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Student Snapshot: Mohala Kaliebe ’22

Mohala Kalibe

North Carolina native Mohala Kaliebe ’22 chose Dickinson because of the way that professors and students went out of their way to help her during her campus visit. Two years later, she says, she knows she made the right choice. The winner of several on-campus awards, she’s involved with the Mermaid Players, the College Choir and the Norman M. Eberly Writing Center, where she tutors writing in two languages. Next year, she’ll study abroad in England through Dickinson’s Oxford program.


Cary, North Carolina.



Clubs and organizations:

Mermaid Players, College Choir.


First-Year Seminar Excellence in Writing Award, Walkley Award for High-Achieving First-Years in Theatre (2019), Alpha Lambda Delta, National Society of Leadership and Success and the Agnes Sterrett Woods Prize.

Favorite book:

Currently, The Fifth Season by NK Jemison.

Favorite movie:

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

On choosing Dickinson:

Out of all the schools I looked at, Dickinson was the one that made me feel the most wanted. Professors and students went out of their way to answer my questions and help guide me as I waded through the college decision process. Two years later, I know I made the right choice.

Favorite place on campus:

Waidner-Spahr Library.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Parmesan rice.

On choosing my major:

I loved English in high school and hoped to pursue it in college, but the courses and the faculty of the English department sold it for me. The course subjects are intriguing (ranging from the medieval Canterbury Tales to modern science fiction), and the professors are dynamic and have what often feels like a ridiculous wealth of knowledge. Dickinson English courses also introduced me to critical theory. Thinking about how we read and what socioeconomic and cultural structures affect literature, and vice versa, makes me feel even more strongly about the relevance of the subject I love.

As I kid, I wanted to be …

… an astronaut. My academic interests have shifted away from science over the years, but I’ve always loved space and still do. I wrote a letter to NASA when I was 8, asking if I could go to space, but unfortunately, they said no. They very nicely sent me a binder full of information about space and their astronaut program, however!

Favorite class:

It’s a tough call, but I think my favorite class so far has been Jane Austen in her Time with Professor of English Wendy Moffat. We read every Austen novel, explored the complications of Austen biography and delved into the social and economic specifics of Austen’s time period (even learning some country dancing!). Professor Moffat completely hooked us all on Jane Austen, and that was the most I’ve ever bonded with a class.

Little-known hobby/talent:

I enjoy drawing comics.

On being a tutor at Dickinson:

I’m a writing tutor in both English and French at the Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center. I enjoy working with writers who bring in papers on all subjects, and I feel that working with others’ writing has improved my own ability as a writer. I would encourage every Dickinson student to take advantage of this resource—I certainly do! It’s essentially advanced peer review, and it always helps me to get a second eye on my work from one of my fellow tutors.

Best thing about my Dickinson experience:

While I love my classes, my favorite extracurricular experience is theatre. With the Mermaid Players, I’ve found a supportive community dedicated to both the tech and acting sides of theatre. Participating in productions has brought me a lot of joy in my time here. There’s something to be said for finding something that’s still enjoyable when it takes up over 15 hours a week.

Proudest accomplishment so far:

I’m proud of being accepted into the Dickinson in Oxford program. Based on conversations with Dickinson students who have previously gone, it will be an amazing experience!

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published June 2, 2020