Shannon NoonanShannon Noonan

Shannon Noonan
Shannon Noonan
Education: North Hunterdon High School, University of Notre Dame
HomeTown: Hunterdon
Occupation: Criminal Law Student

Shannon Noonan

Once you mail your college applications, the waiting begins. In the best-case scenario, you will receive several overstuffed envelopes starting with the word, “Congratulations,” on April 1. You typically have a month to decide where you want to go to college. Need a little help making that choice? Check out how these college freshmen, all past New Jersey high school students, made their decisions:

Shannon Noonan: “I want to be a prosecuting attorney in criminal law.”
Shannon Noonan, a North Hunterdon High grad, chose the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. “They have high quality academics, good sports and a high level of everything else. There’s something about being at a football game and the family atmosphere and tradition. I felt it more here than anywhere else. I’ll major in either sociology or political science and then I want to go to law school. I want to be a prosecuting attorney in criminal law. This seems to be a great program with a lot of resources that can help me.”

Peter Mantia: “I wanted to be an anesthesiologist since my sophomore year in high school.”
Rutgers College freshman Peter Mantia, a graduate of Pope John XXIII in Newton, majors in biochemistry. “I wanted to be an anesthesiologist since my sophomore year in high school. Rutgers has the best program for my field.” Peter, a drummer, says he’ll eventually minor in music. “Even if I wanted to change my major, they have so many different classes I know I wouldn’t have to look for another college. Rutgers is so big and it’s not too far from home, but I didn’t want to be in my backyard.”

Samantha Gibble: “It’s known for the outdoors and it’s gorgeous.”
Samantha Gibble, a graduate of Ridgewood High, attends Ithaca College in New York. “When I visited, I really liked the school, the atmosphere. It’s known for the outdoors and it’s gorgeous. That’s what attracted me. I was going to be a theater major, but when I looked into the communications program, that’s what made me want to come here. My major is geared toward event planning. The communications department here has so many opportunities and internships.”

Ben Lackey: “I felt I should go to a school that was well known for a certain major.”
Ben Lackey went from Seton Hall Prep in West Orange to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “I chose it for the location and smaller size, about 4,500 undergrads. My major is food marketing. I originally considered architecture but I changed my mind. I still liked the creative side and wanted to combine it with business, so I knew that marketing would be good for me. I liked St. Joe’s by looking at it. I felt I should go to a school that was well known for a certain major, and St. Joe’s is known for marketing. I started my own company, Benjamin Lackey Multimedia.”

Carey Bell: “It’s the crème de la crème of all cooking schools.”
Carey Bell, who graduated this past spring from North Hunterdon High, will earn a bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. “It’s been my dream to go to CIA. It’s the crème de la crème of all cooking schools and I wanted to go to the best.” Bell owns Sweet Caroline’s bakery in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County and appeared on the Rachael Ray Show this past year in a bake-off competition against her mom.