Sophie Asbell ’24 is the 13th member of her family to attend Dickinson. She honors that legacy as a Rosenbaum Prize recipient, teaching assistant, tutor and philanthropy fellow who majors in religion and Judaic studies and has helped organize a spring 2023 event on Jewish history at Dickinson. As a Philanthropy Fellow, Sophie also delivered a speech during last year’s groundbreaking ceremony for Dickinson’s new John M. Paz Alumni & Family Center. Below, she discusses her on-campus fellowship, her research on comedian Larry David and more.
Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Clubs and organizations:
The Dr. S. Ned Rosenbaum Research Award and Dean’s List.
Best thing about my major:
I love being a religion major, because it is so interdisciplinary. In fact, I received a Judaic studies major and Middle Eastern studies minor by accident! I have the freedom to take classes in other departments and still get credits for my major. I also have close connections with many of the professors in the department, even if I only took one class with them.
Favorite place on campus:
On choosing Dickinson:
I am the 13th member of my family to go to Dickinson. As a third-generation Dickinsonian, I grew up hearing a lot about the school. I knew I wanted a small liberal-arts college, and Dickinson seemed like the perfect option. I was accepted early decision, and it was the only school I applied to.
About my internship:
I’m serving the college as a Philanthropy Fellow in the Oﬃce of College Advancement. It has been a fantastic experience that has allowed me to work on events such as Dickinson’s Celebration of Jewish Life, Learning and Leadership, and to speak at the groundbreaking ceremony for the John M. Paz ’78 Alumni & Family Center. It has been an honor to see this talented team's hard work and dedication ﬁrsthand, and I have learned so much during my time in the oﬃce. I am excited to continue to support such a great team.
About my research:
Last year, I worked on an independent study with Professor of Religion Andrea Lieber called “Pretty Pretty Pretty Jewish: The Jewish Character of Larry David,” in which I studied the religious character of Larry in Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as the use of religion in the show. I appreciate my independent study experience, because it allowed me to explore my interest in an academic context.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
Celebrity: Larry David. Family: My Pop-pop (Dickinson class of '37) and my dad (class of '78), to talk about our Dickinson experiences together.
When I graduate in 2024, it will be 100 years since the first Asbell was on campus.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published August 15, 2023