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Casting a Wide Net

Keziah Groft-Tuft '17

Keziah Groth-Tuft '17 

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

The moment she climbed into Dickinson's Treehouse, Keziah Groth-Tuft '17 was hooked. Learn more about this proud Dickinsonian’s drive to solve global problems, her off-the-beaten-path maritime passion, the connections she finds between engineering and international affairs and how she learned to let her bookworm flag fly.



International studies (focus on globalization and sustainability).


Clubs and organizations:

Students for Social Action, the Treehouse, Montgomery Service Leaders and Students Interested in Sustainable Agriculture.



John Dickinson Scholarship.

On choosing Dickinson:

The moment I walked into the Treehouse for an overnight stay, I knew that Dickinson was the right choice for me. My admissions counselor, Molly [Boegel], had arranged for me to do my overnight on campus at the Treehouse, the Center for Sustainable Living. While this is not common practice for overnight visits, it was a great call on her part. Not only did Molly show me I could find my niche on campus at places like the Treehouse, but she also exemplified the wonderful attention Dickinson pays to students’ interests and needs.

Favorite place on campus:

I love to lie in my hammock on my front porch at the Treehouse. This is the best place to be in the fall and spring.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Snow devils—no contest there.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… an engineer. I still want to solve problems—now I just know that I want to solve social problems, and on a global scale.

On choosing a major:

In middle school, I was interested in U.S. government (I had dreams of being our first woman president), but then I became frustrated with certain aspects of the current U.S. political climate. That caused me to look outward at the rest of the world. The international-studies major especially appealed to me because, unlike an engineering [major,] I am not tied down to a specific career after college, and I like to learn how all different societies and nation-states interact on a global scale, [particularly around] large-scale issues like global climate change.

Favorite movies:

My life can be pretty hectic, so when I relax and watch a movie, I like my chick flicks. I think my favorite one as of now is Bridesmaids. Another great one is My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Favorite author:

Jodi Picoult. Like my movie choices, I like to read what my mom calls “brain candy,” and Jodi Piccoult can do some amazing things with plots and switching things up on the reader.


Little-known skill:

My family and I are part of a traditional haul-seining fishery in my hometown, Lambertville, N.J. We’ve been fishing since I was a baby, when my mom was studying the fishery as part of her doctoral research in folklore; soon, my dad was on the crew, and it became a part of our lives. We are the last traditional haul-seining fishery on the Delaware, and every spring weekday evening and Saturday morning you can find us on Lewis Island, on the Delaware River. (It’s important to note that we do not deplete the fish populations, and a lot of our work now has to do with monitoring the health of the river; we collect scales from every shad we keep and then send them to the state, where scientists read the rings on the scales, much like you would read tree rings to tell the health of the river. Also, just the type of fish we catch and amounts we catch can give hints as to the river’s quality.)

What seine fishing is like:

We use a net anywhere from 50 to 100 yards long, and you need at least six people to do a haul. My jobs on the crew usually include helping to sell the fish, pulling in the net, taking count and cleaning shad to freeze. To get a feel for what we do, check out this video.

About my internship:

Inspired by my research through the Global Climate Change Mosaic this fall, I have created my own internship [for next summer]. I will be working on global climate-change education and action plan, through an Environmental Protection Agency program, in my hometown.

Favorite class (so far):

Introduction to International Relations with Professor [of Political Science Russell] Bova, which I took in the fall semester of my first year. One of my first-year roommates (we were in a triple) and I ended up being in the same class. This class affirmed my passion for the subject and, at the same time, showed me that I didn’t have to hide my enthusiasm for learning at Dickinson, because there would always be someone I could share it with.

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Published January 23, 2015