faculty profile

Darlene Ortillo

PEER MENTOR
Email: dortillo@stevens.edu

Class of 2014

Major: Civil Engineering

Masters: Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Extra Curricular Activities:

  • Part-time waitress at 1Republik
  • President of the Climbing and Mountaineering Club
  • Greek Sports Coordinator of Delta Phi Epsilon-Gamma Delta Chapter Sorority
  • American Society of Civil Engineering
  • The 1870 Society

Advice you’d like to share with the Incoming Class: Be open to friends, new foods, new places, etc. This is a new chapter of your life and you are bound to encounter a variety of things at once. So make the most of this experience and indulge! Engage in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Being involved on campus recreationally, governmentally, socially, and athletically really enhances your time at Stevens. This enables you to meet new people and start discovering more things about yourself. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Being a freshman in college, you are still young and there is still so much you have yet to find about your own self. So push. It will only make you a better person; you will realize how much is your worth, your potential. You never know, it may even reach the sky.

MY BEST STUDY TIP: Don’t over-stress. That is the worst thing you can do for yourself. A way of avoiding over-stressing is time management. Whether you are good at the subject or not, I would recommend studying bits and pieces days ahead of time. For a big test, midterm, or final: study 1/3 of the material four days before hand, the second 1/3 the next day, and the last 1/3 for the next day. By the fourth day, review everything wholly. This will help you retain the information, as long as you’re determined to. Also, you won’t need to cram your studying into one night. By dividing your studying days beforehand, you optimize your time to study for other material or tests while giving yourself the time to digest the material. This induces a good study habit, and also enforces appropriate time management!

My Time Management Strategy: Wake up at least two hours prior to first class each day. After waking up, I review what must be done each day. It is difficult to plan days beforehand because things come up! It is always good to make a quick assessment of the homework/project/paper assignments and extracurricular responsibilities you need to do/finish for that day or the next. The two hours give me time to perform any morning routines, plan out my day, and provides time for the most important meal of the day (breakfast). This is a good habit to get into, especially for later on in the years. Waking up early saves me the time from stressing about my day, rushing to get homework assignments due, and enables me to make time during the late afternoons and evenings for my part-time work or social life. Also, it helps prior to a big test for the day since I may review some last minute things. The best thing about waking up early in the day is the fact that you may optimize your time for the day instead of sleeping in and having limited time.

Resources at Stevens I’ve Used: There are three. Teachers and the library (with its electronic and hard copy supplies) are two excellent resources. You will eventually be more acquainted with your professors and develop the comfort to approach/speak with them about the subject. The teachers will provide you with great information and assistance for questions needing answers. On the other hand, there is the Stevens Library: my second home. I am able to study and do work there while being in a social environment. I have the ability to be very socially and academically productive! Though, what overcomes these two options are your peers. Your fellow peers/students are the most optimal resource available to you at Stevens or after Stevens. These are the individuals you endure 4 years’ worth of classes with. These are the individuals to network with and befriend. They are there to help when you don’t understand a concept of the subject or the homework questions. Thus, your fellow peers are the best individuals to have.

What Do You Like Best About Stevens? Stevens is unique in comparison to many schools. As cliché as that sounds, it is as true as the truth can be. It has its own personality and diversity. Its location is conveniently in the young-filled town of Hoboken, less than a ten minute train, bus, or car ride from the Big Apple. The students here are also different. Being such a small school, the community, I have observed, is more tight-knit than many other schools. This is a good thing. You always have people to refer or depend on. At Stevens, your professors become your colleagues. Not literally, but in a sense that they are just as reliable and as friendly as your peers. I can joke around with my professors, as they may joke around with me, but never passing that student-professor boundary of course. The classrooms become smaller as you diverge into specific majors and your professors are typically the ones you’ll have for the rest of your years. This induces close relationships with your peers and professors and I really acknowledge this aspect of Stevens.