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Eckerd College

Counselor Newsletter

Welcome to Issue 2 of the Triton Times!

Department Highlight

Creative writing at Eckerd is, well, creative! Along with the countless published professors and the rich in-depth classes on workshopping, collaborative thinking, and writing skills that the Creative Writing major has to offer at Eckerd, we also supplement the experience with some Eckerd-only events. Writers in Paradise is an annual occurrence hosted this year by best-selling authors Richard Russo (Empire Falls and The Old Cape Magic), Jane Hamilton (The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World), and Eckerd Alumnus Dennis Lehane (Gone, Baby, Gone and Shutter Island), that brings writers from all over together to collaborate. Exclusive classes, critiques, and discussions are offered to students and the community as well as an opportunity to mingle with some of the best writers around. Other opportunities for creative writing students at Eckerd include the poetry club, creative writing club, the student literary magazine, The Eckerd Review, and the student newspaper The Current. The creative writing and poetry clubs will usually meet with a faculty adviser to critique each work, read aloud, or talk about different works that impress them. The Eckerd Review is a group of student editors who work with Faculty Adviser Helen Wallace to scan the Eckerd community for the most creative works they can find. Anything from photos to works of art, short stories to poetry can be submitted, and then it is all bound together and shared as a creative epilogue of the past school year. The student newspaper, The Current, incorporates creative writing with journalism and gives students a unique chance to work in a real-to-life newsroom on an award-winning college newspaper.

Alumni Highlight

Diana L. Huestis, Ph.D.
Class of: 2003
Major at Eckerd: Marine Science - Biology Track (Chemistry minor)

Where are you now and what are you doing? I currently live and work in Rockville, MD. I am a postdoctoral research associate at the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health. Malaria remains a huge global health priority, and yet little is known about the biology of the mosquitoes that vector the disease. The major goal of the lab in which I work is to learn as much as possible about the ecology and evolution of the major malaria vector species in Africa.

What does your job entail and how has your Eckerd experience impacted your career? As a postdoctoral researcher, I both design my own research projects and assist in the design and execution of other projects within my lab to address our overall research goals. I also have had the opportunity to recruit post-baccalaureate students to our lab and train them in the procedures we do and oversee their work. We also have a strong field-based component to our work, and I have also been able to train some of our colleagues in Mali on various research methods. So besides doing the work myself, I get to collaborate and work with others in the lab. I feel that my experience as a undergraduate laboratory teaching assistant at Eckerd gave me some experience in teaching laboratory methods to others, which has definitely benefited me in my current position and even when I was training other students in the lab when I was a graduate student. I have also been fortunate enough to travel and do research in Mali, West Africa, and my study-abroad experiences through winter terms at Eckerd helped motivate me to pursue international research.

Read more about Diana's work at the NIH on our website.

Ask the Director

What about those undecided students?

We realize that not everyone leaves high school with an absolute plan for the future. We encourage students to keep their college search more open, not narrowing their choices too much by academic program. So how does the first-year Eckerd student get from "undecided" to declaring a major? First and most helpful, they will work with their first-year mentor to talk about possibilities. Majors like anthropology and economics aren't always at the top of students' lists but they may fit best with their interests and goals. Close relationships with the first-year mentor will help students talk through ideas and faculty will recommend classes that will not only meet requirements but help the undecided student to choose a major that fits. We also encourage students to take advantage of CALA, the Center for Applied Liberal Arts. CALA staff will administer strong interest surveys and use other tools, including old-fashioned conversation, to help guide students to the major that makes the most sense for them.

Do senior year grades really matter?

Yes. That's the short answer. Colleges will look at the first quarter, semester or trimester to see if the student is staying on track. We will also look at the final transcripts for any students who enroll. Students whose grades fall off significantly in the senior year may receive letters that range from "we noticed, what happened?" to "we must rescind our offer of admission". The best way to avoid an unpleasant surprise soon after graduation is to stay focused and keep working until the end of the school year.

Email your Ask the Director questions to Maria Furtado, Director of Admission to be featured in our next newsletter.

Student Highlight

Name: Becca Pickering
Marine Science (Concentration in Geology)

Favorite thing about Eckerd:

My favorite thing about Eckerd by far is the sense of community we have on campus. Everyone is so friendly and happy and there are no boundaries or cliques on campus. Everyone just looks out for each other. It is so easy to get to know new people. Even if you just met someone it feels like you already know each other. I am proud to be a member of such an open and wonderful community.

What made you decide to attend Eckerd?

The location. I knew from a young age I wanted to live on the Ocean, I just never imagined it be at college. I love being right on the water. Being a Marine Science major I believe the location has given me opportunitiesthat I would not have had at any other school. I still remember my first Introductory Marine Science class; in the first week we went right off the seawall and collected shrimp. I had so much fun and was hooked!

Best place to spend your free time on campus

I love going to the Waterfront. It is truly a unique aspect of Eckerd and there are always so many things going on. From Friday fire night, boat trips, kayaking and sailing to just lounging in the sun I practically live on the water. I especially love watching the sunset while sitting on the docks with friends.

Favorite place to study

In between classes, you can always find me on the Galbraith Deck. It has a great view and there is always a nice breeze. Plus if I ever have any questions I can go inside and ask my professors. The sun and fresh air clear my head and it is my escape from normally studying in the library or my room. Oddly, I feel as if I am most productive while I am at the GL deck.

What have you done to give back to your community/environment.

I just recently complete the Quest For Meaning course that all seniors take at Eckerd. We are required to complete 40 hours of service learning and I completed mine at Terra Ceia Nature preserve. I helped with topographical mapping of restored farmland that had recently been turned into a marsh. It was a great experience working with Terra Ceia and it made me more aware of the issues we face in our local environment.

If you have traveled abroad with Eckerd, where did you go and your favorite moment

Last June I participated in a Spring into Summer course to the British Isles with Professor Thompson and nine other Eckerd Students. We spent three weeks traveling all over England, Scotland and Wales and stayed in a variety of places. We visited historic sites all over the city of London as well as places such as Stonehenge, the Cliffs of Dover, Loch Ness, Edinburgh Castle, Bath, Sherwood Forest and Greenwich. My favorite part of the trip was when we got to stop in Pickering, England. Pickering is where my family ancestry lies and it was amazing that my professor planned in into the trip just for me. The entire trip was a life changing experience but I will always remember standing in front of Pickering Castle.

How has EC changed your life?

Eckerd has not only been my home for the last seven semesters but it has been an experience that I will never forget. It has taught me more independence than I imagined. Everyday is a new adventure and it has taught me so many things about life, shaped my point of view and strengthened my values. It has been challenging and more rewarding that anything I could imagine. The professors didn’t just teach me, they motivated me to become a better student and human being. As I prepare for Graduate School next year I believe Eckerd has not only allowed me to become a mature student and human being but a successful one, and that makes all the difference.

Organization Highlight

Eckerd has always had a student newspaper, but until recently we didn’t have the pleasure of calling it an “award-winning” newspaper. The student newspaper went under construction in the fall of 2009 as a result of the staff members’ and Faculty Adviser Tracy Crow’s desire to revamp the school staple. Formerly The Triton and now The Current, the student newspaper offers a unique real-to-life newsroom experience for student writers, editors, and journalists while simultaneously incorporating a learning aspect into the experience. In the 2009-10 school year, The Current won multiple awards from the Florida College Press Association including Florida’s third best college newspaper and Florida’s second best online presence. The Current’s web site launched in January of 2010, allowing the bi-weekly newspaper to provide dynamic and timely stories to Eckerd’s community. This year The Current’s twenty-five student staff, has even added “online exclusive” and “breaking news” sections to the web site to better inform the community.

Students can get involved with the newspaper in a variety of different ways. They can be anything from Editor-in-Chief to a staff writer or photographer. There is something for every student to do that is interested regardless of their level of dedication. In Fall 2010, our faculty approved a journalism minor and Eckerd students are already involved in academic work. For more information about the student newspaper at Eckerd College, contact Faculty Adviser Tracy Crow .

What's New at Eckerd

An Ode to Winter Term at Eckerd College
Adapted by Christina Rizleris '09 from "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the week after break and the campus was bare,
a family came to visit, but most students weren’t there.
“Where could they be?” one just may wonder,
Did they disappear to the Land Down Under?

No outback this term, but some have travelled before
‘cause most of our students travel to foreign shores.
Eckerd students are experiencing hands-on learning
For the world tends to call and cures such a yearning.

During the month of January, our study is unique
Eckerd students partake in various learning techniques
It is something us Tritons have named Winter Term
If students want they can study parasitic worms.

Our students have a choice of options you see,
In fact some students are under the sea,
We sent them to Italy, India and France
Studying cultures and language, business finance.

Biodivesity in Suriname, and service-learning galore
Each program enriches, ‘tis never a bore!
Some students are also here in the states
Studying in Texas, religions and social change.

Service in New Mexico on a working Ghost Ranch;
New York’s United Nations -here’s an olive branch
Promoting peace and security in a very large world
Our students are changed as their minds unfurl.

Some choose to study on our beautiful campus,
You can find them outside in their sunglasses.
Classes on film, literature, and acting,
Politics, environment, even scientific reacting!

Our seniors are busy taking comprehensive exams
You can find them in corners trying to cram.
They are tested on all previous years in their major
Well prepared from professors, they stand in no danger.

Winter Term is exciting, and unique you see-
For our students have options for creativity.
It is a time to reflect and learn something new
At Eckerd, thinking outside’s just what we do!

Set Text

Letter of Recommendation

Download the admission recommendation form (pdf)

Fast Facts

1st - Eckerd College was one of the first colleges to institute a 4-1-4 Academic Calendar.

Contact Us

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

(800) 456-9009
(727) 867-1166

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Eckerd College