Community College: Harrisburg Area Community College
Area of Study: Anthropology
Involvements: Rotaract Club
Why did you decide to enroll at a community college and then to pursue a liberal-arts education? And why Dickinson?
I decided to enroll at a community college because it was the natural thing to do after graduating high school. At that time, family and friends reassured me that attending a community college was a smart thing to do, because it would save money. Even now I’m praised for my foresight, having avoided spending tens of thousands of dollars. However, at the time I was just unsure of where I wanted to go with my life. While at HACC, I found myself doing well compared to other students. I joined the honors society and began taking part in clubs on campus. Before I knew it, I was standing out and getting ready to transfer. It was then that Dickinson stood out to me. Not only was it providing the best financial-aid package, but it was my best choice for gaining the kind of education important to me.
Is there a particular academic experience during your time at Dickinson that stands out as most meaningful/influential?
Enrolling in the Tanzania Ethnographic Field School has been the most meaningful experience of my time at Dickinson. The program enabled me to travel to Tanzania and experience a culture very different from what I have been used to my entire life. It allowed me to not only test drive my intended career path, so to speak, but to also a gain firsthand glimpse into a society I had read much about. The field school has turned out to be an incredibly influential experience in my life that I think will continue to shape how I think about myself and the world.
How did your participation in extracurricular opportunities help you become integrated into the social community at Dickinson? And how were those extracurricular involvements critical to your Dickinson experience?
Being involved in Rotaract Club allowed me to bring Native American activist Jean Whitehorse to campus. Two years ago I participated in a service-learning program in New Mexico, sponsored by HACC. While there I learned about current political and social obstacles indigenous Native Americans encounter in the U.S. today. Working with Rotaract allowed me to bring some aspects of this experience to Dickinson.
How have you been influenced by the Dickinson network, and how do you plan to give back to the college as a member of the alumni community?
I have learned that Dickinson alumni have integrated themselves into an amazingly diverse array of careers. As an alumnus, I intend to provide any knowledge gained in my respective professional field to future Dickinson graduates.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I will be working as an assistant campaign director for Fair Share Alliance. I hope to gain some insight into how organizations are approaching issues such as wealth and income inequality, voter disenfranchisement and the debilitating effects of corporate involvement in American politics.