Student Snapshot: Lilian Gittines ’24

LIlian Gittines '24 is an educational-studies major with an American-studies minor who teaches violin over the summer. She's currently studying abroad.

Lilian Gittines ’24 majors in educational studies with a minor in American studies and plays the violin in Dickinson’s string quartet. Below Lilian discusses the professors and friendships that add so much to her undergrad experiences, why she chose Dickinson and the summer job that allows her to share her deep love of music while sharpening her teaching skills.


Southbury, Connecticut.


Educational studies, with a minor in American studies.

Clubs and organizations:  

Dickinson College-Community Orchestra, Dickinson String Quartet/Ensemble, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Dickinson Panhellenic Council (president), Kappa Delta Pi and social-media ambassador.


Pi Beta Phi PA Gamma Scholarship.

Favorite book:

The Harry Potter series.

Favorite movie/show/podcast:

Only Murders in the Building.

Best thing about my major:

The people! The professors within the educational studies department are so caring and genuinely want to get to know each of the students involved in the program. I have made so many friends within the major and feel extremely supported by the faculty, and specifically my advisor, Kirk Anderson.

On choosing Dickinson:

When looking at colleges, I had three main factors in my search. First, I knew I wanted to go to a small, liberal-arts college with many options and opportunities to study many different subjects. Second, I have been involved with music most of my life, having played the violin since I was 2 years old, so having the choice to participate in music programs without having to major in music was a huge deciding factor of where I decided to attend. Last, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I studied abroad for two months in Amman, Jordan, in high school, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my education. I knew I wanted to experience that again. Dickinson checked all of those boxes for me!

Favorite place on campus:

Weiss Center for the Arts.

Favorite class/learning experience so far:

I have so enjoyed my time in my string quartet at Dickinson. I play the violin along with my roommate, Maia Vachon '24, who also plays the violin; Amelia Harper '25, cello; and Contributing Faculty in Music Daniel Brye, viola. We meet with Professor Brye once a week, and then Maia, Amelia and I meet by ourselves once a week as well. We all get along very well, both musically and individually, which makes rehearsals fun and enriching experiences. We have worked on some really challenging repertoire for the past few semesters, but it is always so rewarding at the end of the semester when we perform all together.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Harry Styles.

Favorite professor:

Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Kirk Anderson. Kirk was actually my First-Year Seminar professor, and now he is my advisor. He has truly helped guide me in my academic career at Dickinson. He cares for all of his advisees and students as real people and meets them where they are. Even while I am studying abroad, he checks in with me just to see how my experience is going!

On studying abroad:

I studied abroad with Dickinson’s partner program, DIS, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The experience was amazing.

Post-Dickinson plans:

As of now I have many ideas and plans for after my studies at Dickinson! Hopefully, I plan to move abroad for a few years, get a master’s degree in education and, eventually, become a teacher.

Proudest accomplishment so far:

During the past few summers, I taught violin lessons to local children in my community. I had a small studio of four students I worked with weekly. All of my students knew nothing about violin before starting. From scratch, I designed individualized lesson plans for each of my students. I came up with new games and activities for each of them and really emphasized making learning the violin fun. At the end of the summer, I had a recital for all of them. Each student performed and showcased what they had been working on. I was so proud of my students and myself because of the knowledge and enthusiasm for music that we shared with one another. It was so amazing to see all of their (and my!) hard work come to fruition.

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published January 12, 2023