First Year Read!

Welcome to Stevens! My name is Grace Miguel and I am a junior software engineering major. I am from Washington Township, NJ(the one in Bergen County). 

By this time, all of you should have received your summer reading book, What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. I highly encourage you to read this novel because it is relevant and applicable to today’s world.

 At Stevens, our ideology is to apply our knowledge in the classroom to the real world. We don’t learn isentropic processes and big-O notation to plug and chug into equations just to get a decimal number that is meaningless to us. Stevens students are curious. We take concepts from our courses and apply it to what is meaningful and purposeful to us. For example, in my independent software engineering class, I had a semester long project. The only directions I were given were, “Create something with code, it can be a website, a game, anything.” Initially, I was taken aback, I’ve always been given directions for what exactly I should do. This was an opportunity to pursue something meaningful. Because I love spending time outdoors, I decided I wanted to create a website that gives Stevens students directions to mountains and trails based on the wanted intensity of the hike and the distance from campus. This was the most rewarding project I’ve done because it was something I cared about. 


The reason why I think you should read this book, or at least skim through the chapters is because it will open your eyes to the grander picture. College isn’t all about getting an A in every course and reading the textbook under your desk lamp into the wee hours of the morning. College is immersing yourself in your classes and putting your knowledge to use. The themes highlighted throughout the book such as ethics, leadership and technology will stay with you throughout your time at Stevens.

What is happening in Flint, Michigan is very real. Mona Hana-Attisha is not just a pediatrician, she is an activist for Flint children and a person who looks beyond her office. I implore you to read this novel not just to understand the crisis in Flint, but to understand that anyone can make a difference. 

The Samuel C. Library is a great resource to find academic databases and journals for research papers and research guidance. You may also borrow books, newspapers and magazines from the library as well. For more information about the library click here. They even put together a research guide for the book which you can find here.

Another reason you should read the book is because you can enter the Summer Reading Contest! It is optional, but there are three options: 

  1. Essay: Discuss one of the book’s themes and relate it to a unique cause or solution to What the Eyes Don’t See -No longer than 1,000 words
  2. Art Activism: Create a piece of art that represents the theme of activism in the reading or that reflects current cultural or political power structures in the United States.  This art can be visual, literary, digital, or whatever form you see most fit.  -Submissions that are physical can be sent in by taking a photo(s) of the piece.
  3. Video-Present one of the book’s themes and relate it to a unique cause or solution to What the Eyes Don’t See -No longer than 2 minutes. 

First place will receive a $200 bookstore credit. Second place will receive a $100 bookstore credit. All submissions can be submitted by August 16, 2020 to 

Grace Miguel, Software Engineering

Mental Health and Asking for Help

Hi everyone! My name is Victoria and I am a 3/4 Chemical Engineering major from East Hanover, NJ. I am on the varsity Track and Field Team, participate in Student Government, and am a sister of Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. From my time at Stevens, I have grown a lot as an individual. I’ve learned a lot about what I need to be successful, what I like and don’t like, and most importantly, when to ask for help.

When I came to Stevens, I was so excited about this new chapter in my life, but I was also really anxious. I was away from home for the first time, and college was so different than what I was used to. I was so accustomed to the way things were that the thought of starting over scared me so much. I was also really nervous about balancing athletics vicand school, but didn’t want to admit it. So, although I put on a brave face to my friends, behind closed doors I was struggling. The turning point for me came when a friend came to me and expressed that she too had been feeling really anxious. It finally dawned on me that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, and that by talking to other people about the way I was feeling, I could relieve a lot of the stress I had been carrying around. 

So, I made an appointment with a therapist at Stevens’ Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS) to talk about how I was feeling. I told her all the things I was too afraid to tell anyone else, and believe it or not, it felt so good to say those things out loud. After my first appointment, I came back several times to continue to talk to a counselor about how I was doing. And ever since then, I have been a staunch advocate for mental health and asking for help.

It is completely normal to not be okay sometimes. The important thing to remember is that there are so many people who want to help you, and that recognizing when you need help is a sign of strength. Maybe that means talking to your peer leader or a friend. Maybe that means seeing our CAPS department. Maybe that means submitting a care report for yourself or a friend. Either way, asking for help is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the people around you. You should never feel like your mental health is something to be ashamed of. It is just as important as your physical health, if not more. 


CAPS Contact:  E-mail:          Phone: 201.216.5177

To Submit a Care Report: go to your MyStevens, click “Report a Concern”, then click “Care Report”

Victoria Agaliotis, Chemical Engineering

Study Tips

Hi everyone! Welcome to Stevens!! My name is Angelica Torres, and I’m one of the Peer Leaders (PL’s) this year! I am a recent Software Engineering graduate and rising Master’s student studying Systems Analytics. 

There is definitely a big academic transition from high school to college, and myself as well as the other PL’s are here to help you with that. My Freshman year, I know I could have taken a better approach to studying than I had. I thought that studying the night before like I did in high school would be good enough. After that year and in the years to come, I’ve learned my fair share of studying “Do’s and Don’ts” and would like to share some tips!


  1. Don’t cram! I know it’s easier said than done, but you need to give your brain time to absorb the information. Start studying a couple days in advance, so you don’t feel overwhelmed the day before the exam. Additionally, studying well ahead of time ensures that you can get a good night’s sleep before test day! This is especially helpful for times when you seem to have a lot of tests/assignments. 
  2. Take breaks. I know that for me, after hours of studying my brain starts to feel like mush. Remember to take breaks between topics whether it be doing a puzzle, scrolling on your phone, or eating some food. 
  3. Reward yourself. Going off the last tip, you can perform positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself with candy/Netflix/phone time after every milestone. Set realistic milestones like every 5 questions you get right in a row or reading a chapter.
  4. Use your resources. When preparing for a test, definitely use your resources like your professors’/TA’s office hours. You can also request a tutor who will help you review or attend walk-in tutoring hours. Lastly, the academic support center typically hosts test reviews for classes such as Calculus or Chemistry. I highly recommend attending these reviews as I found them super helpful. 
  5. Review past assignments/old tests. I’ve noticed that professors usually like to structure their exams similar to those they’ve given in the past. Some may even post old tests to help students study. Definitely look these over! I also noticed that if there were some assignment questions that many of us got stuck on, professors might include a similar question on the exam. I also found that studying by practicing old test questions made me more prepared for the exam than just reading/looking at the problems.
  6. Have a study partner/group! Not only is it good to quiz yourself, it is good to quiz your friends and have them quiz you. Talking through the answers helps reinforce the information you are trying to process. You and your partner/group can also contribute to study guides/Quizlets together.

I can’t wait to welcome you all to campus in a few weeks. I hope these tips help you thrive during your first semester and throughout your college career!

Angelica Torres, Systems Analytics