Hometown: Clarendon Hills, IL
Major: Art History and Romance Languages
Post-Graduation Plans: Graduate School for Art History
Favorite Class: Political Philosophy with Professor Velásquez
Favorite Lexington Landmark: Washington Street Purveyors
The most defining experiences I have had at Washington and Lee happened off campus--way off campus. I'm still amazed at how this small university in Lexington, Virginia, has served as a virtual springboard for me, sending me to far away lands from Argentina to Egypt and plenty of places in between. Yet Lexington is where I always return. Ironically, it has taken several years of world travel to realize that I don't need to go far away to have unique new experiences. I can do so right here, interacting with my professors, my peers and members of the community.
Through various classes and organizations I have had the opportunity to study, work and even perform all over the world. My first abroad experience was an internship at a bilingual school in Argentina the summer after my first year at Washington and Lee. It was my first time living and working on my own, and I was extremely nervous, but I ended up loving the experience and learning quite a bit.
My second year, I traveled to Egypt with the University Orchestra and Wind Ensemble for one of the craziest weeks of my life. We actually played a concert while cruising down the Nile River! Shortly after Egypt, I studied abroad in The Netherlands with a spring term course that investigated the role of Science in Art. We visited premier museums and conservation labs all over the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany.
As a junior, I traveled to the Dominican Republic on a volunteer trip teaching English to baseball players at a San Diego Padres training camp and working at a local school. Last summer I worked as an intern in the research department at one of the conservation labs I had visited the year before in Amsterdam.
During all this travel I have continued the active learning process that began my first year here at Washington and Lee. I have explored different cultures, spoken new languages, befriended total strangers and discovered quite a bit about myself along the way.
After each trip I return home with new understanding and resolve. It was after Argentina that I joined ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), a community service organization that aims to encourage communication and understanding among speakers of different languages. Through ESOL I have taught Spanish classes to English speakers and English lessons to Spanish speakers, working directly with Lexington community members.
My experiences working abroad have taught me practical lessons that I can apply to my academic endeavors and future career, but they have also helped me become a more assertive and self-confident individual. After venturing out into the world, I have become more comfortable with myself here in Lexington. I am involved in several campus organizations that allow me to pursue my passion for language and my love of the arts while interacting with my peers, often as a student leader.
Washington and Lee has provided me with the opportunity to travel all over the world and yet flourish in the idyllic setting of a small liberal arts college.