“The only constant in life is change.”

Charlotte ToddBeing kicked out of high school doesn’t usually result in achieving what Je Jett has in his three years at UNH. Some may say, “He just got lucky,” but
when he was fifteen years old, and faced some tough obstacles to his education, Jeff chose to dedicate himself to his passions by working hard to shape his future.

Change has truly been a constant in Jeff’s life. He grew up in Georgia, but spent time in Maine when his parents divorced. As a freshman and sophomore high school student, Jeff was always smart, but a little too boastful. He began hanging out with the wrong crowd, and one error in judgment soon resulted in a suspension. Realizing what was headed his way if he continued on, Jeff decided it was best for him to move in with his mother in Maine. It was a big decision to make at a young age, because it required a move to New England, and a different way of life. Not long after he had settled in, however, his mother decided to move herself, and he was once again, left with a tough decision. Feeling another move would jeopardize his education, Jeff chose to live with his aunt his senior year to maintain stability. It proved to be the right choice.

Upon graduating high school, Jeff chose to attend UNH for its location and strong program in the sciences. Jeff had a dream of being a forensic scientist, and immediately enrolled as a Biochemistry major. His freshman year, he took a pre-health professions class with Dr. Pollard, and his interest in medicine began. Everything changed once again. Jeff knew he had to get started right away if he was going to have a medical career. That summer he sought out
a volunteer position at a local emergency department in Maine. He took on the intense task of running the front desk, a multi-faceted job in which he was often the first face people saw when they walked in. When school started again, Jeff took several pre-med courses, acing many of them, including Organic Chemistry, a notoriously tough class. Biochemistry with Professor Denis along with his Physiology class solidified his decision to become
a Doctor.

When you talk with Jeff about medicine, you can tell he is truly in love. A wide grin spreads across his face as he talks about his past summer interning with a neurologist, Dr. Naguszewski, or “Dr. Bill,” as Jeff fondly calls him. Through the internship, Jeff, working alongside Dr. Bill, treated and evaluated over 400 patients. By the end of the ten weeks, Jeff was able to perform and discuss a complete neurological exam on his own. This is highly unusual for
an undergraduate, but Jeff is no ordinary college student. Jeff’s insatiable thirst for understanding the science led to
long hours of independent study, alongside the daily patient visits, which also proved to be fruitful. Jeff’s
innate ability to connect with patients opened them up to inviting him to not only ask questions, but examine them. He was getting a real hands-on experience, one that even most medical residents do not get. In all his years of teaching and mentoring, Dr. Bill says Jeff ranks above any of his previous students, and a large reason for this is his character: …I know that it is his focus, diligence, intelligence and capabilities which make him so sincere and caring, such that his humility is virtuous. Jeff knows who he is and is not swayed by others. Jeff has a deep sense
of purpose.

“A lot of people see me, and they don’t think, ‘he’s got his act together,’” Jeff says with a sheepish smile. He doesn’t tell people that he has a 3.9 GPA, or that he will be the first in his family to graduate college, let alone attend
medical school, something he describes as a
“mythical” achievement.

Jeff’s quiet determination and focus has helped in his other endeavors, too. While at UNH, Jeff was an RA for first-year students in Christensen Hall and currently works in Alexander,again with first-year students. Jeff credits Greg Donahue, his own Hall Director from his first year, for pushing him to be an RA. Jeff recalls that Greg would casually stop by his room and just slip it into conversation that Jeff should fill out the application. Jeff is not sure he would be where he is today had he not applied. Jeff beams when talking about his residents; most recently when they all played a harmless, but hilarious prank on some visiting prospective RA’s. Jeff truly enjoys being a “big brother” to his guys, and helping to create a community they can
call home.

He has also been an active senator for the last year, and sits on the Academic Affairs Council, which, recently, got a resolution passed to extend the weekend hours at Dimond Library to midnight for Friday and Saturday. This was a big accomplishment as many students have wanted this to happen for a while.

What else could Jeff possibly do with his time at UNH? Run for Student Body President, for one. This is what Jeff plans to do this spring. If elected, Jeff will stay on campus over the summer, devoting time to meeting with administrators to figure out how he can best be a voice for all students.

In ten years, Jeff explains, he will be a neurologist somewhere, maybe in Dr. Bill’s current practice. After the internship, Dr. Bill extended the offer to Jeff to take it over when he finishes his residency. For now, Jeff is content to focus on the present, and welcome the next change that comes his way.

2013-2014 Honorees
2013 - 2014 CYOS Honorees: seated Zak Ahmad-Kahloon, Emily Dickman, Nyomi Guzman, Annie Crossman, standing Lauren McCandless, Kathryn Sattora, Timothy Marquis, Sid Nigam, Evan Beals, Peter Wilkinson
“Students are the focus of everything we do.”

Dept of Residential Life
13A Hitchcock Hall, 5 Quad Way-UNH
Durham, NH 03824
last updated 04/28/2014
Need More Information?
Ruth Abelmann, Associate Director
Department of Residential Life
University of New Hampshire
Phone (603) 862-2268