Where Science Meets Service

Adiva Berkowitz

Adiva Berkowitz '17.

Adiva Berkowitz

Adiva Berkowitz ’17  

Science, social science and service are the pathways to Adiva Berkowitz ’17’s sense of purpose. Below, she discusses her research on the need for personalized treatment for breast-cancer patients, her enduring admiration for Nelson Mandela, her dreams of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse and the 2015 award ceremony that marked her proudest moment on campus so far.


Psychology and biology.

Clubs and organizations:

Syrens, Hillel (board member) and Office of Residence Life & Housing (resident advisor).


Charles Celler Award (Resident Advisor of the Year 2015), Deans List and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

Favorite book:

The Color of Water by James McBride.

Favorite movie:

Pitch Perfect.

On choosing a major:

My life goal is human service; I want to help others.

About my research:

[In fall 2015] I participated in an independent study of psychology that incorporated both subjects I’m interested in, psychology and nursing. I researched scholarly studies of how cancer treatment and its side effects, such as mastectomy, hair loss and infertility, affect a woman’s sense of [her own] femininity and her role as a woman. This issue is so often overlooked and minimized by health care providers as they treat oncology patients, and I learned that clinicians need to give more specialized and individualized care.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I hope to take the knowledge that I have gained as a psychology major and apply it to a career in nursing. Specifically, I would like to be a pediatric oncology nurse.

On choosing Dickinson:

I decided to attend Dickinson because I value and recognize the tremendous impact a broad liberal-arts education can have on my educational and personal growth. I also think Dickinson’s emphasis on global education and study abroad is extremely important.

Favorite place on campus:

Rector Science Complex.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Roasted vegetable sandwich with feta cheese on ciabatta bread.

Favorite professor (so far):

[Associate] Professor [of Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies] Megan Yost. Professor Yost always challenges me to think critically and deeply about issues and how they are relevant, contemporary and applicable.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Nelson Mandela. My parents were born and raised in South Africa, so Nelson Mandela means a lot to our family. His life and legacy are inspirational to me, especially his capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Proudest accomplishment:

Last year I was honored with the Resident Advisor of the Year award. This was my proudest accomplishment at Dickinson thus far, because it publicly recognized my hard work and enthusiasm in this important role. It represents a validation of my efforts, leadership and commitment to resident life and housing.

In a perfect world …

… everyone would have access to stable, safe housing.

Learn more

Published July 5, 2016