Knowledge, Power and Barrel Racing

Bailey Hans

Bailey Hans ’18

Meet Bailey Hans ’18, a first-generation college student who barrel races, conducts research on knowledge acquisition and helps provide support to abused and neglected children within Pennsylvania’s court system. She says Dickinson has allowed her to develop in every direction her interests lead, and is preparing her for a career in law.


English and philosophy.

Clubs and organizations:

Student Senate, conduct panelist.


Dean’s List.

Favorite book:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Favorite place on campus:

East College.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

The Kove’s spinach quiche.

On choosing my major:

I knew coming into Dickinson that I wanted to explore my love of English. I took so many English classes my first two years that I had almost completed the major. After taking Logic and Introduction to Philosophy, I realized that I also loved philosophy.

On choosing Dickinson:

I wanted to go to a small liberal-arts college that would allow me to explore different disciplines. [As a member of the Dickinson Equestrian Team,] Dickinson also allowed me to bring my horse all four years, whereas many other colleges only allowed three. This permitted me to still compete while getting a fantastic education. 

Favorite class/learning experience: 

My favorite class at Dickinson has been [Assistant Professor of Philosophy] Jeff Engelhardt’s Existentialism class. We read novels and watched movies that embodied existentialist ideals, which allowed me to fully understand philosophy’s applicability to the real world. Before this class, I found philosophy interesting, but I did not always see its relevance to current discourse. 

About being a first-generation college student:

I did always know I wanted to go to college. My parents really emphasized me going because they didn’t. It was definitely a huge adjustment, mainly because I talk to my family about everything and they just cannot relate to my experience. I think being a first-generation student really allows me to appreciate my classes and how lucky I am to be attending college. 

Post-Dickinson plans:

I am in the process of applying to law school!

On my internship:

During spring semester of my junior year, I interned at the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASA). CASA handles dependency cases of abused and neglected children within the Pennsylvania court system; they provide certified, trained advocates who speak on behalf of the child’s best interests in court. During my internship, I helped with training, internal administrative duties and note-taking in court. This internship cemented my desire to attend law school and exposed me to the juvenile family court system, a field of law I could easily see myself working in.

My little-known hobby/talent:

I barrel race!

About my research:

I am currently doing a philosophy research project in preparation for writing an optional honors thesis in the spring. I am examining the relationship between knowledge and power in societies and how that relationship affects who is able to gain knowledge. After taking a philosophy class about epistemology last spring, I was left wanting to know more about constraints placed on knowledge acquisition within societies, so I asked [Associate Professor of Philosophy] Chauncey Maher what I could read in order to learn more.

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published December 5, 2017