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“Rutgers–Camden leaves you a lot of room for your interests. There’s always an interesting class you can find here.”
Michelle Obasi
Biology
Rutgers University–Camden

Michelle's Story

Michelle Obasi knew that she wanted to play basketball for Rutgers University–Camden while earning a science degree, but she didn’t know that she also could study African-American history until an advisor suggested a course. “I really enjoyed it,” said the captain of the women’s basketball team who has earned a variety of academic and athletic honors. “I took two African-American History courses my freshman year, and now I’m taking The Politics of James Baldwin class. I’m majoring in biology, but I’m also working on a minor in Africana studies.”

Obasi said the mixture of history and science courses has made for a challenging and exciting curriculum. “Rutgers­–Camden leaves you a lot of room for your interests,” she said. “There’s always an interesting class you can find here.”

Opportunities Abound

She said the university also makes many extra-curricular activities and internships available to students. She found a summer job through RaptorLink, a service offered by the Rutgers­­–Camden Career Center, as a camp counselor at the Kroc Center in Camden. “Rutgers offers a lot of different opportunities for students,” she said. “There are research opportunities, and internship opportunities in the summer.”

A Star on the Court

Obasi, a standout on the women’s basketball team, is on pace to be one of the program’s all-time leading rebounders and scorers. The team, she said, is like a family, and she enjoys the role of mentoring young players. “It really is like being a big sister to the girls on the team. They look up to you.”

She said the support from coaches and professors have helped her to manage her busy schedule of coursework, practice and games, and a part-time job as a tutor. “The opportunity to play basketball for your college is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Staying Home for School

A Camden native who attended St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral School in East Camden and Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, Obasi said growing up she had planned to go away for school. But after her father died in the summer after she finished high school, she decided to stay at home and commute.

Cost of college also was a major factor. “Rutgers–Camden tuition is a great deal. I know I saved a lot of money coming here. A lot of schools weren’t giving me any financial aid. Rutgers–Camden met my full financial needs.”

And after three years as a student, she has seen the value of studying at home. “The Rutgers–Camden location is a great spot. It’s not much different from going to a school in the heart of Philly.”