Bio Major Grateful for NOVA Faculty, Staff Who “Extract From Students The Best Versions Of Themselves” 

January 26, 2024

Josiah Greene developed a deep love of science at a young age, and at NOVA, he’s been nurturing that passion. This is his final semester as he prepares to graduate in May. 

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Josiah is a long-time student life ambassador at the Woodbridge Campus. He was sought out for the position because of his ability to light up a room with his warmth and personality and his desire to make people feel like they are important and valued! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. 
I attended Rippon Middle School in Woodbridge and took my first biology class in 7th grade. That’s when I discovered my passion for biology and the fascinating world of microscopic organisms. Although they may be small, they play a major role in our world. This biology class inspired me to apply to the specialty biotech program at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas.    

While 7th grade biology covered just the basics about cells, in high school, it became a lot more interesting. For example, cell communication. Cells communicate by creating molecules; it’s how they talk. My passion and love for biology grew stronger through the biotech program at Osbourn Park. 

What brought you to NOVA? 
I started at NOVA in Fall 2021, after graduating from Osbourn Park High School. Initially, I was resistant about going to NOVA. I didn’t understand community college and its value, but my mom kept saying I should go to community college. 

During the pandemic, it all clicked for me. I knew college was very expensive, but NOVA offered the same education as a four-year university but for much less. That’s why I came to NOVA. Because NOVA is one of the largest community colleges in the nation, I was worried I’d be reduced to a number within their system; however, imagine my surprise when I found I had become a part of the community at my campus.  

NOVA employs good people who can tap into a student’s potential. That’s what it is, you employ people who can extract from us the best version of ourselves. 

What are you studying at NOVA? 
My major is biology. 

Tell us about your experience at NOVA (i.e., professors you’ve liked and people you’ve met).  
After becoming a student life ambassador, I realized just how wonderful it was to be involved. Being a student ambassador has allowed me to embrace my leadership skills and find my inner networker. I’ve formed so many professional and personal connections within the NOVA community.  

I enjoy engaging with students and helping them feel like they belong. That’s what I love about being a student ambassador. 

I’ve spent about two years serving in the SGA (Student Government Association). For one semester I served as president, and I’ve also served as senator. SGA is an excellent networking opportunity. You meet a lot of people and are around people who can help you land an internship.  

The person who has influenced me the most during my time at NOVA is Antonia (Toni) De Luz, my boss, club advisor, student life coordinator and mentor, for being such a real and inspiring person here at NOVA. She is the one who saw my potential for greatness and lifted me up on a pedestal that helped me shine. In my eyes, she is an absolute treasure for higher education! If this makes the article, I’d like to say, “Thank you, Toni.” 

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA? 
My advice for any student is to connect and get involved with campus life. Volunteer for SGA, come to a student life event, be a student ambassador, join or start a club.  

Many students are hesitant about getting connected or involved due to their studies, schooling or work. But it tends to be a liberating experience, and it’s definitely a time when you connect with other students. 

I’ve had a wonderful time at NOVA. I had more fun here than I ever had in high school because of how many friends I’ve made. I feel like I found my people here, and that’s one of the beautiful things about NOVA: you can find your band.  

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring? 
I graduate from NOVA this spring, and I’m going to miss it. I feel it’s been such a beautiful time, and these are memories that I will always go back to.  

I am planning on attending either the College of William & Mary or Virginia Commonwealth University. I will get my bachelor’s in biochemistry, since this is the area I will be working in in the future.   

Once I earn my bachelor’s degree, I plan to work as a lab technician. This way, I can pay off any student loans and save funds for future educational pursuits. I believe that being in the workforce and gaining real-world experience in my field will help me make informed decisions about my career path, such as whether to go back to school for my master’s and then a doctorate. 

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