From Dual Degrees to Meaningful Mentorships, Transfer Students Find a Home at Widener

Emily Barrett, assistant director of communications
Transfer Admissions Associate Director Crina Drayer (left) works one-on-one with transfer students like Amaya Reed-Clark '23.

When it comes to pursuing an undergraduate career, Anthony Oliphant ’22 has two loves: chemistry and chemical engineering. 

In his final year of high school, Oliphant was accepted to Widener, but enrolled at a nearby university for his freshman year to study chemical engineering. In his first year there, Oliphant quickly realized that he wanted to pursue both degrees.

Widener’s dual degree program provided him with that pathway leading him to transfer to the Pride.

One of the main reasons I came here in the first place is because I wasn’t quite sure whether I would find myself liking the engineering side of things or the science side, but Widener gave me that diversity.” — Anthony Oliphant '22 

Enrolling as a dual chemistry and chemical engineering major doesn’t just allow Oliphant to follow his passions; it also gives him agility in the job market after graduation. 

“I like the dual degree path because it offers more flexibility with jobs,” said Oliphant. “Whether I find myself in a chemical engineering plant or a chemistry lab in the future, if I don’t like one I can switch to the other.”

A male student in a mask conducts research in a chemistry lab.
Anthony Oliphant '22 is on track to earning a dual degree in chemistry and chemical engineering.

Oliphant is among the growing numbers of transfer students making the switch to Widener to take advantage of its wide range of program offerings. Throughout the transfer process, students receive individualized support to help them hit the ground running.

“Whether a student applies with one credit or dozens of credits, we work closely with them to provide the same considerations for academic, financial, and student support as any other applicant,” said Crina Drayer, former associate director of undergraduate transfer admissions.

For Cameron Carney ’21, enrolling in a program that aligned with her goal of becoming a licensed clinical psychologist was just the beginning. 

I ended up coming to Widener because there were way more opportunities than what the other schools were offering me." —Cameron Carney '21

A young female student walks past Mueller Hall and a sign that reads "Admissions Office."
Cameron Carney '21 transferred to Widener in her sophomore year.

“I didn’t want to just be a number, and I felt that Widener really offered faculty getting to know me as a person and, so far, that has proven true,” Carney added. 

That close faculty mentorship is what drew Amaya Reed-Clark ‘23 to Widener as well. 

The international relations major and history minor started her collegiate career at Widener as a freshman. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, however, Reed-Clark needed to make a change that fit her immediate personal needs, so she transferred to a local community college. 

Though at the time that change was necessary, Reed-Clark noted, “I came back to Widener because it was the right place for me. It was home.”

For Reed-Clark, home meant reconnecting with the relationships that she built in her first-year, especially with faculty. Now in her junior year, Reed-Clark is on track to becoming an international ambassador with support from her faculty advisor, Professor Jeremy Backstrom.

“I wasn’t prepared to get that [support] from anywhere else. I felt as though Widener could help me with that. When I came back I knew that I would be alright and in the right hands,” said Reed-Clark. 

While every transfer student experience is unique, each student is met with the same level of attention and support from day one. Transfer students also have access to available scholarships and financial aid packages.

“We work with students daily to not only meet them where they are in their academic careers, but to also offer one-on-one guidance and support in the financial aid process,” said Courtney Kelly, executive director of undergraduate admissions. 

For Carney, and her fellow transfer students, that dedication to ensuring her personal and professional success is what differentiates Widener.

“I felt a connection right away and didn’t end up visiting any other schools,” Carney said. “I knew that Widener was it.”

Meet the Transfer Admissions Team

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