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Four Greendyk Graduates Reflect on Shared Pirate Experiences
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Greendyk CousinsThe bonds of family are stronger than the bonds between unrelated people. This axiom couldn't be truer for the four Greendyk cousins who graduated together with honors in various disciplines. Their decision to attend the same university was not deliberate, but they wouldn't have it any other way.

Natasha, the oldest of the four, was first to attend Seton Hall. "I researched other schools, but Seton Hall was the only university with a physician assistant program that was within commuting distance. I loved that a lot," she explained. "I only applied to one other school as back up."

Natasha enrolled in the School of Health and Medical Sciences and completed the 3+3 Dual Degree program, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies in six years.

Her brother Richard and cousin Sam followed. "When you stepped on campus, you felt like you were home," explained Richard.

Richard, on track to medical school, also earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and Sam, aspiring to work in law enforcement, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.

Richard felt fortunate to have a sister who studied biology. He said Natasha was his number one mentor at Seton Hall, especially during his first two years. "She made comprehensive study reviews for all of her biology courses," he explained, "and I was lucky enough to have them. They were a big help to me!"

With three of her cousins at the same university, Hannah had no choice but to join the bandwagon. "It was during Thanksgiving dinner," explained Richard. "We gathered around the table and convinced Hannah to attend Seton Hall."

For Hannah, the decision wasn't hard. In fact, she credits her ability to finish her political science program in three years to her family support on campus.

"We held each other's hands and that was a big help," said Hannah. "It's been three long years of hard work, but I'm definitely ready for this moment."

Although the cousins expressed a bittersweet sentiment about graduating, their most precious collegiate experiences were together.

Greendyk Cousins Graduate Together"My best experience at Seton Hall was going through the University Honors Program with my cousin Richard," said Sam.

In addition to eating lunch together, Richard and Sam spent their first two years of the Honors Program together in class twice a week for three hours. At one point, their professor Dr. Judith Stark couldn't tell the two apart. They sat side-by-side and were equally active participants in class discussions.

"At first it was difficult to tell them apart. But, I learned early on that they were their own individual person," she said.

Teaching the cousins, including Hannah, didn't feel like work. In fact, they made her job very easy and delightful.

"They added quality of intensity to wonderful debates and conversations in class," explained Dr. Stark. "It was easy and wonderful to have them in class."

Although the Greendyk's are sad to leave behind a lot of friends and amazing faculty, they are excited about what the future holds.

Natasha is preparing to take her national certifying board exam and is thrilled about joining the workforce as a Physician Assistant.

This August, Richard will begin studies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, pursing a Dual Degree program to earn a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health. He will focus on oncology and chronic disease prevention.

Sam, who currently works as an EMT for Atlantic Health Systems and also serves as Captain of the Montville Township First Aid Squad, is looking to land a position with law enforcement.

Hannah will begin graduate studies at Seton Hall Law this August, but in the meantime works at Casha & Casha, LLC, Attorneys at Law.

No matter where life takes the four Greendyk cousins, Seton Hall has become their "common denominator".

Richard said, "Whenever we are together, our conversation always drifts to our shared Pirate experience and the awesome times we had at Seton Hall."

For more information please contact:
Judith Stark
(973) 761-9473


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