Campus encounter with President Wilson seals the deal for Jackson College transfer standout Cami Emerson

Public health major and Jackson College transfer Cami Emerson grew up in Brooklyn, Mich., a town so small she says that it only has two stoplights. She knew she wanted to transfer to a four-year university following the completion of her associate degree in science at Jackson College, and wherever she ended up would mean a big change in scenery.

During a family visit to Eastern Market, they decided to check out the Wayne State campus. A chance encounter with some friends on campus let to her meeting and talking to President M. Roy Wilson.

"It felt like a sign to really check out what WSU had to offer," says Emerson. "I also thought it was neat that the president was on campus and took the time to talk to me about WSU."

Cami Emerson

Emerson then met with Douglas Peacock, a transfer advisor from WSU who was visiting Jackson College. "I had concerns about living in the dorms as a junior and not fitting in," she says. "He told me about his personal success story of transferring as an upperclassman and how he overcame the (same) concerns that I had." Emerson was put in touch with the Transfer Student Success Center.

"The Transfer Student Success Center does a great job in making transfer students feel welcomed and comfortable with the process," she says. "I was able to email the Transfer Student Success Center whenever I had questions and they would always respond in a timely manner. I liked that I always had a point person at TSSC that was there to help.

"I think WSU is a great place for students to transfer to. There are tons of resources for help, numerous student clubs and great professors. There were transfer students in all of my classes. This made it feel like I fit in to campus even more, knowing many of us had that in common. Campus is in a great location and the city has so much to offer."

Emerson says that living on campus in Detroit is a big change from Brooklyn, but she still adjusted. "Detroit has a bad reputation, but I would never know that just by living on campus. There are always fun events going on downtown or on campus."

Transferring to WSU did more than change surroundings, it also affected the course of her career.

"When I transferred to WSU, I knew that I wanted to study public health," says Emerson. "In one of my public health classes at WSU, we were assigned a ZIP code in Detroit and we had to analyze its biggest public health issue." Emerson was assigned 48217, a ZIP code that has been described by the MetroTimes and Detroit Free Press as the most polluted in Michigan.

"It was very neat to me that we were able to learn about the disparities in the city and go to these places and see for ourselves," says Emerson. "This is a major advantage of going to school in a city like Detroit. I declared a minor in environmental science and hope to pursue a career in environmental health. "

For this goal, Emerson says she has received plenty of assistance. "The public health program does a great job of sending out job opportunities, conferences and seminars we can attended," she says. "The faculty at WSU really care about your success. Everyone is willing and wants to help you succeed. Many give lots of feedback on course work and if they think something can be improved, they give you the chance to do that. They accept feedback on how they can improve their teaching style as well.

"Before transferring I was always told that the courses at a four-year university would be way harder than the courses at a two-year school. I was very intimidated by this, but I believe the two years at Jackson College really prepared me for the courses that I am taking now. I feel that I am on the same learning level as my classmates and I already had good study habits in place that really helped me to succeed at WSU. I received a higher GPA than my entire time at Jackson College."

By Jacob Stocking, Educational Outreach communications associate.

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