Jasmin Lopez '19 (international business & management, Italian studies) originally planned to attend a big urban university, but after attending a Discover Diversity at Dickinson program, she knew she’d found her home. While studying abroad in Bologna, Italy, she sharpened her language skills as both a student and a student-teacher; performed original research on hospitality-industry trends—a subject she became passionate about during a previous internship—and took a class on the history of the mafia. She also has interned for New Jersey SEEDS and discovered a passion for helping students gain access to education.
North Plainfield, N.J.
Clubs and organizations:
Samuel G. Rose Scholarship, K. Robert Nilsson Scholarship and Dean’s List.
On choosing Dickinson:
For the longest time I actually had my eyes set on a bigger school in Washington, D.C. A Dickinson alum encouraged me to attend the Discover Diversity weekend, and as I spoke with current students and faculty members, I felt so comfortable. Needless to say, I went back home to tell my mom I had changed my mind. At Dickinson, I knew that I would be more than just a number and that I would be at a place where I could get involved and follow my passions.
Favorite place on campus:
The balcony on the second floor of the Rector Science Complex.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Bread bowl with broccoli cheddar soup from the KOVE.
On choosing a major:
I came to Dickinson thinking I was going to major in biology and minor in French. My two majors are not ones that I had considered before coming to Dickinson at all. I took an Introduction to Business course with [Lecturer in International Business & Management] Steve Riccio my first semester of college and fell in love with international business & management. My decision to declare a major in Italian studies was inspired by one of the first Italian professors I had at Dickinson, [Senior Lecturer in Italian] Luca Lanzilotta.
Luca Lanzilotta is engaged, passionate and so kind, in and out of the classroom, and he inspired me to major in Italian studies. He has encouraged me to take risks, such as studying abroad for an entire year, living with a host family, etc. I am lucky to be his advisee.
On studying abroad:
I spent the academic year in Bologna, Italy, taking most of my classes in Italian at the Dickinson Center and at the University of Bologna. The highlight of my experience was having the option to live with a host family. As one can imagine, after spending an entire year together, we became very close, and saying goodbye was super hard.
Favorite class/learning experience:
In Bologna, Italy, I took a class titled History of the Mafia. I learned a lot about it, and the professor was so knowledgeable on the subject. It was cool to see things on TV based on what I was studying, and to top it all off, I was able to travel to Sicily before I took the class, so I knew exactly what the professor was talking about.
About my internship:
I’ve interned as an event coordinator at a wedding hall, where I learned a lot about event planning and management. That got me very passionate about the hospitality industry. I also had the opportunity to intern as a student advisor for New Jersey SEEDS, where I learned that I am passionate about educational access for students in need. I also learned how to be a mentor and a better leader to young students and my coworkers. My most recent internship took place while I studied abroad in Bologna, Italy. I taught English and economics to ninth and tenth graders, in English and in Italian. Through this opportunity, I learned more Italian. I also learned how to be patient when there are language barriers and other cultural challenges.
As I kid, I wanted to be …
… a pediatrician. Or someone who works with elephants (my favorite animal).
About my research:
During my spring semester abroad, I completed an independent-study research project about the tourism and hospitality industry in Bologna titled “The Tourism Boom in Bologna, Italy.” I decided to take on this project due to my interest in tourism (a field I might possibly go into postgrad). I was able to speak with people involved in tourism in Bologna (restaurants, nonprofits, airports, etc.) and did research on how the city has evolved over the last two decades, thanks to an increase in visits. (Fun fact: The region of Emilia-Romagna, where Bologna is located, was recently named Lonely Planet’s top region to visit in Europe.).
My mom. As a single parent, she takes on every role, which is inspiring in itself. She also has always reminded me that not every opportunity is going to come easily. Perseverance is key.
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Published June 21, 2018