Going to college wasn’t a given for Christian Gonzalez ’24, who is the first in his family to attend college. He's making the most of his opportunity by getting to know his professors and fellow students through discussions and departmental events, working on interdisciplinary class projects and serving an on-campus internship that will help small farms, including Dickinson's own College Farm, to successfully achieve and maintain organic certification. Below, Chris discusses those experiences, why he chose to attend Dickinson and the advice his father gave him that inspires him to do his best.
Computer science and Spanish.
Vincent Sheehy Scholarship.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
My favorite podcast is Please Stop Talking, which is just a bunch of content creators on YouTube talking about their lives.
Best thing about my major:
The computer-science (CS) department offers a wide variety of ways to be engaged. There are social gatherings for students to relax and get to know each other, like the CS BBQ that was held near the end of the semester, and club activities to help challenge students to apply their knowledge and technical experience. There are also open-source development projects that students can get involved in, regardless of their CS skills. I think that’s the best thing about the CS major: There are numerous ways for us to get involved, learn more about the field and to get to know our fellow classmates outside of the classroom.
One of the best things about the Spanish major are the Spanish tables in the Caf. Students within and outside of the major can participate. It’s a great opportunity to socialize and practice your Spanish outside of the classroom while helping other students decide if they'd like to declare a major in Spanish.
Favorite place on campus:
Tome. As they say in the CS department: “Tome is home.”
On choosing Dickinson:
I came from a pretty small high school with small classes. I really enjoyed having the ability to see my teachers and talk to them about the class material and things we were passionate about. I wanted to continue to have relatively small classroom sizes so that I could get to know my professors. I also wanted to have a liberal-arts education, because I wanted to see the overlap between different fields and computer science. I did apply to more technical institutions that had more intricate curricula for the CS field, but I wanted a college that taught me how to apply computer science to things outside of the field. I’m sure that’s touched upon somewhat in those more technical institutions, but I knew that a liberal-arts school like Dickinson would be the best at it.
Favorite class so far:
So far, COMP256: Computer Abstractions. It really teaches you how computers work and how we’re able to write instructions for the computer to behave in certain ways. I already knew some things about computer hardware, but this class definitely gave me a greater understanding of how that hardware comes together to create a functioning computer.
Proudest accomplishment so far:
My post-high-school education. I’m a first-generation Mexican American and a first-generation college student, and I wanted to make my parents proud and attend and graduate from a higher-education institution, rather than just high school. As my dad says, “Sea alguien en la vida.” (“Be someone in life.”) I’ll do my best to follow his advice.
About my internship:
As a web-development intern at Dickinson, I’ve been helping to develop a new webpage for the College Farm—and farms all over—that helps small farms receive their organic certifications. So far, I’ve learned about Cypress testing, which is a framework that guarantees that certain features of the website work as they’re expected to work, and in every instance. This is helpful when features change and tests fail because of those changes, because it provides guidance on how to fix the problem. I also learned about Vue components, which encapsulate functionalities you want across your website so that they can be used anywhere.
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Published December 8, 2022