After senior Joshua Koegel wraps up a dual major in economics and chemistry, he’s off to Harvard Law School in the fall. Koegel attributes where he is today to the unwavering support of his friends, family, and the Brooklyn College community.

We sat down with Koegel to get to know him better.

How have you grown as a person or student in the last few years?

Brooklyn College has helped me to come into my own as an individual and a leader. When I started college, I was quieter and just wanted to go to class, but I soon learned about the amazing opportunities to interact with my peers and engage in the community.

What’s something you’ve done at Brooklyn College (other than making it to graduation) that you’re especially proud of?

I’m proud of my involvement in the student community. I’m the president of several student clubs, an Undergraduate Student Government (USG) senator, a peer mentor, and a research assistant in the chemistry lab. I’m also proud to have worked on my honor’s thesis, which measures the impacts of ecological and economic variables on life expectancy. I presented it at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Tell us about a time someone changed your perspective in a way you hadn’t expected.

It’s challenging to pick just one instance. I’ve experienced many small moments that resulted in the changes I see in myself today. That being said, the professor who had the largest impact on me at Brooklyn College was Professor Brian Gibney, who taught my analytical chemistry class. He taught me that everything can be done with exuberance and excitement, and he helped inspire my decision to attend law school. I hope to bring this outlook to all aspects of my life and share it with those around me.

What outside-the-classroom experiences have you had here that you’ll remember forever?

I remember arranging the purchase of the campus’ first-ever sukkah, a ritual hut used in the observance of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. This year, I worked with USG and the administration to purchase this structure that’ll benefit observant Jewish students for years to come. The most memorable part of this experience was the inaugural luncheon held on the holiday on the West Quad with President Michelle J. Anderson and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, which was special because my peers of the Jewish faith and other faiths, including Islam and Christianity, attended to show support. I’ll always treasure that memory.

Joshua Koegel (standing, sixth to the left) with his peers, President Michelle J. Anderson, and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, celebrating the new sukkah on campus.

Joshua Koegel (standing, sixth from left) with his peers, President Michelle J. Anderson, and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, celebrating the new sukkah on campus.

What are your plans for after graduation?

This summer I’ll be working in finance at a sports camp for at-risk youth and surfing. Surfing is truly satisfying because it requires both a physical and mental effort to weigh the strength of the wave and ride it to its maximum. After that, I’ll be moving to Cambridge to attend Harvard Law School this fall. I hope that my summer will further my career and also allow me to give back and help others.

Complete the sentence: Brooklyn College’s biggest strength is…

The diversity of the student population. Those many different perspectives provide an opportunity for conversations and learning.