William Paterson senior Jordyn Rush has been instrumental in helping numerous academically at-risk students succeed—many in two of the most challenging courses required of majors in the social sciences.
An Honors College student with a near-perfect grade point average who is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in psychology in just three years, Rush clearly knows a thing or two about academic success.
She subsequently has a part-time job on campus in the Academic Success Center, which provides both in-person and virtual drop-in services for students who need tutoring. And, in her free time, she serves as a mentor to students in need.
Because Rush did so well in two of the most difficult courses required in her major and others—Applied Statistics and Research Methods—professors asked her to lend support to three students in those courses with academic need. Because she did a great job, Rush was then recruited by faculty to serve in the Pioneers and Leaders Program, or PALS, in which student-mentors serve as academic and social supporters of at-risk students in WP’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. PALS mentors not only offer tutoring, but also personally check in on their students weekly, directing them to campus resources as appropriate.
“They’d send assignments to me and we’d work on them together, and I’d check in on them through texts and emails, asking them if they’re okay,” explains Rush. “I worked with a student that was near-failing and ended up getting an A in the course. I wanted to see that in other students. That kept me going.”
As much as she’s helped her fellow students as a tutor and mentor, Rush says they’ve helped her as well. Transitioning to the on-campus experience after her freshman classes were remote due to the pandemic, especially as a commuter student living an hour away from campus, was somewhat intimidating. “These programs, PALS and the Academic Success Center, got me more involved on campus,” explains Rush, whose mother is a WP graduate. “Some students I tutored, I’m still in contact with now.”
Rush, age 21, has plenty to celebrate alongside fellow students at the Class of 2023 Commencement ceremony.
She recently presented her Honors College thesis, which focused on how public speaking anxiety impacts students academically, and she has secured a full-time job in statistical analysis, working to dissect NJ school districts’ performance in certain areas. She starts as soon as the semester is over.
Until then, Rush is busy wrapping up her final weeks as a standout student and mentor on campus.
“I feel happy to help other students,” she says. “It warms my heart that they don’t have to fall behind.”
After she gains some career experience, Rush plans to pursue graduate studies in either statistics or experimental psychology.
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470