Toll-tally Awesome

A student making waves at Kean Ocean

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Toll-tally Awesome

Samantha Toll doubles as the Vice President of Student Organization and a star student at Kean Ocean

Caleb Lopez, Senior Editor

Kean University is home to numerous students who truly make impacts on campus and abroad. Ever since her freshman year, Samantha Toll has been one of those students.

One word that can define Samantha is "active". She is constantly involved in clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities. Samantha skillfully divides her time among academics, work, volunteering, and fun. Though she is heavily involved in multiple facets of Kean University, Samantha never sacrifices her effort and diligence.

Samantha Toll is a senior with a major in accounting and a minor in psychology. Because her education is highly important to her, she has been considerably grateful for her choice to attend Kean University. 

"Studying at Kean has been indescribable," Toll said. "The experience that I have had here will be carried with me for many years to come. I believe that what I have learned here at Kean is far greater than anywhere else that I could have gone, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to study here. The faculty and staff have an immense amount of knowledge to share with the students and I have been able to thrive!"

Samantha specifically attends Kean Ocean, which she is proud to call her home. Kean University is not limited to just its main campus in Union, New Jersey, but it has continued to expand over the years. With a campus in Toms River, New Jersey and Wenzhou, China, Kean's reach is nearly unrivaled. 

Many students attend Kean University at the main campus in Union. As a result, Samantha shed some light on Kean Ocean.

"There are a few differences between Kean Ocean and the main campus in Union! For me, the biggest difference is simply location. I love how spread out Kean University is. We are spread out enough to be able to encompass a wide range of students and allow them to enjoy the perks that Kean has to offer," Samantha mentioned. "Believe it or not, our 2,000 students operate out of one building! Luckily for me, there is no getting lost on our campus. I tend to be a little directionally challenged at times and have gotten myself lost on the Union campus before! The classes [at Kean Ocean] are small, and our clubs and organizations are close-knit, which are a few more things that I love here at the Kean Ocean location."

At Kean Ocean, Samantha serves as the vice president of Student Organization. Moreover, she is very active in the Kean Ocean Criminal Justice Club and the Kean Ocean forensic psychology class.

When asked about how her role as vice president of Student Organization has impacted her, Samantha said, "I believe it is important to have experience in leadership before leaving college and for that, I am extremely fortunate to have Student Organization in my life."

"Being involved with this organization has not only brought a wonderful group of friends into my life but it has offered so many opportunities to further myself in a professional setting," she continued. "Not only do I attend different areas of training to learn a wide variety of information, from incident reporting to social media to customer service, but I am able to make connections. I have been to the President’s House on East Campus, spoken at a board of trustees meeting, and made a positive impact in other student’s life. The lessons that Student Organization has taught me has set me up for success in the future."  

Samantha recently joined Cougar Volunteers so that she can increase her helpful role in the community. Kean University is not only a place where students can gain knowledge and get prepared for their future careers. Students at Kean University have access to a myriad of volunteer opportunities that further unite Kean with the community.

Samantha reflected on her volunteer experiences in the fall semester that have inspired her to join Cougar Volunteers. "This semester I was able to work together with my Council representatives to successfully set up and collect items for Puerto Rico in efforts to help them in their time of need after the hurricane ravished their country," she said. "This was a must-do service for our campus in my eyes because our homes and nearby towns were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy just five years ago. I also participated in the Fuzzy Friends Project where we were able to make stuffed animals with personalized words of encouragement for children in need. I was in my glory at this event.  Sitting around the table with Kean's student leaders doing team building exercises while making a new furry friend for a child is a wonderful way to volunteer your time. At Kean Ocean, we just conducted a Ruck March with the coordination of Ocean County College to raise awareness of the veteran suicide rate and to show our students that our faculty and staff, student leaders and fellow students are all here for one another."

Apart from being an active student and vice president of Student Organization, Samantha is on the road to becoming a forensic accountant. "Many don’t know exactly what that job entails, but it essentially involves investigating financial crimes," she explained. "After I graduate in January 2019, I am hoping to work at the Ocean County prosecutor’s office with their economic crimes unit. I interned there in summer 2016 and fell in love with the world of fraud investigation. Being a part of a team that is looking to not only stop crimes but improve the lives of those residing in Ocean County is what I dream of doing. In the future I would love to work up toward the state or federal government level and stop those who commit fraud." 

This goal of becoming a forensic accountant has been further nurtured and sustained by Samantha's education here at Kean. "Kean University has given me a great education in the world of accounting and psychology. The staff is so insightful and supportive. The support I have from the whole campus has inspired me to bring those same characteristics into the workforce when I join. The business program is superb! I have been able to take classes like Forensic Accounting which is entirely focused on what I want to do, and every class I learn something that I will be able to take with me as I move forward in life.  Kean University does offer world-class education, and I luckily took advantage of it!"

Patti Martino, the executive secretary to the president, delights in the potential that she sees in Samantha Toll. "During the two years I have known Samantha, we have worked together on quite a few occasions. Not only is she capable as she completes the necessary duties in the position of vice president of Student Org at Kean Ocean, but [she] also is a very successful student who has a good report with professors, supervisors and peers alike.  Another 'hat' Samantha wears is that of student worker in our administrative offices at Kean Ocean.  She is bright, energetic, and always willing to assist whenever needed.  I am sure Samantha will be successful in graduate school and in achieving the goals she has set for herself."  

As evidenced by her involvement in a list of functions at Kean University and her clear focus on her future, Samantha Toll stands out among the student population not only at Kean Ocean but throughout the entire university. She truly has a heart for making positive impacts at Kean Ocean and in the community, and she seeks to continue such an impact into her bright future. 

about the author

Caleb Lopez, Senior Editor

Caleb Lopez is the Senior Editor of The Cougar's Byte. Caleb joined the staff as a Staff Writer in May 2017. Currently in his junior year, Caleb is a psychology major with a minor in biology. In the rare moments when he is not vigorously studying, Caleb loves to spend his time indulging in sports, music and food—especially Chick-fil-a.