Students involved in diverse activities

Bobby Scott, Copy Editor

When it comes to clubs and other extracurricular activities in college, some students may think it is only beneficial to partake in activities that relate to their majors. That, however, is not always the case, especially at Pitt-Johnstown.

Several students have taken advantage of the opportunities offered by clubs or activities outside of their majors.

Not only does it help build a solid resume, but it can also potentially diversify a students’ area of expertise.

Junior Jesse Ritter majors in both biochemistry and biology, but is also involved in the business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, as well as the social fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma. He is also involved in the university’s biological honor society, Tri-Beta, and the chemical society.

In Alpha Kappa Psi, Ritter holds the social media chairman title, which puts him in charge of the chapter’s Twitter and Facebook page.

“One of the major (problems) that young adults (have) entering the workforce or applying to a professional or graduate school is lacking knowledge outside of their own majors,” he said.

“A major component of medicine that is often overlooked is its application in business, so I joined Alpha Kappa Psi in order to gain another prospective outside of my usual studies, as well as to become an overall better-rounded person.”

Ritter said he is applying for medical school for 2017. He is also the current vice president and elected president of Tri-Beta for next semester.

“The people and faculty that I interact with are completely different,” he said.

“Biochemistry is a small group of students that you see every day (both in class and in Tri-Beta and the chemical society). Being in a business fraternity allows me to interact with students and faculty with completely different experiences.

“It greatly expands my ability to effectively relate and communicate with people outside of the hardcore science world.”

Junior Santana Lardo is also a biology major, but her extracurricular activities include being a member of the Black Action Society, Student Government Association and Outdoors Club, along with pledging to the coed national service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and the university’s judicial board.

Lardo said, while her activities don’t necessarily involve her major, they assist her in developing as a person.

“The clubs (I am involved in) have helped me grow in all aspects,” she said.

“I came to college as a shy girl, but those clubs have really helped me come out of my shell and gave me a lot of opportunities.”

Lardo plans to apply to dental school after her time at Pitt-Johnstown, which is something she has known she wanted to do since high school.

“I know that it will stand out when applying to dental school,” Lardo said.

“(My activities) have also opened my eyes to the world, and being involved in these clubs makes me want to continue to be involved in the community after I graduate.”

Accounting major Matt Christina is not only a part of the Pitt-Johnstown Baja Team, but also the campus development chairman in the Student Government Association.

The Baja Team is made up of students, mostly mechanical engineering majors, who participate in the building and racing of an off-road baja vehicle. An off-road baja vehicle is similar to that of a dune buggy.

“I thought it would interest me,” Christina said.

“I always had a passion for working with my hands and learning new skills, so I thought I would really enjoy it.”

Christina was originally an engineering major, but switched when his boss at work suggested that he look into accounting.

While the team focuses more on engineering, it also has elements of accounting.

“(The team) does a cost report sales presentation and a yearly student government budget, so I definitely think it helps on the business end,” he said.

Christina plans to graduate in December.