Five questions with the Florham Campus Pinnacle recipient: Christopher Trautman
By Kenna Caprio
Christopher Trautman is ready for the next chapter: sharing a little of his FDU story with friends, family, faculty and fellow graduates at Commencement 2015. Hailing from Clinton, N.J., Trautman, the Florham Campus Pinnacle Award winner, will graduate with a BA in English Language & Literature with a concentration in world literature.
FDU: What's the best, most unexpected experience you had at FDU?
CT: Joining a fraternity. When I started at FDU, it was not something I was interested in. I had this idea about what Greek Life meant and it didn’t appeal to me.
But after becoming an RA, I met this great group of guys. Now, I know who the best men will be at my wedding. They’re my brothers.
Joining a fraternity and becoming an RA are the two things that really made FDU and college for me.
FDU: Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?
CT: Get involved in everything. College is a really, really great time because you get to be an adult and have more responsibilities, while you have professional staff, friends and faculty to help care for you. It’s a great time to explore different avenues. Something’s going to stick — you’ll find something that you love. It’s the best way to maximize your college experience.
FDU: What's an academic highlight from your undergraduate tenure?
CT: In senior seminar, I presented a paper, “Origins and Evolutions of Gay Young Adult Lit” and why it matters to all students. That was presented to my peers and faculty in the literature department.
FDU: Who is one person at FDU who had a big impact on you?
CT: It’s hard to choose just one, but Ryan Stalgaitis was my freshman seminar instructor. He was that cool young teacher who made us laugh, and taught us things. After that class, I went to him for career advice, and then after that he became our fraternity advisor, so he was a more formal mentor to me and the other students.
He’s a constant positive, supportive presence and that’s just been invaluable.
FDU: What's next for you?
CT: I’m going to graduate school at Montclair State University. I’ll be studying educational leadership with a concentration in higher education administration and working as assistant community director, supervising a residence hall and serving a new college community!
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