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Meet Erika Vaughn

Early Childhood Education
Berkeley Heights, New Jersey

Are you a member of any clubs or student groups?

Yes, I am a Vice President of Service for the Iota Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and President of the History Club.

Favorite Class at Union: 

My favorite class was HIS201 with Professor Papas. Professor Papas made history come alive with his exciting lectures and enthusiasm. The fact that he loved teaching the subject made the class a lot more enjoyable. His excitement created a passion inside me to really learn more about the past. This is one factor as to why I decided to be involved in the history club. 

Why did you choose Union?

After a year and a half at the University of Delaware, I didn't have the grades to transfer to another four- year school. Living only fifteen minutes away, I thought Union would be a good choice until I earned a higher GPA. Little did I know that I would fall in love with the school and the people in it.

What is your fondest memory so far at Union?

My fondest memory would have to be the C4 week during the Fall 2013 semester. It was truly incredible to see everyone work together to make such a fun and exciting week come alive! I also had a blast on Founder's Day, which I will remember for the rest of my life! 

What has sparked your interest in wanting to pursue this degree?

I've always wanted to change the world to make it a better place and I believe that children are our future. This being said, I think the best way that I can achieve this goal is by educating young minds. At first, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. However, our society is so technology-based that a field in math or science sounded more suitable. Therefore, I decided to focus on being a mathematics teacher. Plus, I have always enjoyed math.

What kind of job do you see yourself doing?

I have always seen myself working in a school, helping the youth better themselves and better society. 

Interesting fact about yourself:

I am half African American and half Chinese American. 

What is the biggest adjustment you had to make coming to college?

The biggest adjustment was getting focused and motivated. After high school, I attended the University of Delaware. While attending, I did everything but focus on my academics. Going from that environment to Union was a big change. I started Union in the Spring of 2012 with four classes, became overwhelmed, and had to drop two classes. Nevertheless, I was able to get my act together and became more focused and motivated than I ever imagined. 

Career or further education Goals:

This is my last semester, so starting January 2014, I will be attending Fairleigh Dickinson University. I plan on getting my Bachelors in Mathematics combined with a Masters in Education.

What else we ought to know about you?

I started an anti-bullying organization called Working Together - Navigating Past Bullying. Through this organization, I hope to eliminate bullying in schools by educating students, teachers, and parents on the dangers of what happens when bullying becomes too much. 

How has Union County College changed you as a person/ what did you take the most from being a student at Union County College?

Union County College challenged me to be the best that I could be. By getting involved in Phi Theta Kappa and the History club, I have experienced success. Not only did I gain confidence in myself, but I gained friends who I keep close to my heart. I met wonderful people who have inspired me to always follow my heart, aim for the stars, and to never give up. 

Photo OfErika Vaughn
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