Photo courtesy of Jennifer Rush '15.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Rush '15.

Jennifer Rush ’15

Illinois resident and John Dickinson scholar Jennifer Rush ’15 didn’t choose Dickinson because she shares a name with one of the college’s founders—it's just a fun coincidence. Here, she 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.


Biochemistry & molecular biology.

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.

Favorite book:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Favorite movie:


Favorite class:

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.

Favorite professors:

[Associate] professors [of biology Mike] Roberts and [David] Kushner are two of my favorites. They are so excited about the classes they teach, and their enthusiasm is contagious.

On volunteering:

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!

Little-known talent:

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 talk with him about the last few months of his life and learn whether he would do anything differently if he could.

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Published August 26, 2014