Page intro (story)

“My first year, I was a member of the Paul Robeson Living-Learning Community. That was a great experience because I was able to meet faculty who throughout the years have stayed in touch. They helped me find my purpose in life.”
Africana Studies and Economics
School of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers University–New Brunswick


Malawi, Africa

Takondwa's Story

Motivated by the hardships witnessed in his hometown, Takondwa was ignited by the research opportunities presented at Rutgers – New Brunswick. This rising junior is determined to bridge the gap between aid and economic sustainability in South African countries – while making friends that will last a lifetime.

What stands out most about your college experience?

Most faculties are willing to meet you, especially during office hours. They’re very helpful. They want you to succeed. I feel like there’s a stigma that, if you go to office hours and you don’t know the material, the professor won’t like you as much. But they walk you through it – they step-by-step make sure you understand because they love teaching.

What impacted you the most about Rutgers University–New Brunswick?

The fact that the community is so diverse. I found people that could actually relate to my experience. They understand that I come from an international background and they were willing to become friends with me and help me grow. I met a lot of great friends at Rutgers, life-long friends.

What is your greatest academic achievement 

My greatest academic achievement has to be the McNair research proposal. I intend to turn it into my honors thesis and research the same topic in graduate school. I feel like the McNair Program, as well as [Dr. O’Keefe], really helped me hone in on my purpose in life. After I obtain my Ph.D., I hope to work for the World Bank or Goldman Sachs International to work on developing nations and figure out how I can give back to the communities I hold so dear.

Takondwa’s activities on campus: