Cyreelle Cruz, RIPPAC Member and Scholarship Recipient, Shares Her Story

Exterior shot of the top of Bunce Hall.

Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) member and recent scholarship recipient Cyreelle Cruz, a junior History major from Camden County, shares how the connections she has made with Rowan faculty have taken her to the next level. 

What got you interested in your major?

Since I was a freshman in high school, I was always really good at history. Everyone else dreaded history classes, but I always felt cool knowing I did well in the classes. Since I had a really good AP history test score, I was able to bypass a college course.

I started as a Computer Science major because that’s what I thought I wanted to do, but when it came down to it, I decided to change it to something I knew I loved and I was good at.

How did you find out about the RIPPAC internship scholarships? [editor’s note: these scholarships help offset the costs of taking on an unpaid internship]

I was lucky enough to have Professor Dworkin in class, who happens to be the head of RIPPAC. He talked non-stop in the class about the scholarship and how to apply for it. I was hesitant at first because I work two jobs and didn’t know if I could take on another commitment. But after hearing about all of the benefits of the opportunity, I started to ask myself, “What if this would be more beneficial to my future than working two jobs?”

After thinking about it for a while, I decided to apply for the James P. Fox Memorial Fund. 

Cyreelle sitting while looking at her phone.

Describe your internship and the work you do.

I intern with the Addiego, Natale and Eckel campaign for State Senate and Assembly. The people are really great and I never feel overwhelmed or pressured with the workload. We do a lot of event research and will even start to attend events in the future. We are in the process of recruiting more members and making lots of phone calls. It’s been an awesome experience so far!

What is your advice for other students who want to apply for internships?

I would say it’s so important to utilize the connections with professors. I don’t know how I would have done it without the guidance and encouragement from Professor Dworkin. I remember I would try to find internships/jobs on Indeed and other external websites, but it would never work out. But your professors are there to help you and get you the opportunities you want, so don’t be afraid to ask for that help.

A selfie of Cyreelle

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, senior public relations and advertising major

Header photo by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Other photos courtesy of:
Cyreelle Cruz

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