Colleen Frerichs ’17

Dickinson’s limestone walls that border campus have felt like home to me since I first set foot here my junior year of high school. It was pouring rain, but I didn’t mind. I was too distracted by the thought of picking out my first Dickinson sweatshirt in the bookstore to even notice. Hey, when you know, you know, right?

Dickinson’s distinctive kind of liberal-arts education was exactly what I was looking for academically. As an American studies and political science double major, I study a unique and innovative field that gazes at the American past and present simultaneously, through a cross-disciplinary lens. As an eclectic thinker with a broad range of interests, my double major allows me to draw on a wide variety of intellectual traditions too multifaceted to be defined in a singular discipline. My studies thus far have helped to forge an understanding of the American experience and a value of world cultures.

While these fields emphasize the Americas, borders do not limit the coursework, as Dickinson curriculum has a strong transnational focus. As a tour guide, I am fortunate enough to be reminded daily of the global perspective and opportunities Dickinson offers to its students. Thus far, the most rewarding part of my undergraduate experience has been my semester in Bologna, Italy. In Bologna, I had the opportunity to take classes within my major, but also enjoyed the flexibility of taking both an art history class and an Italian class. My favorite course to date was my Bolognese art history course. Through a museum-centric syllabus, my class would trek to a new museum every Thursday to explore new and exciting elements of the city’s colorful history. While I was tempted to stay a year, I was eager to return to my leadership roles on campus, both in admissions and on my sorority’s executive board.

My academics and travels have encouraged me to challenge myself and seek opportunities outside of the classroom. This past summer, I interned at Flag Media Analytics, a media monitoring consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Working on a small team that mirrored the small class atmosphere of Dickinson’s campus, I felt strong and prepared. While I hope to return to D.C. after graduation (hire me!), I will always consider Dickinson a place I call home.

If you have any questions about my Dickinson experience (or want to know where to get the best tagliatelle in Bologna), don’t hesitate to contact me at frerichc@dickinson.edu. I would love to hear from you!