I grew up in a small town called Livonia, located in the Finger Lakes area south of Rochester, New York. Throughout high school, I studied French to fulfill a language requirement, but in all honesty I didn’t enjoy languages or intend on studying them at any point in my future. It was only through my experiences after graduation that I began to appreciate and show an interest in foreign languages and cultures. When I began my college search, St. Lawrence was not high up on my list and I decided to apply on a whim, at the last minute. I believe this is one of the best impulse decisions I have ever made because I was completely delighted by the university, upon visiting and touring the campus. I was very impressed with both the biology program and the study abroad opportunities offered. One of the most influential factors, for me though, was St. Lawrence’s proximity to the Adirondack Mountains, where I have enjoyed hiking and camping every summer since I was a child. I was excited for the opportunity to engage my studies in a location that I absolutely love and to continue my dream of becoming a High Peak 46er.
Before starting my education at St. Lawrence, I decided to defer for one year to study abroad through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. I lived in Vienna, Austria where I attended school, lived with three amazing host families, and had the opportunity to travel to many countries throughout Europe. This program immediately sparked my interest for languages and culture and I was determined to continue studying my new passions upon enrolling at St. Lawrence. I became fluent in German during my time in Vienna, which inspired me to rekindle my French skills and take up a completely new language at St. Lawrence. Through the Modern Languages Department, I greatly improved my proficiency in French over the course of three semesters and I supplemented my German skills with courses at the 200 level. Most recently, I have been working towards my goal of mastering a third foreign language. My courses on Middle Eastern history and culture have inspired me to study Arabic, which I have discovered, is a very elegant and beautiful language. I plan to study abroad in Amman, Jordan during the Fall semester 2012, of which I am thrilled to have the opportunity to improve my Arabic skills and immerse myself in a culture that fascinates me. Although I have explored a wide variety of possible majors, from history to languages to biology, St. Lawrence has given me the chance to pursue all of my academic interests. I decided to focus my college career on studying molecular biology, but I am very pleased to be able to continue exploring German, French, and Arabic, and the diverse cultures in which they are spoken.
In the future, I would like to attend graduate school to study nutrition and immunology. I hope to pursue a career researching diseases and providing nutrition outreach. Alternatively, I could see myself teaching English abroad or becoming a foreign language teacher. Either way, I plan to use my language skills in any career I aspire towards, as they have provided me with valuable life experiences and helped me form connections with many wonderful people.