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Student Snapshot: Lauren Orefice ’24

Lauren Orefice

Lauren Orefice ’24 (environmental studies) discusses her grant-writing internship in NYC (which was supported by a summer internship grant funded by Magliacano-Melchione Family Internship Fund), her experiences auditioning for an a cappella group by Zoom (and crushing it!), her love of the environmental-studies major, and her tip for a fulfilling life at college and beyond. Currently, she's sharpening her Italian-language skills as a study-abroad student in Bologna, Italy.


Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey.


Environmental studies, with a minor in Italian.

Clubs and organizations:  

The Syrens (a cappella) and English Majors’ Committee.

Change A Life, Change the WorldHonors/scholarships/awards:

Dean’s List, John Dickinson Scholarship and Alpha Lambda Delta.

Favorite book:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, one of my all-time favorite authors.  

Best thing about my Dickinson experience so far:

Being a part of the Syrens a cappella group and all the people I’ve met through the group!

Best thing about my major:

My professors. One of my favorite things about Dickinson is the small classes where professors can dedicate personal attention to each student. Even in classes outside of my major and minor, I’ve met so many amazing professors who are really passionate about what they teach and go above and beyond to help their students. The environmental-studies and Italian-department professors support me in my classes, finding internships and working on campus.

Favorite place on campus:

The library. I spend a lot of time there, since I work in the archives. My favorite study spot/place to read on campus is the comfy chairs in the quiet area on the first floor.  

Favorite class:

Green infrastructure with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Allyssa Decker. I knew nothing about the subject going into the course, but I ended up loving the material and gained confidence in the lab from Professor Decker. It is now something I want to continue studying during my time at Dickinson.

On studying abroad:

I am currently studying abroad in Bologna, Italy! I originally planned to stay for the fall semester, but later decided to extend to the full year. The highlight of my experience so far is all of the travel opportunities and great professors who incorporate exploring the city into our lessons. 

As I kid, I wanted to be …

… a teacher. I spent a lot of time volunteer-tutoring in high school. Later, I worked as a student-teacher and daycare provider.

About my internship:

I interned this past summer at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York City. I worked primarily on writing grant applications for CIMA, and I learned a lot about the grant-application process for nonprofit organizations. This internship appealed to me because it was an opportunity to combine my interest in writing and my Italian-language studies. Additionally, by writing social media posts for the organization, I researched Italian modern artists and developed some knowledge in art history. This internship was an amazing opportunity that helped me improve my Italian before studying abroad.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

It’s so important to put yourself out there and try new things. As someone who has dealt with anxiety my entire life, I struggled with being in unfamiliar or uncomfortable environments. I remember feeling very nervous to audition for an a cappella group, the Syrens, on Zoom my freshman year because I didn’t know anyone on campus. I am so glad I pushed through, because Syrens has been the most special part of my college experience so far. Studying abroad, taking an internship at an art gallery and getting involved on campus are all amazing opportunities that really enrich my studies at Dickinson, but all of them felt really scary at one point or another.

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published February 3, 2023