March 10, 2020

Transferring to Centenary University has opened doors for a research internship, prestigious study abroad opportunity—and now graduate school—for Washington Borough student

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., March 10, 2020—When Lauren Steiner ’20 transferred to Centenary University in fall 2018, she immediately gained some impressive hands-on experiences that would advance her dream: to attend medical school. Now, two months before graduation, Steiner has been accepted to a master’s program in biomedical science at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a precursor to acceptance to the college’s medical school.

A resident of Washington Borough, NJ, in Warren County, Steiner earned an associate degree from Warren County Community College before enrolling at a large public university in New Jersey with plans to major in nutrition. The daily commute was long, and when she’d reach campus, professors and fellow students didn’t know her name.

Steiner’s mother, Laura Steiner ’10, suggested that she transfer to Centenary—the University she drove past every day on her way to school. Steiner quickly discovered that at Centenary, she was anything but a number: “The classes are small here, and everyone knows each other.”

Those new connections made an immediate impact on Steiner’s education. During her first semester at Centenary, she was chosen for a trip to Cambridge University in England to study human remains at two of the world’s best osteological collections, the Cambridge Duckworth Collection and the Museum of London. The trip was led by James Monks, D.C., assistant professor of biology, who would step in several times to play an important role in helping Steiner to achieve her career goals.

Several months later, when Steiner applied for a position as a research intern with St. Luke’s Health Network in Phillipsburg, Dr. Monks and Jacob G. Mattingly, instructor of biology, wrote letters of recommendation. As a result, since June, Steiner has worked on a research team examining resident physician burnout and prevention, and has also participated on a nutrition project for patients.

Next, her application to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine required a letter of recommendation from the pre-health committee at her university. At the time, however, Centenary didn’t have a committee. The University’s faculty instituted a committee to meet the requirement for Steiner, as well as future students with similar career goals. The committee includes Dr. Monks, Mattingly, and Craig Fuller, Ph.D., director of the Medical Lab Science program.

“Centenary has supported me every step of the way,” said Steiner, a biology major with a chemistry minor. “Here, classes are tailored to meet students’ interests and career goals. A huge part of Centenary is that professors get to know you and go out of their way to help.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Melissa Murray Photography

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