Chad O'Connor '10, history and English

Chad O'Connor

"Having grown up in the North Shore, I chose Salem State because of its location, accessibility and affordability. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the percentage of dedicated faculty and staff who create a rigorous yet enjoyable academic setting

I developed an interest in history while living and traveling in various places. From Antarctica to Arizona, Tasmania to Thailand, Fiji to the Middle East, I found myself compelled to understand how the past had shaped the present. As a result of its controversial status and rich history--Jerusalem, more than any other place--has motivated me to research the importance in realizing multiculturalism and to help make it a reality. Remembering the past is useful only if we learn something real from it, something that we apply to our daily lives. The History department at Salem State has been my greatest discovery; the faculty here is the reason that I have kept my interest in history.

In some ways, the years I have spent studying at Salem State have been the most challenging and the most rewarding. My classes and my professors have pushed me to succeed; my success has inspired me to set loftier goals. Perhaps the most important lesson that I have learned is that a person must always be planning--reaching--for the future while living in the present. To me, a true Salem State student is an individual that not only excels in academic knowledge, but one who also balances the responsibilities associated with being a conscious and informed citizen of the United States. Many of my fellow students work in order to finance their education, something that few students at private schools are able to do. I have great pride in the image of a Salem State student, a self-motivated individual who is active in his or her decisions, and am happy to have had the opportunity to be one."