Then I came to William Paterson University and I realized dreams really could come true. I met some amazing individuals who became my mentors and who pushed me to achieve more in not only my college career, but my life! #WillPower to me is the ability to step outside your comfort zone and be the person you always imagined. Because you can do anything. #WillPower to me is never letting others put limits on you because you know some of the best goals are the ones others around you can’t see. #WillPower to me is being active in the community and trying to make a difference no matter what. My name is Cheyenne T. Jacobs, I am a senior double major in Sports Management and Media Productions. I am the Vice President of Student Life for the Student Government Association, a Sister of Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc., Orientation Leader, Peer Leader, and many other things that are only little parts of me. I am more than my social media posts and clubs. I am a young woman that cannot be defined and that is why I am empowered. That is why I have #WillPower.” Submitted by Cheyenne Jacobs ‘17
From the Great Falls National Park to changes in 18th century French fashion, WP undergraduate students are conducting a wide range of quality research. Check out some highlights from the hundreds of projects completed by students each year:
“I accepted my invitation to attend William Paterson University in the fall of 2012 with the intention of joining the WP Bowling Team. From day one on campus, I saw myself as a Pioneer, and was excited to represent in my WP gear on campus and from state-to-state when traveling with the team. The pride I felt around my friends and family as I represented the great orange and black encouraged me to become more involved on campus. I immediately found myself attending all sorts of club and athletic events, and having nothing but orange and black clothing in my closet. Wanting to further share my pride and great experience, I became an orientation and peer leader, where I had the opportunity to interact with and assist new and incoming students. I was also able to branch out and meet fellow Pioneers as an Athletic Training student and member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. I feel I have left a huge impact on student life throughout my undergraduate career, and I was even awarded the Scholar Leader Award by the Student Government Association, and the Outstanding Achievement in Exercise Science Award from the Kinesiology Department. All this success made my decision easy when choosing the school at which I’d pursue my graduate degree; I will be a Pioneer for two more years!” Submitted by Tyler Mortensen, ‘17, MS ‘19
William Paterson University students demonstrate their Will. Power. by giving back to the community. Learn more about our commitment to civic engagement:
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