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Libraries' student worker, now noteworthy donor too

July 15, 2013

How did one undergraduate go from feeling overwhelmed by the size of Alexander Library, as a first year student, to becoming, less than three years later, a staunch advocate and impressive financial supporter?

For Tashir Hampton, the path was paved by his positive experiences as a Libraries student worker, a serious family commitment to giving back, and a strong appreciation of Rutgers.

Tashir grew up in Atlantic City, NJ and selected Rutgers because it is close to home and the in-state tuition costs are affordable. He admits that having an aunt who is a Rutgers alumna played some part in the decision as well. Though he initially found Rutgers a bit big and overwhelming during the bus tour he took in his senior year, after starting his first year here it did not take long for him to figure out the bus system or manage the feat of attending classes the same day on different campuses.

He got a work-study position in the alumni office in his first year, which he enjoyed. But there were no work-study positions available there in his sophomore year so he was referred to the Libraries. He landed a position in Alexander Library and was impressed with the pleasant atmosphere and the thoughtful training program.

Tashir, in turn, impressed his supervisor Rose Barbalace with his gracious manner and his serious work ethic. The work situation is a great fit and Tashir plans to continue working there through his upcoming senior year.

Besides the Libraries, Tashir achieved success in a number of other areas at Rutgers. He explored a few majors and found one that truly interests him, psychology, and a minor that intrigues him, social justice. He found an internship in the alumni relations office in his sophomore and junior years and made many worthwhile professional connections there.

On the urging of a dorm mate in the North Tower on the Livingston campus, Renee Rosiecki, he applied in the fall 2012 semester to become a residence assistant in a dorm in the 2013-2014 academic year. He was selected for the post and will be assigned to the Metzger dorm on the Busch campus, to help first year engineering and science students acclimate to Rutgers.

In the early part of this summer Tashir got a call at home from the Rutgers annual fund office, asking if he'd consider making a pledge to the university. Perhaps another student might have turned down the opportunity or, if a generous mood took hold, pledged a small token amount.

Tashir, however, was already an experienced giver. During high school he had volunteered in a local after-school program and, with encouragement from his mother, periodically donated clothing he had outgrown to area charities. He understood deeply the value of giving back so he pledged $150 to the Rutgers University Libraries. He didn't think too much of the gesture until his family members pointed out to him that, for a college student, $150 is a very generous donation. This impression was reinforced when Tashir got an email a few days later from Tara McDonnell, the Libraries' development director, to thank him for his kind gift to the Libraries.

Tashir has already developed an impressive plan for his post-undergraduate life. He intends to apply to the College Student Affairs program in the Graduate School of Education that, if he is accepted, will include an internship in the Rutgers Student Affairs office and a possible post at the university after he graduates. He sees this as a logical progression from his psychology training and his work roles in the Libraries and as a resident assistant.

Tashir's fans in the Rutgers University Libraries are confident that he can achieve great things wherever life will take him. And we know that his gracious nature and giving spirit will continue to impress those that have the privilege of working with him.