Performance and Purpose

Emma Spector '19

Emma Spector ’19 

As a first-year Dickinsonian, Massachusetts native Emma Spector has become involved as a performer with Dickinson’s improv comedy group and theatre troupe, and through ballet lessons at the nearby world-renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She's also found a social activist's voice, both as a peer-educator and through membership in Dickinson's Feminist Collective. Below, Emma shares her favorite quote, the advice that’s steering her to success and the passions that fuel her.



Clubs and organizations:

Run With It! (comedy), Mermaid Players (theatre), Feminist Collective, Tritons, SSDP and PALS.


Founders Scholarship.

Favorite book:

It’s a tie between Beloved by Toni Morrison and Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Favorite movie:


On choosing Dickinson:

I thought the college process would be like finding a wedding dress; I wanted there to be a glorious “a-ha” moment when I knew that a college was the perfect fit. It turned out that my college process would not be that simple. Although I had an amazing tour on my first visit to Dickinson, I remained unsure until the first day of Pre-Orientation. I decided to attend Dickinson because I knew from my first tour that the college had incredible potential to help me become an educated, global citizen. I decided to stay at Dickinson because I have watched that potential manifest itself into almost every class and extracurricular activity that I have been in.

Favorite place on campus:

The Quarry.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

The falafel platter from the KOVE.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… a ballerina. Although I will probably not become a professional dancer, Dickinson’s partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet has allowed me to continue with ballet.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I know that I want to do work that is fulfilling. Social justice and theatre are my two passions, so my perfect career would combine them. No matter what I do, I always want to be learning and challenged.

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

Jennifer Lawrence.

Biggest influence:

My sister, because she inspires me to push myself, emotionally and intellectually. Watching her overcome her personal obstacles reminds me to stay positive, and the opportunities that she has created for herself challenge me to do the same.

Most important thing I’ve learned (so far):

During my Accepted Students Preview Day, there was a student who advised us, “Say yes, and figure it out later.” That concept has been reinforced in my academic opportunities as well as in my visits to the Career Center. Saying “yes” allows me to take risks that otherwise would not have been accessible to me. While I still approach new prospects with some skepticism, I find that it is better to be open to unexpected experiences than to have regrets about saying “no.”

Personal philosophy/favorite quote:
“Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars.” —Serbian proverb.

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Published March 15, 2016