August 20, 2019 | 81° F

Cap and Gown: Shannon Glenn

After an injury stopped her from playing basketball, Glenn set herself a new goal: graduating in three years


Shannon Glenn, a double major in sociology and communications, managed to graduate in three years. Over the summer she will be working as a research assistant at Rutgers before moving to Belgium to conduct research on democratic societies. (Courtesy of Shannon Glenn)

At most public universities, only 19 percent of full-time students earn a bachelor's degree in four years, according to the New York Times. Despite this statistic, a School of Arts and Sciences senior managed to finish all of her courses in only three years.

Shannon Glenn said she had to take more than five classes every semester, as well as summer and winter classes, in order to graduate a year early.

“Even with taking classes year-round, I had to be extremely organized in making a schedule so that I would properly fulfill my (School of Arts and Sciences) core, communication major requirements and sociology major requirements,” she said. “To help in doing this, I made myself a spreadsheet with all my credits, what I needed to fill and set a goal of what semester I would take each of these classes. Trying to balance school work and a social life was challenging all the time.”

Glenn said her sorority, Phi Mu, helped her to succeed in balancing everything by offering her an outlet to study with girls in the sorority.

Glenn said her decision to try to graduate early came after she suffered an ankle injury that resulted in six reconstruction surgeries. After realizing she could no longer play basketball in college, she said she felt lost and needed a new goal, thus deciding to graduate a year early. She said retrospectively, that she could not be happier with her decision.

After graduation, Glenn said she is going to be working as a research assistant at Rutgers for the summer. The research project is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She will be creating a program for high school students in 4-H and D.A.R.E.

After the summer, Glenn is moving to Leuven, Belgium, where she will be doing independent research on democratic societies under the EuroScholar program. She will have the opportunity to attend conferences around Europe, and try out living life in a new country.

After graduation, Glenn said she is very excited to see where her research takes her. Whether she decides to go back to school for her Ph.D. or return from Belgium to find a job in New York City, she said she is excited to see where life’s journeys will take her.

Overall, Glenn said she is going to miss everything about Rutgers, including the best pizza on Earth, which she said is from R.U. Grill, getting annoyed that she got yet another parking ticket or just walking down the street to see her best friends.

“I will never in my life experience something as great as the memories Rutgers has given me. I think Rutgers has prepared for my life after graduation by giving me certain skills I wouldn’t have found at another college. Time management skills like figuring out how to get to class on time when the first three EE busses were full, is something that I am now grateful for. The fast-paced environment at a busy school like Rutgers is a struggle sometimes, but I am now starting to see how it has prepared me for the real world outside of New Brunswick,” she said. “I can confidently say that the environment of this school and the amazing professors that I’ve had have shaped me into the person I am today.” 

Chloe Dopico

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