My name is JP Patella and I’m double-majoring in Geography and Economics, with a minor in Geophysics through the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m from Ocean City, New Jersey, which is a small barrier island off the coast of South Jersey. Although I love the beach and definitely feel at home there, I have truly found a second home here in Columbia and wouldn’t trade it for anything. On campus, I also co-host a radio show through WUSC and am an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity. Once I graduate, I plan to pursue a career in urban planning, focusing on working in Geographic Information Systems(GIS).
My advice for prospective students: Say yes to as many things as you can at college. Some of my favorite memories with my friends are the things I didn’t initially want to do, but they ended up as times I’ll remember forever. You only have 4(ish) years at college, so make the most of them!
My advice for current students: Always be open to trying new things and branch outside your comfort zone - take a different class, go to a new event, or join a club! Being involved on campus is a great way to grow yourself personally + professionally, meet new friends, and broaden your skills and interests.
My favorite thing about the Honors College: The people I meet — both other students but also the professors and faculty. The Honors Residence Hall is the perfect way to meet new people and make new friends. And, the faculty and staff have been some of the most kind, helpful, and interesting people across campus.
My reason for choosing the SCHC: The opportunities it gives me. Through the connections I’ve been able to make with my professors, the skills and knowledge I’ve been provided in classes, and the collaboration with fellow peers, I know that I’m setting myself up for success in the future, both through the rest of my time here at USC but also post-grad.
My favorite things: Saturdays in South Carolina, seeing a dog on campus, getting a coffee at Cool Beans, watching a movie with friends, and most importantly, I love to learn!
My hobbies: Here at USC I have a radio show through WUSC, called The Burner, where I am a co-host with two of my buddies. We talk about all things sports, both collegiate and professional, with a focus on the Gamecocks. Aside from this, I also love to keep myself active by playing (too) many intramural sports, cooking, and playing video games.
I’m motivated by: My family! My mom, dad, and older sister are the best role models I could ask for. If I could be like them when I grow up, I would definitely be setting myself up for success, and I will strive to be the parents my mom and dad are to me to my kids.
My life goal: Make someone’s day, every day. Life is hard and you never know what someone is dealing with, so whether it is something as small as holding a door open for somebody or helping a friend with their homework, you can make someone’s day. I strive to do this every single day and to teach my kids at some point to do this too.