As a Dickinson study-abroad student, Caitlyn Longest ’23 (studio art, with a minor in Arabic) has studied and created Islamic art in Jordan and interned with a professional artist in Italy. This summer, the Rhode Island native learned about another creative job path through an internship with an NYC architecture and design firm. Below, Caitlyn discusses these experiences, explains how and why she decided to attend Dickinson and reveals an intriguing talent.
Cumberland, Rhode Island.
Clubs and organizations:
Arabic Club, Crescendevils, Liberty Caps (tour guide) and Dickinson Mixed Martial Arts Club.
Selma K. Asbell Fine Arts Scholarship.
Best thing about my Dickinson experience:
The friends I have made and the people I have met while at Dickinson and abroad. I am so grateful for them and each of their unique personalities and perspectives.
Best thing about my major:
Being a studio-art major has taught me to look at things differently—to find the beauty in the mundane, the calm in the chaos and to appreciate the intricacies and complexities of our daily life (this all sounds very poetic, but to actually apply it in daily life can be challenging!). I feel as though I’ve learned to reconsider things I once took for granted. For me, it has been a great change.
On choosing Dickinson:
I decided to attend Dickinson after taking a tour of the school and sitting in on a French class during one of Dickinson’s Made-to-Order days. The small class sizes, and seeing professors who seemed very invested in the subjects they were teaching, really reinvigorated my desire to learn. And I still feel that way!
On studying abroad:
I studied abroad in Rome, Italy, and Amman, Jordan, for a semester each. My favorite aspects of these experiences were the amazing people I was able to meet, practicing Arabic and learning Italian and, not to mention, the food! My senior year will be my first full year on Dickinson’s campus. I am so looking forward to it!
Favorite place on campus:
In Jordan, I took an Islamic Art course. Through it, I was able to learn inside an artist’s workshop. We made a 2’x2’ tile piece entirely from scratch! Of course, coming home, I ended up with a 20-pound slab of tile/cement in my suitcase, but it's a reminder of my time there that I’ll cherish (and maybe make into a table).
I can play the oud (a string instrument, played like a guitar). Check it out online!
About my internships:
I interned in Italy with Pietro Ruffo, a Rome-based artist with whom I worked on an exhibition that was later displayed in the Vatican Library (I just missed meeting the Pope—I’m still bummed about that). I gained some really valuable insight into the daily life and workings of a professional artist from interning with Pietro, it was a unique and very positive experience! This summer I lived in New York City and interning with the architecture firm COOKFOX.
I believe my liberal-arts education at Dickinson has already proven beneficial in my experience here, as I observe the intersection of architecture with sustainability, human rights and social development every day.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
I've learned how to adapt to different places quickly and make the most of my time.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published September 16, 2022