Meet Noah from Oakland, New Jersey

About Noah - Class of 2016

From: Oakland, New Jersey

Academic Interests: Econmonics

Extracurricular Interests: Track and field, Flying Pans Steel Pan Band

East Coast Economist

When Noah Busker entered the economics department in Weller Center at Central, half the professors in the department knew his grandfather. Richard Glendening ’62 was an economics professor at Central for 40 years.

“Central has always been part of my family,” says Noah. Both his parents and three of his grandparents were Central Dutch. Even one of his great-grandparents was an alumnus. You can find their names on a board in Central Hall.

But Noah is quickly making a name for himself in his own right. He is a member of the track team and the Flying Pans Steel Drum Band, which plays on steelpan drums originating in Trinidad and Tobago. “I used to play sax, and I came here and find myself playing steel pan,” says Noah with a laugh. “It is just a fantastic experience and a great group.”

Because of the family ties, Noah never doubted that he would attend Central, but he traveled a long way to get here—1,073 miles from Oakland, N.J. Noah is already analyzing the differences between the East Coast and Midwestern culture. He finds people in Iowa more politically minded, more likely to think before acting and more passionate about athletics. He says that Iowans have just as much fun but in different ways.

Oakland—just 45 minutes from New York City—isn’t a huge town, but it’s in a network of fast-paced suburbs. The slower pace of Iowa life took some getting used to at first. “There’s a difference between the two, but if anyone were to come here from the East Coast, they just might like it,” Noah says. “It’s easier to be comfortable in what you’re doing. I find that I actually work better here because I have time to breathe and I can relax a little bit.”

Noah says he finds himself more challenged than he was in high school. Ready to declare an economics major, he plans to attend graduate school at Columbia University and then get a high-powered job on Wall Street, just like the New Jerseyans who introduced him to economics in the first place. It was in deep conversations with these neighbors and with his grandfather that Noah first became interested in what economics is all about.

To get a handle on the global scene, Noah plans to study abroad in Leiden, the Netherlands. He also wants to spend a semester in Chicago, where Central has an internship program.

When he’s away from campus, Noah will certainly miss the friends he’s made at Central so far, especially his roommate, who also runs track. The two motivate each other to get up and off to class in the morning in the morning. Plus, they play the same video games. “The other benefit is that we don’t share each other’s majors,” Noah says. “I can just focus on my topic, and he says ‘Wow, that’s really tough stuff!’ But then I look at his major and say the exact same thing.”

While he’s forging his own path, Noah cherishes the family and community connections that brought him to Pella. He attends Second Reformed Church, which has ties to his New Jersey church. And he enjoys seeing the family names in Central Hall.

“Central always was a second home,” he says. “My family has attended Central for generations and now I have been given the opportunity to carry on the CUI bloodline.”

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