An Alumnus on Dickinson


Describe your experience attending Dickinson.

Sure. Thanks for having me here. I enrolled at Dickinson during the Fall of 2008. I was eighteen years old at the time. I was totally new to this environment. I had no idea what to expect. I knew that Dickinson had a diverse international community and I was eager to learn more about other cultures. I am a first generation American (my parents are from India). I did not know that Dickinson students could speak so many other languages. It was really eye-opening.



What was your first year here like?

When I first came to campus, I expected to do really well. Since Kindergarten to the fourth grade, I did really well. I had to adjust to the academic climate here at Dickinson. I was no longer receiving all A’s in my math courses. I also had to develop new study habits. Interacting with people outside of my hometown really encouraged me to adapt to the social environment here. I had to be more aware and cognizant of what people were comfortable with such as hugging as an expression of greeting. I learned along the way as I met more people and made new groups of friends.



What were your grades like?

My grades? I think they were acceptable. Math here was really challenging. I was actually surprised because it was just Calculus. That class was a huge jump from my high school’s Calculus. All of a sudden, people here were getting better grades than me and doing better than me in math class. I guess some of that difference was due to the fact that I was a first year then and some of my classmates were sophomores and juniors. That math class opened my eyes to how good my peers were at Calculus.




What clubs or activities were you involved in?

I was mainly involved with Club A.S.I.A. which is the Asian Social Interest Association. The organization focused mainly on East Asia. We talked about pop culture, the news, and different social issues. We even fund raised for Relay for Life one Spring. I also spent some time in Spectrum where I met people who identified as LGBT. My senior year, I was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi and tutored middle school students in mathematics. I was always interested in education so the honor society was nice to be a part of and to be involved with community service.



What do you think about the way that Dickinson brands itself?

When you say that, the first thing that comes to mind is the Dickinson logo. Back then, everyone knew of the school through The Compass. Now there is a telescope, book, and liberty cap dating back to the early years of the college. But at the same time, I understand the desire to compete with other liberal arts schools. During my senior year, the school began using Times New Roman as its font for “Dickinson.” I think people that those who know colleges well understand the rigor of Dickinson and the proficiency of its students. This school has a high international students population and emphasizes a global education. I am happy to see a campus full of amazing students rich in diversity.




Which Dickinson Dimension is the school most successful in?

I was the most involved in Global Education so I think that is what Dickinson does best. The study abroad programs here allowed me to seamlessly learn about Japan and to have the opportunity to work there. The language immersion program at Dickinson is fantastic. The exchange students that come here each here bring with them so much as far as tutoring and offering global perspectives. Sustainability is definitely a strong suit with many recycling efforts on campus and the new Greenhouse in Kaufman Hall. I have seen the school step up its green efforts immensely throughout my time here at Dickinson.



Since this is a course about digital writing, could you weigh in on this model of learning?

I am involved in a lot of multi modal instructions right now. I am using smart boards to show mathematical concepts to the Wilson Middle School students. These lessons are prepared in advance and less time is spent drawing formulas on the whiteboard. It actually speeds up the pedagogical process in my view. In terms of blogging, I think that is an efficient way to communicate among students. Online writing is green and does not waste paper. All you need is a link and anyone can access your post.



What are some of your thoughts about the way this school has grown.

I know that when I started [college], the trays were here. Now the napkins on the tables are gone. The showers here use less water. So I feel like since Fall of 2008, I have seen a dramatic change in sustainable practices. Single-streaming recycling efforts are salient here on campus. Dickinson is definitely going green. There is a larger enrollment than ever before and things are improving. In terms of the social atmosphere, nothing has changed much. Dickinson still maintains its identity does not forgo its core values which is to prepare students for the Twenty-First Century.





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