From saving lives to swiping ID cards. While most students at Montclair State University spend their mornings getting to class, talking to friends and going to the library, Montclair State sophomore Amanda DePinho is in her office getting to work.
DePinho, a sophomore with a double major in psychology and gender sexuality and women’s studies, starts her day with a lot of major campus responsibilities.
While balancing courses and school work like every student on campus, DePinho’s day-to-day job is spent in the Student Government Association office. As a student leader on campus, DePinho holds several different roles.
She has primarily worked as a student ambassador for two years, and stands out in this position. She is also a Student Government Association legislator, a role which consists of writing bills for Montclair State clubs when they want to schedule events. As an ambassador, she serves as a campus tour guide for prospective Montclair State students.
“I check families in for the tours, mingle with them and then take them out on the tours [of campus],” said DePinho.
She is also in a sorority, and will be the next National Panhellenic Council President for the 2017 spring semester.
In the National Panhellenic Council, she oversees the four national sororities on campus. You might want to know what motivated her to pursue a role like this.
“It first started out as something to do on campus,” she said. “I was going to be living on campus and I didn’t want to get bored. I heard it was a good opportunity, but I actually fell in love with Montclair [State] and everything about it.”
DePinho enjoys doing everything she can, wanting to expand her roles as a student leader.
“I’m glad that Amanda became my mentor because when you first start the ambassador position program, you’re designated a mentor,” said Brian Cadavid, a Montclair State freshman biology major. “She is my mentor for the tour aspect, and she’s taught me [so] much information [that] I need to know about Montclair State University, and I’m grateful that she’s been such a big help in making me become an overall better person and a better ambassador to represent our school.”
DePinho is also taking 19 credits in the 2017 spring semester, which isn’t easy. She explained how she manages to balance it all.
“I’m crazy organized and I have an agenda, and every day, I go through it,” she said. “For the most part, [on] Sundays I go through it and write down everything I have to do that week. I don’t have class on Fridays so I try to get everything out of the way on Fridays homework-wise. Besides that, it’s pretty easy because as long as you love something, you kind of find a way to do it.”
She added that it’s important for her to give back, not just by showing the students what the campus is, but by showing them what it is about. She presents to them the various opportunities there are to get involved while on campus. She gives credit to her cousin, Daniella Ribeiro, for helping her get involved in the position she’s in right now.
“Amanda’s really helpful when speaking on tours,” Katherine Sharks, a freshman English major said. “It was really nerve-racking at first to get up in front of a group of maybe 30 to 50 people, and they kind of want you to be wrong sometimes. I feel like they are asking questions and they’re waiting for you to mess up. With Amanda, she always says, ‘If you mess up, I’ll jump in and save you.’”
“I feel like the student leaders don’t receive as much credit as they should because we’re really the reasons why people choose or don’t choose Montclair [State University],” DePinho said. “We’re the first faces they see if they do come for a tour at Montclair [State]. The faculty in our office gives the presentations, sells them on Montclair [State] and also gives them the tours. We are basically the factors that make people want to go to Montclair [State] or not.”
For those interested in pursuing positions like hers, she suggests giving it a try. Once you get involved, your passion for the campus will develop, she explained.
She also discussed the factors that fuel her passion to be a student ambassador and help other students.
“I basically like to make other people feel happy,” DePinho said. “I feel like getting involved in things like that helps people be happy. Seeing people smile is what gets me motivated.”
She continued, “I love giving tours and connecting with the families, and want their son or daughter to be like, ‘You’re amazing; you’re the reason I want to come to Montclair [State]. I’ve gotten compliments before. Little things like that are the reasons I love doing what I do.”