Arturo Romua '13 is proof that Monmouth's location benefits students' learning experiences each and every day. He decided to attend Monmouth for its marine and environmental biology and policy major. Since then, he has taken what he's learned in the classroom, from research projects, and through extracurricular activities-including his four years in the Environmental Club-to benefit a larger learning experience that Arturo can leverage in future careers.
Small classes made a huge difference at Monmouth, Arturo said, because they promoted student research. He worked with Dr. Pedram Daneshgar during a summer research project on coastal and forest ecosystems for biodiversity and potential restoration, as well as pest management and proper maintenance techniques for eventual harvest with the viticulture program.
"But what stands out the most would be my research in the Bahamas," Arturo said. "I took a Tropical Island Ecology course as my Experiential Education class for marine biology, and for two weeks, I was with 19 other students examining coral reef and mangrove ecosystems for assessment of diversity and restoration. We snorkeled almost on a daily basis and got to experience sustainable living."
Arturo's time at Monmouth gave him a better perspective on various ecological systems, something that will serve him well in the future, whether it's traveling the world examining various reef ecosystems, conservation and management programs focusing on coastal species, or beach cleanups and sustainable energy development along the coast. "Monmouth helped me to understand and appreciate the complexity and beauty of nature," Arturo said. "I was also able to meet new people with passion for the environment, and this has allowed me to grow into the environmentally sensible individual that I am today."
Faculty Member Influence
Throughout my four years at Monmouth, I had numerous professors who were influential in my success. Dr. Pedram Daneshgar has been and still is a great mentor and friend in the biology department. I had the opportunity to conduct a summer research project on invasive species with him. I had three different classes with Assistant Dean John Tiedemann, and I find his teachings practical, applicable, and straightforward. John, along with Tony MacDonald from the Urban Coast Institute, also helped me land an internship at a consulting firm, and I'm very grateful for all of their assistance.
How Monmouth helped me achieve my goals
Monmouth provided me with the opportunity to do field research not only in the U.S., but in the Bahamas as well. Research is a crucial component of my field of study-it's the foundation of my career. Monmouth helped me to establish friendships and professional connections with both students and professors that are imperative to my future. I wish I had a few more years to create more Monmouth experiences. My four years were great.
Organizations that helped me as a student
The Environmental Club allowed me to exhibit leadership. I was an active member beginning my freshman year, but it was not until my senior year that I became vice president of the club. We had several opportunities to improve our surroundings-beach cleanups, tree plantings, construction of a rain garden-just to name a few. This club allowed me to network with a number of highly influential individuals, and I gained confidence and developed better interpersonal skills over time.
Why I'm proud of Monmouth
At Monmouth, I was able to walk a new path and learn from the institution every day. People look out for your best interest because they care about your future. You establish connections with every single person that comes into your life and they become a part of you.