Fast-approaching the 100th senate of Stevens’ Student Government Association (SGA), Nick Catania and Abhay Sampath take the helm as newly elected (2011-2012) president and vice president, respectively. Assuming top position on their agenda is a concerted effort to increase the already robust and diverse representation of clubs and organizations on campus - something that makes Stevens distinct. They aim to position the SGA as a central point of information for extracurricular activities and inspire students to come up with ways to make the Stevens experience even better.
“With almost 100 student-run organizations on campus, there are so many ways to get involved. You can join media organizations, ethnic and professional societies, sports, Greek life, and so much more. Students are always starting new clubs and finding new ways to explore their interest," Catania said. "The funds for these organizations are in the hands of students, and everyone is determined to be successful. There is clearly a great advantage for students here.”
Both Catania and Sampath will be entering their final year as Stevens undergraduates, and they are very excited to be holding their new leadership positions. These are students who have taken full advantage of opportunities for student involvement at Stevens. Catania is a double major – engineering physics and music & technology (with a concentration in music composition). He is also a member of Gear and Triangle, Stevens Jazz Band, Stevens Dramatic Society, and he was on the winning team of the Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl. Sampath is a Stevens Scholar who will earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering when he graduates in 2012. He is a former member of the Stevens Honor Board and a member of a number of extracurricular clubs. In addition, this past fall semester (2010), he studied abroad at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
“My study abroad experience was amazing,” Sampath said. “It was one of those college experiences that gets you out of your comfort zone and opens your eyes to different environments, outside of what you learn in the classroom. This was the first time I had the opportunity to experience new cultures and travel to such remarkable destinations as Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I’m happy that Stevens was able to connect me to other parts of the world.”
With most of their undergrad years behind them, Catania - a graduate of Marlboro High School (Marlboro, NY) - and Sampath - a graduate of Middlesex County Academy (Edison, NJ) - look back on their transformation and credit Stevens with helping them become campus leaders. Stevens’ close-knit community engages students in ways other larger universities cannot. They say everyone at Stevens is motivated to work together, take on new challenges and make things happen.
Their message to incoming freshmen? Take advantage of the available opportunities to get involved. Freshmen, for example, eager to take on new leadership roles, can run for the SGA Senate positions early on in their first semester. And Pre-Orientation is a great way to be introduced into the community before the school year begins. It helps many students get a jump start on making new friends and building relations that will last through, and well-beyond, their careers at Stevens. “We can’t wait to see you at Stevens this fall, and we’re looking forward to getting you started on your new adventure!” Catania said.