Mr. Christopher Lipari Pazienza is enrolled in Stockton's highly competitive Criminal Justice dual degree program, which means that he will complete both his Bachelor' s and Master's degrees in five years, by May 2022. This is an intense study regimen that requires admission beyond that to the University, as the program is designed to offer students a broad, multidisciplinary and multidin1ensional perspective of the criminal justice system. What impresses me most about his application is that, in addition to this rigorous academic schedule, Mr. Pazienza has successfully pursued several contributions to our campus. For the last three years, he has been a Bonner Leader, supervising up to 30 students a year and representing the institution in external meetings and conferences. He has also contributed his own time and talent to community-based events to support voter registration. This was a learning experience for him personally, as he not only registered fellow student voters, but also learned more about and became an advocate for- absentee balloting. His interest in representative government led directly to his decision to stand for student senate, and he has been an active member of our campus governance process for the last two years.
The first ever project I got involved in after I started working with the Bonner program was Voter Registration. While tabling, I not only got to help fellow students register to vote and the importance of voting, but I learned about the absentee ballot that has been my saving grace every November for three years. At first when I started tabling, I thought my generation does not care about politics, are we wasting our time? Many more people came up to the table to get help checking if they were registered or just wanted to have a nice nonpartisan debate about candidates. This year I am involved in the Racial Justice Community Grant. With the money this grant provides, we plan on increasing civic engagement in our neighborhood city of Atlantic City. I feel that civic engagement will play an important role in my career. I plan on working with at-risk youth, who may not even know how powerful their votes could be. By educating these young people, I can teach them the importance of civic engagement that could lead to a reduction in their delinquency. They could vote on issues they feel need reform and feel heard.