Since graduating Eastern Michigan University in the spring of 2014, Honors alum Nino Monea has been making the most out of living in Cambridge, Mass., while attending Harvard Law School, including enjoying the local cuisine, right down to the clam chowder.
“It’s quite good, although it’s typically pronounced ‘chowdah’ around here,” Monea said. “It is my first time living outside of Michigan, but I already feel right at home.”
Monea graduated from the EMU Honors College with Highest Honors, Departmental Honors in public law through political science and University Honors. Since starting his studies at Harvard, he has joined student organizations including the Harvard Negotiators, the Harvard Defenders and Tenant Advocacy Project and has contributed to academic journals like the Harvard Law and Policy Review and the Journal on Legislation.
Though he found great success at EMU and feels it put him in a position to succeed, he remembers that some questioned his time here initially.
“I remember being told my first week of class as a freshman that having good grades from EMU wouldn’t matter because grad programs wouldn’t take a school like Eastern seriously,” Monea said. “Thank goodness I didn't listen. It's easy to pass up so many opportunities because you don't believe in yourself.”
Monea credits some of the success he has had at Harvard to the Honors College and the preparation he received by EMU faculty and advisors.
“One of the most important parts of having a successful grad school experience is having a good relationship with professors,” Monea said. “The Honors College makes it easier to develop deep relationships with professors through smaller classes and research projects. As a result, I have no trouble approaching professors here.”
According to Monea, professors like Barry Pyle, Jeffrey Bernstein and Ronald Delph helped spark his interest in law and made his studies at the Honors College unforgettable.
Monea said he encourages all EMU students to set their sights high and to work hard to achieve their goals.
“First and foremost, don't doubt your own ability to excel,” Monea said. “In high school, I didn't take AP classes because I didn't think I was smart enough, and early on in college, I passed up some leadership opportunities because I thought I wouldn't be up to the task. Today, when I tell people where I go to law school, they often respond by saying they don't think they're good enough for Harvard. Not true. If you have a dream, seize it. Even if you apply to something and don't get it, you'll be better off for having tried.”