Student Spotlight: Dyquan A. Waters

June 2024

“Attending Kean University has been a rewarding experience.”

Dyquan A. Waters has found his place at Kean University. The senior studying political science has embraced the opportunities that Kean has provided him, both academically and socially.

Waters graduated from Linden High School in 2021, having moved from Brooklyn only two years before. He describes himself as “curious and outgoing,” but because of challenges posed by the pandemic and his relative newcomer status in his community, he struggled to build a social network. His decision to attend Kean gave him the chance to meet new people, engage in local activities and build a community both on and off campus.

Waters’ involvement at Kean has opened doors for him, granting him remarkable opportunities. He had the privilege of visiting Capitol Hill with a delegation from Kean University, gaining invaluable work experience in the fields of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as urban policy. As a student leader, Waters also developed a deep understanding of civic intelligence.

Waters calls his time at Kean “rewarding.” He said his favorite class, The History of Ireland, 1801-Present with the Human Rights Institute (HRI), was rigorous and offered opportunities to grow as a student and individual. The course, taken in the Spring of his sophomore year, required a research paper, a research project and a presentation during Kean’s Research Days. He also visited Belfast, Derry and Dublin as part of an HRI Travelearn to explore historical sites and hear firsthand accounts about Ireland’s history of human rights.

Beyond academics, Waters has enjoyed the beauty of Kean’s campus, utilizing the Learning Gazebo as his go-to study spot. He happily recalls preparing for New Student Orientation last summer when he took advantage of the quieter summer months on campus to bond with other students and enjoy the campus’ amenities and outdoor facilities. While at Kean, he has also ventured into outdoor activities like hiking, camping and roller skating, connecting with like-minded individuals along the way.

As he approaches his final year at the University, Waters affirms that Kean was the right place for him. He said he feels fully prepared for his next chapter after graduation, including continuing his education and turning his civic engagement into a career. He credits Kean for providing him with professional, leadership, academic and social experiences that have shaped him into a well-rounded individual. Those experiences include serving as a New Student Orientation leader, a member of the President’s Advisory Council, vice president of the Pan-African Student Union and a student intern with the Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research.

Waters’ journey at Kean University exemplifies the transformative power of education. As he navigates life and academia and prepares for his career, he finds himself reflecting on the words of blues great B.B. King, “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” He said his mindset remains steadfast – he possesses all he needs to succeed.