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Our Accomplished Alumni

Despite which career path they choose, alumni from the TCNJ School of Humanities and Social Sciences are extremely talented in their work and successful in their fields.

Click on the boxes below and read on to learn more about some of our graduates.


Our alumni are writers in Hollywood, judges in New Jersey, lawyers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, doctors, journalists, teachers, college professors, city council members, and consultants.

They work in public relations, human resources, real estate, publishing, broadcasting, law enforcement, and banking. TCNJ graduates work in non-profit agencies, the media, large multi-nationals and small family-owned businesses, as well as in government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. We are very proud of our alumni and proud that they continue to feel connected to The College of New Jersey.


Profiles of Our Alumni

dsc_2162Nick Manetto, Class of 2001


Director of Government Consulting Affairs — Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting

For Nick Manetto, it was his time working for U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, another TCNJ alumnus, that helped him boost his career to where it is today. In other words, what was most valuable to him was the networking he did at TCNJ, combined with the real-world experienced he gained through TCNJ’s already established connections with other organizations.

One such organization was the Trenton Times, where Nick wrote during his time at TCNJ. He said this gave him the necessary skills – in writing and strategic communications – that allowed him to move up in the ranks in Washington.

“I would encourage students to keep an open mind,” Nick said, referring to current campus community.

He was able to move up quickly on Capitol Hill after working entry-level jobs as a press secretary and legislative staffer for Rep. Smith.

“I came to Washington thinking I would be a press secretary but ended up having an opportunity to get involved in healthcare issues. That opened my eyes to a whole set of issues I never really thought of much beforehand, and ended up opening a door to the future. Keep your eyes and mind open and don’t put up too many roadblocks.”manetto2200 (1)

As for additional advice to current and future TCNJ students, he said that they should “make the most of every opportunity” and “focus beyond work, particularly on family and volunteer/civic pursuits.”

Pictured, at right, Manetto poses with his wife and four children.


Morris, Rachel-Tryon CreekRachel Morris, Class of 2013

Political Science with a concentration in Environmental Science

J.D. Candidate at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon

Some students find The College of New Jersey to be an environment conducive to encouragement and support. Rachel Morris was certainly one of those students.

She explains that TCNJ faculty were “instrumental … in helping to foster my environmental interests,” which Rachel is now pursuing as her judicial focus.

“My advice would be to utilize the excellent TCNJ professors and Dean Rifkin,” Rachel says to her TCNJ peers. “They was helped me to tailor my papers on environmental topics and discussed career and graduate school options with me.”

It was this unwavering enthusiasm from mentors that has helped Rachel blossom in her post-graduate career path. This past summer (2014) she worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a job which she got through networking with Lewis & Clark alumni.

“Alumni really like to hear from current students, and really appreciate when they are proactive about seeking out positions.”

The position was officially stationed within the Office of Civil Enforcement, Water Enforcement Division, housed in Washington D.C.

“I had the opportunity to work with case teams on enforcement actions ranging from the illegal filling of wetlands without a permit in violation of Clean Water Act,” she said.

More recently, she received a job offer with the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division.

“I anticipate gaining further knowledge of environmental statutes and beginning to develop my litigation skills,” Rachel explained about the new position. It goes to show that TCNJ alumni tenaciously and intentionally pursue their career goals.

In terms of advice for current students, her message was direct: “I would encourage students to go to the Career Center and to connect with alumni in their field, both now at TCNJ and in graduate school. It  is a really helpful way to learn what it is actually like to work in a certain field, and sometimes it can even lead to internships or jobs!”


10552658_10154358206330403_6282899349982178107_nStephanie Kraver, Class of 2012

English, minors in Philosophy and Arabic, and a self-designed interdisciplinary concentration in Middle East Language and Culture

M.A. at New York University in Near Eastern Studies

Stephanie spent her first two years after graduating from The College of New Jersey working closely with her alma mater. She coordinated business plans for TCNJ’s AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service of America (VISTA) grant, a 3-year-long multi-campus effort targeted directly at combating poverty.

Her work for the VISTA grant centered around bridging the gap between local businesses and the purchasing done by TCNJ’s staff. This was headquartered in Princeton’s Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement.

Then, Stephanie moved on to become a part of the Trenton Violence Reduction Strategy (TVRS) which she explained as “a collaborative effort encompassing the Office of the Attorney General, The College of New Jersey, and an array of community organizations and Trenton residents working to combat violence in the city.”

Her advice to students looking to follow a similar path was simple: “I would recommend that [students] form relationships with their professors.

“The faculty at TCNJ is exceptional; it was invaluable for me to have both truly supportive mentors and highly accomplished scholars throughout my journey seeking postgraduate studies.”


IMG_0161Melvin Sykes, Class of 1975

Political Science

Former Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and Germany; Served in the Pentagon as special assistant to the Secretary of the Army 

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Melvin has a rich array of experiences, ranging from leading a platoon to Vietnam to leading Congress members and their staff on “fact-finding trips to Colombia, Panama, Bolivia, Germany, Belgium, Spain and numerous installations in the U.S.”

“My responsibilities were to explain/defend the Army’s budget request to committee members and their staffs,” Melvin said about his investigative-related work in the Army. “I also prepared hearing witnesses and kept the Army’s senior civilian and military leadership aware of legislative issues.”

Once he retired from the army, he worked at the Pentagon, attending law school part-time. He went on to open his own lobbying practice. As far as long-term success goes, Melvin is a perfect example. When it comes to practicing the law and applying it to multiple situations, across the globe, and with a variety of clients, Melvin’s advice is concise:

“I advise people who are considering law school to choose a school that is actually preparing its students to practice law through internships with law firms, government offices etc.,” he said. “Those schools tend to offer  courses  that are more practical in nature than the traditional curriculum, which was developed in the 1870s.”

Alumni Accomplishments

Our alumni are extraordinarily accomplished. Here are some of the many recent successes of our School’s alumni.

Acceptances, Fellowships, and Accomplishments in Graduate School


Our alumni are participating in and enrolled at, among others:

  • PhD program in Middle Eastern Studies with McCracken Doctoral Fellowship at NYU

  • PhD program in History at Northeastern University, with fellowship

  • MA program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at University of Chicago

  • Seton Hall Law School

  • UCLA doctoral program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • Harvard doctoral program in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • East Asian Studies Program at Harvard

  • East Asian Studies Program at Yale (with fellowship)

  • MA program at NYU in Middle Eastern Studies

  • MA in Middle East Studies at NYU

  • London School of Economics, MA in Economic History Program (graduated with distinction)

  • MA in Public Policy Program at the Bloustein School at Rutgers University

  • MPA Program at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University

  • PhD Program in Spanish at the University of Virginia

  • William and Mary Law School (alumnus ranked first in class, made the law review)

  • Duke University Law School (alumnus elected president of the Bar Association)

  • PhD in Neuroscience program at Princeton University

  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience program at University of California at Berkeley

  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience program at Princeton University

  • Yale University Physician Assistant Program

Conference Presentations, Awards, Publications

  • Somerville Prize for best future teacher (one of two such winners nationally) at the Sigma Tau Delta Honors English Conference

  • “Best in Convention” prize (one of two) at the Sigma Tau Delta Honors English Conference (in the category British, World, or Critical Theory)

  • Sigma Delta Pi Undergraduate Summer Scholarship

  • NJ State Department’s Martin Luther King, Jr Award for academic excellence and leadership in promoting social justice, human and labor rights, and world peace.

Departmental Successes and Placement Record

  • Dozens of Law School acceptances from the C&S Pre-Law program

  • Sociology alumni are currently in Teach for America, the Peace Corps, and in the field os social work

  • Criminology alumni are attending graduate programs in the field at the University of Pennsylvania, Arizona State University, Villanova and Rutgers, and also Law School at Harvard, University of Southern California, Widener, Villanova, Rutgers and Seton Hall

  • TCNJ’s Spanish Teacher Education Program has a 100% job placement rate

  • TCNJ ranks first as the institution with the most students accepted for presentations and the most attending the conference at the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, Conference in 2010 in St. Louis (34 papers accepted from over 900 works submitted to the conference)