Will. Power. is the resourcefulness that sets the students, faculty and alumni of William Paterson University apart. Check out these inspiring examples of Will. Power. and then share your own stories, videos and photos here or on your other social networks using the hashtag #WeAreWillPower. We can't wait to see your Will. Power.

Taylor Turner ‘20 “Three weeks ago I graduated Summa Cum Laude from William Paterson University and was awarded Outstanding Senior in the Popular Music program. I learned so much about the music business from classes, club events, internships, and even a trip to Nashville for the Music Biz Conference. I enjoyed my time acting as the Music & Entertainment Organization secretary for two years at my school and making new friends and gaining hands-on skills at my internships. Yesterday, I started my first full-time job as a Quality Assurance Agent at the Harry Fox Agency. I am very excited for this new opportunity, and I cannot wait to learn even more about the music industry and provide value to my team, company, and our clients. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me along the way, from professors to managers to friends! I would not be here today without them.”
Kassy Rendon MA ‘20 “I am grateful for the opportunities my program and the University has given me – the ability to join a research team and be awarded a graduate assistantship have been unique aspects that have enhanced my graduate experience. In addition, I am honored to have gained research experience and be able to present in two research conferences. Above all, I am a proud daughter of immigrants, and first generation Latina grad 🇲🇽🎓”
Dante Vocaturo ‘20 “William Paterson gave me my identity. I left high school happy, but totally unconfident in who I was or what I could become, and unsure of my ability to impact those around me. All of that changed once I started college. I was lucky enough to be grouped with a cluster of students who were all like-minded and interesting, I learned from some accomplished seniors on how to produce a kick-ass sports television show, and I started to think for myself. I found a voice and a passion for what I cared about. It only got better as time went on, eventually hosting the (award-winning) sports show, presenting an honors thesis, getting into radio, and making friends who have constantly reminded me that I can do everything I set my mind to. It’s bittersweet knowing I’m leaving it behind, but i’m grateful to William Paterson for allowing me to get my career jumpstarted weeks after finishing classes, and setting me up for a future I’ve always dreamed of, personally and professionally. Thank you, I’ll see you when I see you 🧡🧡🖤🖤”
Shazna Ali ‘20 “Looking back four years ago, I am happy that I made the decision to study Psychology, because I personally think it made me a better version of myself. I took advantage of being in the Cognitive Science Honors Track at the Honors college which granted me to do my own research and complete an undergraduate thesis. In addition, I was part of the Cognition, Memory and Development Lab with Dr. Learmonth where I gained research experience and attended research conferences. I was also granted the opportunity to be a Psychology Ambassador! Most importantly, I am an immigrant and the first in my family to obtain a college degree. Which is why, my degree is dedicated to my mom who made countless sacrifices for me to have a better life.”
Barbara Colizza ‘20 “To William Paterson University, this is not really how I planned on leaving you, but I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. A huge thank you for giving me the best four years of my life. You have given me the greatest memories, the best friends I could ever ask for, and the kind of love that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, you have given me the confidence to be a great educator by allowing me to follow my dreams, find my true self, and continue my love for learning (yes… nerd). Grateful to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard, see ya soon Willy P 🧡🎓🏐🖤”
Nicole Guzman ‘20 “Today I officially graduated with a BA in communication and concentration in public relations. I went into college unsure of what I wanted to be or who I was. Along the way, I joined the Air Force, was honorably discharged, switched schools and majors, and ended up at the place where I was meant to be. I was able to find myself, meet lifelong friends, find my passion for writing, and learn to embrace whatever life throws at me. I am so thankful for my incredible support system because I could not have done it without them! Now onto the next adventure.”
Kelly Moran ‘20 “I’ve come a long way from the girl who would show up to school, get a cup of coffee and never really get around to making it to class. When I finally did commit I came back more focused than ever. Made my way through an associates while working and going to school full time, transferred to William Paterson during the start of a new job, and finally finished my last semester while seven months pregnant. To finally reach the end of this long road feels so surreal and I can’t thank my family and friends enough for sticking by my side and never doubting me even when I was ready to give up myself. I finally did it!”
Sam Koprowski ‘20 “My William Paterson education has taken me to some incredible places; from studying abroad in England and interning in DC, to receiving acceptances from four PhD programs. I am forever thankful for the mentors, professors, and friends who have believed in me even when I doubted myself. I am ecstatic to call myself a WP alumna and a forever Pioneer!”
Lisbeth Ortega ‘20 “Today I embarked on a new path on my life that I’ve never thought I would have accomplish. Especially as a working class Mexican woman. I’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with Cum Laude recognition. This accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible with the support of my professors, family, and friends. Thank you, William Paterson, for four amazing years!”
“Through the William Paterson University Honors College, I had the wonderful opportunity today to be a volunteer reader at Elementary School #12 in Paterson as a member of their “Cool Men Read” Program! This program is in honor of Dr.Seuss’ Birthday and engages classrooms as part of Read Across America Week.” Shared by Craig Jackowski Jr. ‘21 on LinkedIn.
“This is my best birthday gift that I made for myself 👩🏻‍🎓💜 it was not easy but I did it 🥰 I’m so thankful for everything that I’ve done and for the new goals that I have in my mind. I know that my family in Perú is so proud of me and happy to see me where I am now. Being in a different country and still achieving what you want or desire is priceless. It never is too late to start over and pursue your goals 🙏🏻 Finally I got my bachelor’s degree 📜 Bs. in Spanish, minor in psychology!!!!!!! 🥳🥳🥳🥳” Shared by @aliaanna on Instagram
According to public health professor and former department chair William Kernan, nearly every county health department in NJ employs one or more William Paterson graduates. Learn how the program is preparing students for careers in the growing industry: http://wpunj.us/26CwRc
Shaydaih Williams ‘20 “Growing up, I was raised by a single mother, and seeing her work so hard has always motivated me to want to do more. I transferred to William Paterson University in the second semester of my freshman year and looking back, I never could have imagined how involved I would become. When I arrived on campus, I was welcomed into a community of people who were transfer students like me. My friend introduced me to the student organization S.A.B.L.E. (Sisters for Awareness Black Leadership and Equality) and from there I bloomed! I met so many different people and learned about different cultures all while creating a sisterhood. I soon joined other clubs and organizations found activities that I would have never thought to participate in before, including the Black Student Union and E.B.O.N.E.E (Encouraging the Black Open Minded to Notice Exceptional Experiences.) I also held the e-board position of vice president for students of service. I have always had a passion for giving back to my community. While I have always been civically engaged, William Paterson helped me to fully understand my purpose in life: to be a blessing to others and give back to those around me. I never could have imagined that a shy girl like me from Newark would be able to have the opportunities that I’ve had to help so many people. Not everyone has access to education, healthcare, food, employment, or a healthy living environment, so I try my best to give as much as I can. When I received the Campus Compact award, I knew that I had made an impact. This award motivated me to plan and do even more civic engagement activities for my city. As a public health major, I hope to inspire the people around me to also make the necessary changes to help the community. As a pioneer, I feel confident that I have inspired my peers to leave their footprints, just as I will when I graduate in May.”
Yousef Chaudhary ‘20 “My experience as a student veteran at William Paterson University has been great thanks to the resources and offices that have helped me throughout my time on campus. The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs helped me connect with other veterans, allowing me to find the same camaraderie I experienced in the military. They have also helped me understand how to claim and get the most out of my military benefits. Organizations like the Student Veterans Organization, Greek Senate and my fraternity, Omega Delta Sigma, have helped me become a leader on the civilian side and have reenforced the same principles and core values I gained in the marine corps. Upon graduation, I am hoping to go into law enforcement or work in a municipality as a service clerk. The criminal justice professors I’ve have been very insightful and knowledgeable about guiding me into the industry. William Paterson has shown me the glory and pride of being a Pioneer and I am so glad I chose WP.”
Lisbeth Ortega ‘20 “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world – chaos theory. The butterfly effect is the idea that a single flap of a butterfly’s wings at any given location can start a hurricane on the other side of the globe. Although this theory may sound impossible to others, my curiosity led me to wonder if the butterfly effect can apply to an act of success. I grew up in a Latino home where I was reared to believe a woman had fewer expectations, meaning a more traditional family role. My tasks were to cook, clean and earn good grades, but it was never expected that I would pursue a degree in college. At age 5, I walked into a classroom with no knowledge of the challenge that would be learning the English language. It was difficult, but I pushed myself and began to reevaluate my thoughts about my purpose in life. In 2016 I was homeless and forced to transition into adult responsibilities to support my family. Although this impacted me greatly, I still managed to graduate as valedictorian of my high school. As a result, I made the choice of furthering my education at William Paterson University. When I first walked into campus I fell in love with the environment, students, and supportive faculty. It soon became a place for me to call home when I didn’t have one. When I hear people say that the heart of William Paterson is “Will. Power.” I couldn’t agree more. I strongly believe that William Paterson gave me the power to keep dreaming, loving, and inspiring. Although my life has never been easy, I’ve never stopped working towards my education. I’ve experienced many negative people who disagree with my choices of attending college during an economic crisis. However, I strongly believe that education doesn’t have a time – education should happen every day. Education is power and it takes Will. Power. to always keep striving for success. While attending William Paterson University, I plan to earn a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Elementary Education. As a first-generation student, I never imagined myself in a college environment. I’m truly thankful for William Paterson for giving me the Will. Power. and knowledge to overcome my obstacles. Just like a butterfly, I wish to flutter my wings and inspire others through my story. I believe anything is possible if you just keep flying.”
A perfect score! William Paterson’s January 2019 nursing graduates earned a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX exam, exceeding the national average of 89.5%! http://wpunj.us/TstOqR
Moe Hamdeh ‘19 “Believing in yourself is the first step to success and William Paterson University instilled in me a tremendous confidence. I’ve learned that although some people will doubt or overlook over you, what’s crucial is that you continue to persevere. I am a finance and professional sales major who recently won the William Paterson University Pitch Tank competition and went on to represent the University at the state-wide U-Pitch NJ. I was honored to compete on behalf of William Paterson University as I had the confidence to go out and show the state that WP is a force to be reckoned with and success is our destiny! If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will? Go out and make your dreams a reality!”