John Dickinson Scholarship Helps Marianh Aman ’12 Find Herself at Dickinson
September 29, 2011
Marianh Aman ’12 poses at Oxford University, which she visited during her semester abroad in England.
Four years ago, Marianh Aman ’12 didn’t know Dickinson would enable her to do cutting-edge research on brain imaging, study chemistry in England and find her footing as a campus leader. She just knew that compared to a large university, Dickinson’s tight-knit campus felt right.
“It was between Dickinson and a big research university that would have been really affordable, but I absolutely hated it there,” she recalls. “I just didn’t feel any kind of a connection there.”
Her decision was made. She set her sights on Dickinson. There was only one thing standing in her way—how would she be able to afford it?
“I was really disappointed,” Aman says, “because I thought I couldn’t go to Dickinson.”
Fortunately, a John Dickinson Scholarship opened the door, enabling Aman to come to Dickinson and major in neuroscience. In the four years since, she has made the most of that open door. She earned a research fellowship to study brain scans of children at risk for schizophrenia. She traveled to Norwich, England, to take interdisciplinary courses linking science and the humanities. She also has served as the admissions office’s intern for multicultural recruitment, a student representative on the college’s strategic-planning subcommittee, a biology teaching assistant and Microcosm
Along the way, that open door also opened aspects of Aman’s personality that she never knew existed. “I’ve become much more of a leader than I thought I would have,” she says with a smile. “Honestly, I think if I would have gone to a large university, I would have been lost. I would have been too scared to ask professors for help. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to apply to research programs. I think I would just be a much meeker person.”
Armed with that newfound confidence, Aman plans to help younger students find themselves as well. She has applied to Teach for America, and after teaching she hopes to continue her neuroscience studies to improve education for developmentally challenged children.
As she looks forward to the future, Aman sees plenty of open doors. But she knows that without the support of the donors behind the John Dickinson Scholarship, the difference in her—and the difference she plans to make in the world—would have been impossible.
“I really want to thank the donors,” she says. “I hope they know what a difference their gifts make. It can really make someone’s future. I know it did for me.”