Eirene is a resident assistant for Nicholas Hall on the Cook Campus. A senior from Bridgewater, N.J., she is majoring in public health with a minor in biology.

On majoring in public health…

At first, I thought I wanted to do medicine. I have a mentor who is a public health major and English minor. Over time I learned with public health you can do different things and still go into medicine.

Before college, I visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a summer program. We put on hazmat suits and walked through the center. You could see things like the iron lung machines that they used against polio. I learned about the progression of public health and how far we came.

There are millions of people whose lives were saved from these preventable diseases because we made the effort to stop them and invested in resources to find out how to prevent these things from happening. I like the idea of working on prevention rather than having to find a cure for the disease after the fact.

Because of that, I wanted to focus on it when I came to college, especially now when there’s so much going on with healthcare. I want to go down the path of trying to figure out how to most efficiently and effectively deliver healthcare to people.

Becoming a RA…

My RA during my sophomore year really pushed to apply to become a RA. I really like to help people and I like hearing about other people’s experiences so I thought being a RA would really suit me. I always saw RAs as really accomplished students that have everything together.

I really like my residents. I always make the effort to say hi to everybody that walks in the building. I really like connecting to people. I was a lot different when I was younger. I was much shyer and less confident in myself. Confidence is something you build over time and connecting to other people helped me grow.

People aren’t always like you expect them to be on face value. A lot of people have different ideas, beliefs, and ways of thinking about a situation. I find that a lot in my residents. I find a lot of different cultures, backgrounds, and perceptions for what they want from their futures and I want to support them. As a senior with a lot of experience, I feel like I can really help my residents with their journey.

On photography…

Since high school I’ve been into photography. I really like going around campus to take pictures. What really got me excited about taking pictures was action or event photography. I love how photos can bring you back to a moment and make you feel what you felt at the time.