Lamar–Shea Chang ‘20 knows he’s equipped to make a difference in the world, and he credits the mentorship he received at Caldwell University for that conviction. Professors, staff, faculty, alumni, and health care and business leaders helped him get on “the right trajectory” to believe that the sky is the limit. He certainly did his part in taking advantage of the opportunities presented to him.
Chang received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Biology with a minor in Chemistry on May 17, and he plans to work a year or two before pursuing a career in medicine.
Chang has been selected to deliver the Class of 2020 undergraduate commencement address at a ceremony in the fall, delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He plans to tell his classmates that graduating from Caldwell University has given them the “arsenal of tools and calibrated compasses” to impact the lives of “billions” of people for generations to come. “It is true,” he said. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Although it was difficult to have his senior year interrupted by the pandemic, after the initial shock, he realized “the world had changed, and I had, as well. New opportunities look bright as some companies begin to reevaluate their business models.” Most of all, he is grateful that his family and friends have been okay and that, as one of the very few students who has lived on campus through the pandemic, he had “a place to stay and food to eat while I finished up my studies.”
It helped to draw on what he believes at his deepest core—“that God is in control of my daily events…I quickly accept a given reality…and see the potential in every decision” while moving forward and keeping focused on his goals.
The pandemic cannot diminish his accomplishments at Caldwell like learning about and experiencing the Dominican tradition, which “is all about love,” he said.
The virus cannot detract from his impressive honors like being recognized at the Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s symposium at Liberty Science Center for his research on the growing problem of mosquitoes in many areas of the world.
A native of Portmore, Jamaica, in the Caribbean, Chang is proud that he joined other student leaders who stepped up in the fall of 2019 to spearhead the Bahamas Strong Relief Drive for those slammed by Hurricane Dorian.
He appreciates the internships and work experiences including being mentored by an executive in global drug development at Novartis and working with the Borough of Caldwell learning about municipal government while providing his input on how to create relationships between small–business owners and consumers.
As a resident life assistant in the dorms, Chang is proud to have hosted community development programs to help students form relationships. “One of my favorite things was to mentor other students,” he said.
Caldwell University, he said, gave him the “perfect gift,” a package filled with qualities to carry one through a lifetime—“a sense of pride, community, a great education, lifelong relationships and a desire to make the world a better place for those inhabit it.” And that is a gift no virus can ever touch.