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.
Yazan Jubran ‘21 “Graduating high school and transitioning to William Paterson was one of the scariest and most exciting experiences of my life. My graduating high school GPA wasn’t where I wanted it to be and I knew that college was going to be much more challenging. With this in mind, I walked into my first day of classes with a new determination to achieve higher academic success and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. I am pursuing a double major in finance and professional sales and the classes I am taking in the College of Business are interesting, challenging and fun. The feedback I receive from my professors, partnered with innovative technology like the sales lab, is preparing me to excel in my career. One of my greatest accomplishments came when I achieved fourth place in the advanced role play category of the RBI Sales Triathlon. I was the youngest student to place in the top four this year.
Now, after an inspirational freshman year, I have earned a 3.4 GPA and landed a number of leadership positions across campus. In addition to my work as a Student Government Association senator, orientation leader, treasurer of the professional sales club, peer leader, tutor and student ambassador, I was also one of 60 first-generation college students selected for a fellowship with America Needs You, a two-year career development and leadership training program.
I am confident that with the help of William Paterson’s academic services, friends, and my strong Will. Power., I will make my university community proud.”
Anna Onday ‘19 “I had no idea what to expect when I first came to William Paterson University as a freshman in 2014. It was my first time being away from home and I was terrified to be living in an unfamiliar place. Thankfully, my roommate was my best friend and we took on the college experience together. Along the way, I met so many amazing people. I am so grateful for everyone I met here who entered my life. From my High Mountain East residence hall, to my intramural volleyball teammates, to the members of the Filipino club (FACE), to those I met tutoring and in my nursing association. Even when I experienced low moments, having loyal friends and a strong support system helped me get through anything. After the first semester of my junior year, I hit my lowest point when I failed one of my courses and was held back a semester. I felt like quitting and giving up, but so many people encouraged me to stand back up and continue my journey. Thankfully, I listened, and today I am the president of the Nursing Student Association. After graduation, I plan to take and pass the NCLEX exam which will determine my ability to become a nurse. I am so grateful to my professors who encouraged me to never give up and gave me the confidence to know I will become a great nurse who will change lives.”
I am preparing to graduate in a few short months and the idea of leaving William Paterson is heartbreaking to me. This University started as an unfamiliar place I was hesitant to begin and has since become a place I find difficult to leave. This campus has become my second home. I will never forget the common hours, late nights in dining hall, all-nighters studying for finals in the library, the surplus amounts of food my friends and I would consume in 1am runs, the laughs that would come echoing from my group in the student cafe, the “have a nice day’s” I would receive after a good workout at the campus gym, and every other little thing that made me into the person I am today. My experience at WP was four years long but felt like just four months. While I was enjoying the college experience, time flew by right before my eyes. Everyone at William Paterson has their own Will. Power. story, and this is mine. And I don’t regret a single second of it.”
Bree Testa ‘19 “Coming to William Paterson University, I was the shy girl who had a lot to say but was too scared to speak to a crowd, let alone perform on a stage. So I’d turn on my music, put my headphones on, and let music speak for me while I played my guitars in my room. That all changed when I stepped foot into Hobart Hall and found Brave New Radio. When I joined the radio station I thought of it as a stepping stone towards a career in radio broadcasting and audio engineering. I was welcomed with open arms into a community of such talented people. Everyone wanted to do what they love, just like me.
A month after becoming an official DJ/legal operator, I got my own radio show, “The Girl with the Rock Show,” and people loved it. I was so surprised by how many people enjoyed listening to my favorite music and talking about my favorite thing in the world! Then, two months after that, I took a chance at becoming a production director at the station, and I fell in love with the world of radio and audio engineering even more. I found my place and my voice.
When people would say, “You’ll never make it in radio,” or “You won’t be a famous guitarist,” I’d always joke that someday I’d be winning awards for my work. In March 2018, I was a finalist for three Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards for my radio show and work in the Production Department. Brave New Radio was named Best College Station for the second year in a row. It was my moment of triumph, it was our moment of triumph. Now, going into my senior year, I still hold onto those big dreams and plan to have my name become known. It was because of my Will. Power. and college radio that I found who I’m supposed to be. Always remember to shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.”
Eleni Lutas ‘18 “When I transferred to William Paterson three years ago, I made the tough decision to take a year off from softball and focus solely on my academics. I became William Paterson Softball’s biggest fan. I followed every game and prepared myself for the day that I’d be able to get back on the field again. I can still remember the first day I showed up in the gym and told Coach Hallie Cohen that I wanted to be a Pioneer softball player. I can’t thank her enough for believing in me when I needed it the most. She helped me grow into the female student-athlete I am today and held me to standards that I will forever remember. For me, softball has always been something that added structure and meaning to my life. I came from a school where no one knew who I was and it was easy to slip through the cracks. William Paterson provided me with faculty who truly cared about me, not only as a student but as an athlete. The amount of time and support they invested in me is endless and will help me in my future endeavors. I look back at my time at William Paterson and wouldn’t change one part of my journey. I met coaches who supported me on and off the field and professors who pushed me in the classroom. I made friendships that will last me a lifetime. I became a part of a winning culture. A family with one heartbeat.”
Marthe Emogene ‘18 “I’m studying communication sciences and disorders to become a speech-language pathologist. When I obtain my certification and license, my ultimate goal is to work with stroke survivors and young children in early intervention. During my time at William Paterson, I have been able to serve as a student-leader in different sectors including clubs, organizations, new student orientation events, and off-campus projects and jobs. The main organization I have been a part of is Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (which has been at WP for 45 years!) I’m a servant-leader who has been given the privilege to be a part a campus legacy. WPUIVCF has allowed me to meet new people, attend leadership retreats, and grow as an individual and a person of faith. William Paterson University has truly become my second home. Not only have I been able to meet wonderful, talented students, but I’ve also made connections with genuine and dedicated staff members and friendly, knowledgeable faculty. I’ve met many cool people here, some who are for sure lifelong friends. As a lifelong pioneer, I will be reppin’ orange and black wherever I go!”
Michele Ciz ‘18 “Going into William Paterson University as a transfer student, I never expected to do anything other than go to class and go home. I had no plans to go out of my way to make friends or be involved. However, when I arrived at WP I had a complete change of heart. Within weeks I was able to form connections with my professors, make friends with awesome people, and become involved with so many wonderful clubs and organizations. I went from being a stereotypical loner to discovering the benefit of putting in hard work and communicating with others.
Fast forward one year later and I was able to put the knowledge that I gained in class to practice by participating in post-hurricane humanitarian social media work in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Through striving to get good grades, volunteering my time, and becoming close with my professors, I was given the opportunity to spend a week in January on a sunny island providing the locals with meals and hearing their stories on a service learning trip with an amazing group of WP students. The trip showed me how often we take things like hot running water and ample food for granted. The experience was humbling and made me realize just how important giving back can truly be. At William Paterson we are taught the tools we need to really make a change in the world.
Now that I’m in the homestretch headed toward graduation, I’ve made the decision to continue my time at WP by committing to graduate school. I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve met and the opportunities that WP has provided me. William Paterson University will always be my home.”
Yusef Justice ‘18 “Growing up, I was raised by a single mother who is the strongest woman I know. Seeing her work tirelessly so that I could have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my stomach are the images that motivated me to come to college. Because of her struggles, I will be the first man in my family to graduate from college and I know I will be successful in all of my endeavors. Although I have experienced many obstacles and came so close to giving up, my support at William Paterson has pushed me to grow into the person I want to be. I am a brother/philanthropy chair/treasurer of Tau Kappa Epsilon; treasurer of the Public Health Coalition; senator in the Student Government Association; Pesce Family Mentoring Institute mentee, and an employee in hospitality services. WP is the best place to be because it is a community of people who will truly help you grow. It is where you find your family and your Will.Power. I am proud to be considered a leader on campus and am even prouder to call myself a Pioneer.”
Dani Carr ‘18 “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.”
Kody Guedes ‘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.”
Jamie Sharpe ‘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.”
Jason Gustave ‘20 “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”
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: wpunj.us/llQMso
Rebekah Battersby ‘17 “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.”
Taylor Dulemba ‘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.”
John Watkins ‘17 “William Paterson has been a dream come true. My time here 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.”
Rae Cade ‘18 “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.”
“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.
Estefania Correa ‘17 “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.”
Kevin Steele ‘18 “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.”
Brittany Line ‘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.”