Anna Harvey ’22 had only taken two semesters of Russian language before studying abroad in Moscow, but with hard work and patience, and a few humorous moments, she came home with far more advanced language skills. Below, she discusses her excitement at presenting original student-faculty research at a national conference, what she learned as a U.S. Army War College (USAWC) publication intern, how she knew Dickinson was the college for her and more.
Nevada City, California.
Clubs and organizations:
Crescendevils, Russian Club, Equestrian Club and Christian Fellowship.
Alpha Lambda Delta, National Society for Leadership and Success and Dean’s List.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.
The Princess Bride.
Best thing about my major:
Since the Russian department is small, I got to know everybody in my year very well. I also have had the opportunity to get to know my professors, especially since I acted as Russian club “tsar” for the 2020-21 academic year! We have a lot of fun within the department, between cooking classes, tea nights with Associate Professor of Russian Elena Duzs and the annual talent show.
As I kid, I wanted to be …
… a ballerina in The Nutcracker
On choosing Dickinson:
When I toured Dickinson’s campus the summer before my senior year of high school, I fell in love! The big, green trees … the limestone buildings … Leo’s Ice Cream … It beckoned me! My campus interview following my tour further solidified Dickinson as a top choice for me. It was the only interview that I enjoyed in the whole college application process! I applied Early Decision to Dickinson, and the joy and comfort that I felt, reading my acceptance letter, only further confirmed my choice. In the end, my decision came down to Dickinson and a college with a reputation for being a high-stress environment, and I knew that I wanted a college experience where I could enjoy my free time and my education. I chose Dickinson because I knew that, here, I would be able to learn for the love of learning, not just for a grade.
Favorite place on campus:
The Biblio, with a latte and a chocolate croissant in hand.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Egg sandwiches at breakfast!
Favorite class/learning experience so far:
My research experience with Associate Provost for Academic Affairs & Writing Program Director Noreen Lape and three other students. We conducted a research project to understand how writing tutors at our own writing center, the Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center, can help writers achieve self-direction in the writing process. We then traveled to Baltimore to present our research at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association annual conference. Entering college, I never expected to present at a conference as an undergraduate, so this experience was so memorable and meaningful.
About this research:
With Professor Lape and three other student writing tutors, I researched self-directed learning habits, developing a number of techniques to be implemented in the writing center to help students achieve self-direction in the writing process. This included habits such as teaching students how to create outlines and reverse outlines for their papers, helping them to identify key questions in prompts, and having them answer their own questions. For example, if a student asks, “Do you think my thesis answers the prompt?” we would ask, “can you identify the parts of your thesis that tie into the prompt?” These habits build the confidence and the skills necessary for students to leave a writing center session with a clearer idea of how to write in general, not just how to write the paper they brought in.
I write poetry!
On studying abroad:
I studied abroad in Moscow the summer after my first year (2019), and I absolutely loved the program! One of the best parts was living with a host family. Having only studied the Russian language for two semesters before going abroad, there were obvious gaps in my language abilities that led to many funny interactions with my host family. At one point, they tried to ask me what grades I received in school. As they pantomimed the word “grades” to me, I struggled to grasp any part of what they were saying, understanding only that it had something to do with school and numbers. I guessed that they were asking me how many classes I took a semester, so I confidently told them, “Four,” with a large smile on my face… which translates to, “I receive straight Bs!” in English. Bs are not good in Russia, so they sympathetically patted me on the arm and told me that it was OK; that I was smart anyway. It wasn’t until two days later that I understood the conversation.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
… Taylor Swift.
About my internship:
I interned with the U.S. Army War College’s online publication, The War Room, for the 2020-21 academic year. It was an amazing experience! Typically, War College interns help professors complete research projects by finding and analyzing sources, but my job was to prepare articles submitted to The War Room for publication. I started as a copy editor, doing read-throughs of articles for grammar and spelling mistakes before they were uploaded to the website. By the end, I was working as an associate editor, during which time my job was to complete structural edits, highlighting for the writer key problems with the clarity of their argument or the structure of their article. I learned about the editing process that articles must go through before being published in a journal. That experience helped me when I was asked by the Russian department to work as a TA, helping to edit chapters of a book.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published August 17, 2021