A longtime student of ballet who loves solving puzzles, Elsa Hritz '25 is the recipient of the 2021 Dickinson-Cumberland County Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship awarded to a local high-school senior each year. And during her first year on campus, she has made the most of this honor and opportunity, getting involved in a departmental club, making the Dean’s List, continuing with her ballet instruction and conducting original group research that she’ll soon co-present at the Philadelphia MathFest. She’s also pursuing a private-pilot license!
I consider Carlisle, Pennsylvania, my hometown, but being a military dependent, I have been lucky enough to live in numerous towns in the United States. I specifically loved Oak Harbor, Washington, and Meridian, Mississippi—as well as Carlisle, of course!
Clubs and organizations:
Math and Computer Science Cub.
Dickinson-Cumberland County Scholarship, Dean’s List, William W. Landis Memorial Prize in Mathematics and Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society.
Best thing about my Dickinson experience so far:
The relationships and connections between my peers and/or professors and me. The smaller class sizes at Dickinson make me feel like a person that is seen, heard and appreciated. I know I will always have someone to ask for help who has my best interest at heart.
Best thing about my major:
My majors provide me with two different approaches to doing what I love—solving puzzles. The best part about them is that there is always something new to learn or explore, and many times, everything fits together like one large, infinitely expanding puzzle.
On choosing Dickinson:
I was drawn to Dickinson for many reasons. The first is that I am very close with my family. Dickinson gave me an opportunity to stay close to home and still pursue an incredible education. I was also drawn to Dickinson because of its study-abroad program. I have always wanted to travel and study abroad, so when I discovered the well-respected reputation of Dickinson’s program, I was hooked. Finally, I love the way Dickinson makes each student a priority. The professors know who their students are and always have their doors open for us.
Favorite class/learning experience so far:
Conducting a semesterlong research project. In my PIC MATH class, we were assigned to work in groups on a semesterlong project centered on skills or jobs. At the end of the semester, my group was selected to speak at an upcoming MathFest in Philadelphia. Although I have not attended this event yet, this process has been one of my favorite experiences at Dickinson thus far.
As I kid, I wanted to be …
… a ballerina. I actually wanted to be both a ballerina and hold some “science-y” position. I have been studying classical ballet since I was 4 years old, and I continued my pre-professional training throughout high school. I am still taking classes during college, but I decided that I love math too much to pursue a career as a ballerina. Ballet will, however, always hold a special place in my heart.
About my research:
During my PIC MATH class, we were assigned to come up with a question or problem that was centered around skills or jobs. Our group chose to study and look for any hidden connections between students’ hobbies and the career paths they follow. We found that there is some correlation between the career paths pursued by students after college who participate in similar types of activities. We also found that students who participate in environmental activities and clubs in college tended to pursue a career path in the environmental industry. This project taught me how to successfully work in a group, and it was my first exposure to using data to solve a real-world problem.
I am currently pursuing my private-pilot license.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
To not take anything for granted, to make the most of the opportunities and blessings God sends my way, and to always be grateful for every experience, person and piece of advice given to me.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published June 13, 2022