Graduating Honors College Student Poised to Pursue Career in Law

By Tom McLaughlin

The plan was simple – albeit a little mundane – but focused nonetheless, recalls Fitzroy Campbell.

“I came to Rutgers–Camden looking forward to law school, but I had no specializations in mind,” recalls the graduating philosophy and French major, with a minor in marketing, at Rutgers University–Camden.

His focus quickly changed, however, when he began to pay attention to the social and political landscape in the country, and saw issues concerning immigration and hate crimes as “troubling.”

With a renewed vision and focus, the Sicklerville resident now has aspirations to be a prosecutor specializing in hate crimes, or an immigration lawyer, similar to those who have worked pro bono to represent clients in the wake of the Trump administration’s travel ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.

“I realized that I would love to be a part of something like that and offer my services,” says Campbell, the son of Jamaican immigrants. “Representing immigrants, I see it as a way of giving back for the opportunities that I was given.”

Just as importantly, says Campbell, as he bids farewell to Rutgers–Camden, he acknowledges how it has allowed him to awaken to an innate curiosity and appreciation for the world around him that has been a guiding force throughout his life.

“As a kid, I couldn’t get enough of reading encyclopedias and dictionaries, and watching videos – anything that helped to explain things a little more,” says the Rutgers–Camden Honors College student. “I’ve managed to keep that spirit of curiosity alive.”

Upon arriving at Rutgers–Camden, the insatiable learner was drawn to study philosophy for its focus on exploring the fundamental nature of reality and existence.

“You are trying to figure out the world,” says Campbell, a 2013 graduate of Timber Creek Regional High School. “It doesn’t give you a concrete, right answer, but it challenges you to consider conflicting ideas and think about what you really believe.”

Campbell later added French as a second major when a professor encouraged him to study the subject, and he earned a scholarship. Taking advantage of his opportunities, he studied in Paris this past summer and is now considering returning to France this upcoming summer to teach English language courses before entering law school.

His Rutgers–Camden classes, he adds, have gone way beyond learning French vocabulary and grammar and taught him how to think critically in another language regardless of the subject at hand – such as a French animation course that he is currently taking.

“This is where I get the true value of being a language major,” he says. “If you can explain it well in French, you can probably explain it pretty well in English too.”

Campbell’s fascination with other cultures doesn’t end there. During his time on campus, he became an active member and eventual student leader in several international student groups on campus. He now serves as secretary of the International Student Association at Rutgers–Camden and, despite not having any Korean ancestry, vice president of the Korean Student Association.

As he has become focused on serving others, Campbell has also volunteered for several organizations in the Camden community, where “every volunteer experience has been special and unique.” He has also served as a volunteer tax preparer for the nonprofit organization PathWays VITA, formerly serving clients in Camden and now in Holmes, Pa.

“If I can make sure that they are going to save $200-300, that is really gratifying,” he says. “I am impacting them in a special way on a consistent basis.”

Looking back now, Campbell credits his Rutgers–Camden education for giving him the opportunities to learn and grow not just as a student, but as a person.

“I have picked up a tool here and tool there that I know I can use anywhere,” he says. “Those are tools that I’ll always carry with me regardless of what my career brings.”

Posted in: Student Achievement

Comments are closed.