video by Joe O'Neill; text by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Every semester, Associate Professor of Political Science David O’Connell takes a picture during each of the classes he’s teaching and hangs it on his office wall. He says these group photos are more than just a memento of the students he’s taught over the years. They’re a symbol of the enduring connections those photos represent.
“I look at them and remember specific groups and specific individuals I got to work with,” O’Connell says. “What I want my students to recognize is that even if they’re only here for four years, they leave an imprint on the people who remain here after they leave.”
That personal approach to teaching and mentoring is emblematic of Dickinson's distinctive, individualized liberal-arts education, and it informs the college's Campaign for Scholarships: Change a Life—Change the World, which aims to provide a scholarship to every admitted student who needs one.
And, as O'Connell notes, the benefits of supporting scholarships and financial aid at Dickinson are far-reaching.
“Scholarships are so important because I feel that, fundamentally, we offer an extraordinarily high-quality education that allows an individual to reach their fullest potential. Without financial aid, some students will never be able to take advantage of what we can offer,” O’Connell explains. “In terms of what we can accomplish in terms of a wider American society, the best thing that we can do is invest in people and help people realize their potential.”
Published March 11, 2022