Illinois resident and John Dickinson scholar Jennifer Rush ’15 didn’t choose to apply to Dickinson because she shares a name with one of the college’s founders—it was just a fun coincidence. Recently, however, she learned that she was the first known descendant of Benjamin Rush to attend Dickinson. Here, Jennifer reveals how she moved from aspiring artist to student-scientist, her little-known talent for sharp-shooting, her ideal dinner partner and how she gives back through a prison-inmate tutoring program.
Clubs and organizations:
Resident advisor, quidditch team and prison-inmate tutoring program.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
… an artist. At one point I also wanted to be a veterinarian like my sister.
On choosing a major:
I took a molecular-biology class in high school, and I was hooked!
On choosing Dickinson:
During the summer of my junior year in high school, I began a research project on the metastasis of breast cancer. I began looking at schools with a strong biological-science department and with faculty members who were interested in similar research. Dickinson soon rose to the top of my list, and after I visited, I knew it was the right place for me.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
My first year, I took Principles of Human Evolution with [Associate] Professor [of Anthropology Karen] Weinstein. That class sparked my growing interest in biological anthropology.
Inmate tutoring is one of the community-service programs coordinated through CommServ, and I signed up to volunteer at my first Activities Night at Dickinson. I have successfully tutored five female inmates as they prepared to take their GEDs. It’s rewarding, knowing that I have actually helped change someone's life—that feeling fuels my commitment to come back each week.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
The quiche in the KOVE is the best!
My dad taught me target shooting when I was in sixth grade. I still enjoy doing that with him when I am home. I think my dad would hate to admit I am a much better shot than he is!
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
… Randy Pausch. His perspective on life was inspiring, and his book, The Last Lecture, is remarkable. I would love to talk with him about the last few months of his life and learn whether he would do anything differently if he could.
Published August 26, 2014