Because of the freedom to explore provided by a Dickinson liberal-arts education, our graduates leave with strong writing and communication abilities, interpersonal skills and newfound creativity. These qualities open doors and create paths to variety of careers in arts and entertainment, teaching, languages and more.

Rick Fisher ’76, dramatic arts

Freelance theatre lighting designer and Tony Award-winner

“Being a freelance person working in the theatre, you never know exactly what the future may hold. While I could have gone to a more specialized university, my liberal-arts background allowed me to follow the unexpected paths that led to my career, with many useful diversions along the way. Every new job is a different set of challenges to translate technical realities into the intangible atmosphere and mood required. Every production offers a variety of collaborators who come with their own needs and goals, which is similar to the Dickinson community exploring and engaging the world in the 21st century.”

Ellen Berkland ’81, anthropology

Boston’s city archaeologist

“Dickinson prepared me for a lifetime of success. I found my passion, which was nurtured by exceptional faculty. Long before Dickinson offered an archaeology track, I spent my junior year ‘abroad’ in Boston taking archaeology classes at Harvard University. Returning to Dickinson to graduate and working full-time as a counselor at Alternative Rehabilitation Communities, I learned how to juggle, balance, achieve and enjoy to my potential and beyond. I am so excited that my alma mater offers a strong and progressive archaeology program and is training future stewards in this important field.”

Brock Clarke ’90, English

Associate professor of creative writing at the University of Cincinnati and award-winning author

“One of the ways Dickinson helped me become a writer was to teach me that I wasn’t one then. I don’t mean that my professors were discouraging. I mean that they were sensitive enough to know that I wanted something really badly; tough enough to tell me that I wasn’t yet close to achieving it; supportive enough to show me writers who were doing what I wanted to do someday; and brilliant enough to tell me why these writers were worth emulating, why their work was worth loving.”

Stephen Katz ’92, anthropology

Staff photographer for The Virginian-Pilot and freelance documentary photographer; named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by POY International in 2008

“I have no education in photojournalism, [but] I found photography to be a great tool for documenting. I consider myself an anthropologist with a camera, rather than a photographer. My degree in anthropology taught me to look at everything with my eyes wide open. It taught me the perfect balance between being compassionate and being objective. There is no doubt in my mind that my anthropology degree has made me a successful photojournalist and a thoughtful person.”

Matt Fahnestock ’02, English and theatre arts

English teacher at Carlisle High School

“Dickinson’s focus on the liberal arts meant that I was exposed to a remarkably broad range of curricula. As a teacher of literature, I am constantly encouraging my students to become citizens of the world. They are shocked that I can help them with their algebra homework and can name all of the countries in Africa. At other institutions, I could have majored in education and rarely ventured into other disciplines, but here my liberal-arts education meant that I took classes in everything from art history to statistics, from microeconomics to African dance.

My students have a hard time appreciating literature because they are not able to connect it to its historical context or recognize allusions within the text to other disciplines. They gripe that I make them contextualize their readings, conduct science experiments, and respond to poetry by drawing pictures. They believe that English class should be one in which they read, write, spell, and diagram sentences while checking the rest of their education at the door, but I disagree and I know that Dickinson does too, because it is here that I was first encouraged to make connections among my classes. I don’t think that many other colleges encourage such academic intermingling among their teacher education students, and as you can imagine, there are some traditionalists at Carlisle High School who think that I am crazy and gossip about my unorthodox practices, but I don’t care. What I do care about is the fact that I know my students are becoming citizens of the world and that they love coming to English class.”

Ryan Eberts ’04, economics

Volunteer teacher for the Christian Service Society in Bangladesh

“I had some great professors in college who really made me enjoy learning. What I took from the college experience was the importance of student-teacher interaction and stretching your mind to gain a better understanding of something. I take this with me to class and try to make mine a classroom where new ideas and questions are the most important parts of learning.”

Alicia LeBlanc ’07, English and French

Pursuing a master's in French cultural studies in a global context at Columbia University in Paris, France

“What I love about Dickinson is that it has this venerable history, but it doesn’t take it for granted. It’s explored, discussed, built upon. It isn’t something to be found on a dusty bookshelf, but rather it’s an energy and ongoing dialogue that runs throughout this community. I feel like I am a valued part of something important. There are many other liberal-arts colleges in this country, but I don’t think any have Dickinson’s personality.”