On the Impact of a Casual Conversation

Kayo and student

Noah Mac and I during New Student Orientation at Carr Library.

One never thinks that a casual conversation with a librarian at Rutgers Day might impact a student’s decision to come to Rutgers University, but this is one such example.

Noah Mac, RU ’21 and I met for the first time during the cool morning of 2017 Rutgers Day. Noah and his father were among the many visitors to the Rutgers University Libraries table in front of the Art Library. I engaged in a conversation with them and learned that they were visiting from Michigan. The visit was important for Noah, a high school senior, as he was in the process of selecting the college where he was to spend the next four years. After a friendly conversation that included information on the 250-year history of Rutgers and library services available for undergraduate students, I often wondered which college Noah ended up attending, especially because Michigan has so many options of state universities with great academic standings.

It was a great pleasure for me to meet Noah for the second time in August 2018, when he was attending the New Student Orientation at Carr Library. He mentioned that the Rutgers Day conversation in 2017 had made a very positive impact on his decision in coming to Rutgers. Unexpectedly, Noah and I met for the third time during the 2019 New Student Orientation at Carr Library. This time, Noah was an orientation leader with the New Student Orientation and Family Programs guiding the incoming student groups from one event to another. After talking about his successful first year at Rutgers, Noah mentioned to me that the story he tells his group of incoming students, My Rutgers Story, includes “a librarian whom he met on Rutgers Day” who made him feel “not just another number,” impacting his decision!

Noah will be majoring in microbiology and in addition to his academic endeavors has other talents, including that of being a trumpet performer in the Rutgers Marching Band. He is certainly very talented, as he was one of the five trumpet performers (among 35 or so) to be selected to travel with the band to a football game in Ann Arbor, MI against University of Michigan in fall 2019. He is delighted to go back to his home state as a member of Rutgers Marching Band representing the university.

Kayo Denda