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Student Snapshot: George Ladner ’21

George Ladner '21


George Ladner ’21 is a political science major, student-athlete and ROTC scholarship awardee who’s a standout in all three areas. In 2019, he served an internship on Capitol Hill. Below, George discusses his career plans, what he loves most about Dickinson and the courageous family member who inspires him every day.

Hometown:

Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Major

Political science, with a minor in German.

Clubs and organizations:  

ROTC (cadet commander), men’s soccer (captain, two years), Student Athletic Advisory Committee (president, 2019) and Student Conduct Hearing Panel (panelist). 

Honors/scholarships/awards:

Three-year ROTC scholarship, Sgt. Harry Goldberg Military Science Award, Ravens Claw honor society and John Montgomery Scholarship.

Favorite book:

Legacy by James Kerr.

Favorite movie:

The Patriot.

Best thing about my Dickinson experience:

The faculty, staff and, most important, the proud Dickinsonians. Beyond the history and beauty of the town of Carlisle and the incredible architecture of our campus, the best part of my Dickinson experience has been getting to know the students and alumni who have proudly walked up and down the steps of Old West. Dickinson crafts students into problem-solvers who are capable of not only facing but also leading the responses to emerging problems of the future. The world needs more Dickinsonians. 

Favorite place on campus:

Old West.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Lobster bisque or clam chowder.

Favorite professor:

[Senior Lecturer in Italian] Luca Lanzilotta. I had Professor Lanzilotta in my first-year seminar on Italian immigration. Right away, he set the standard as to what Dickinson expects academically. I received my worst grades in that course, but I learned the most. I learned the time necessary to succeed and the quality of both the Dickinson education and the Red Devil community.

Even though Professor Lanzilotta is not my advisor, nor do I take any other classes with him in the Italian department, he is the first person I go to for assistance on campus. Professor Lanzilotta doesn’t need the title of advisor to help students. He actively seeks out and finds ways to assist the student community and better the campus atmosphere. Thank you, Professor Lanzilotta, for making my Dickinson experience truly incredible.

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

… my grandmother. I can’t recall meeting Grandma Relly, as she passed away when I was only 1 year old. As a Jewish child in Romania during the Holocaust, she spent nearly a year living in a sewer. In the evenings, her mother would sneak into town to get food and figure out how they could escape. Finally, her family was able to pay a guide to take them on a treacherous journey through thousands of miles of Nazi territory, until she reached France via an internment camp in Italy. My grandmother worked hard to earn enough money to immigrate to America, which she finally did at age 18. Her toughness and grit inspires me every day. Because of her story, I understand how fortunate I am to have grown up in America.

On choosing Dickinson: 

I knew this college was special from the moment I stepped on campus, as a young and nervous high school student, to meet with the soccer coach and professors of military science. Walking down the Academic Quad and seeing how lively and engaged the students were with each other was comforting. When I found out I could play collegiate soccer and be an ROTC cadet, all while pursuing excellent academics, I knew Dickinson was a perfect fit. I wanted to be a part of a community that shared immense respect and kindness for each other, and have an outstanding academic setting that challenges students to become the best versions of themselves. 

About my internship:

Through the Dickinson Internship Notation Program, in the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to intern at the U.S. Capitol for Congressman Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. The vast alumni network at Dickinson allowed me to be able to find an internship working in our incredible Capitol. Fortunately, the college provided me a significant scholarship through the Notation Program that I could use to offset the expensive cost of living in D.C.

While on the Hill, I had many lunches with Dickinson alumni in D.C. who worked for various Representatives and were willing to help me out. I was able to immerse myself in the legislative process and put all of my political science background to work in real time. 

Best thing about my major: 

The ability to focus on specific areas of political science, once the core requirements have been completed, is the best thing about my major. I have had professors who are true subject matter experts, having worked in the White House or at The U.S. Army War College. I have most enjoyed studying national defense, international affairs and American government.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I will have the job that I have wanted since I could play with G.I. Joe toy soldiers. I will commission as a U.S. Army officer upon graduation. I firmly believe Dickinson and the ROTC program have prepared me for the challenges ahead and the ultimate responsibility I will have for leading the American soldier. 

Most important thing I’ve learned so far: 

At Dickinson there is an abundant amount of resources and opportunities available to all. Do not allow your four years to go by without taking advantage of all that is offered. Step out of your comfort zone and engage in conversations with all members of the community. Speak to the staff members who serve your meals and to the janitors who clean your rooms. They care about you as much as the professors, deans and president.

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Published November 24, 2020