Hitash Patel

Picture of Hitash Patel

Originally featured in the Spring 2010 newsletter

I am a ‘Nontraditional’ student who came to Rutgers in the summer of 2006 through the Elena Buchanan Transition Program. This important program allowed people interested in Rutgers University to attend conveniently timed non-credit classes in order to give prospective adult students a sense of what would be expected of them academically when they became full-time matriculated students at Rutgers.

While at Rutgers, I have been involved in several committees, including the University College Governing Association (now UC Council) as a student at large, the Allocations Committee, and the Elections Committee. I also serve as representative to the Alumni Association for University College. These committees help promote and develop the interests of the nontraditional students at Rutgers, and they are worth your time and support.

Foremost, I am indebted to my friends and family and Rutgers for the opportunity to educate myself. I am fortunate to have a wife who shares the challenges of raising two young boys. I have also been able to manage my business interests while attending Rutgers. My major is Philosophy and I have a minor in Cognitive Science, and I am in the process of completing a major in Psychology. I serve as the Rutgers Chapter V.P. of the Philosophy Honors Society, and I plan to apply to graduate programs in psychology after graduation. Attending Rutgers as a nontraditional student has had its challenges and rewards.

As a nontraditional student, what I am most proud of is the change my education at Rutgers has helped me make. I was used to running a business, employing people, having a reserved parking space, a secretary, and so on. I was growing a business, and I was growing through this process. It was a humbling experience to come to Rutgers and be a ‘student’, and that was an important part of my growth. A university education helped me progress in my professional goals, but more than anything it has helped me to understand the world we live in and has given me a new perspective on my own values and life. My children witnessed my commitment to doing something to grow as a human being, and I think of that as a very special gift for all of us. I am proud to think of myself as a ‘student’, and I hope to always be one in the truest sense.