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Counselor Newsletter

Triton Times: The Eckerd College Counselor Newsletter Issue 6

Department Highlight

3-2 Engineering Program

Want to have your cake and eat it too? How about have a well rounded liberal arts education in addition to a demanding engineering degree? One of Eckerd’s most rigorous programs, our 3-2 Engineering, allows students to have the best of both worlds by obtaining both a liberal arts and an engineering degree in five years. At Eckerd, students spend their first three years in a liberal arts setting, studying any of the 38 majors offered on campus, while also setting the ground work for their upcoming Engineering courses. Students then go on to one of our affiliate schools, Columbia University or Washington University in St Louis, to study the specific area of engineering that interests them. Professor Harry Ellis writes, “I am quite proud of the fact that every single student that I know of that we have sent away under this plan has succeeded both in graduating in engineering as well as from Eckerd, but also in a career in engineering.” This program is arguably one of Eckerd’s most challenging, but if you’re looking for both liberal arts and engineering, look no further!

Alumni Highlight

Shennan Boit

Class of 2004
Major: Political Science
Advanced Degree: MPS | Clinton School of Public Service, University of Arkansas (May of 2012)

Where are you now and what are you doing?

Today I am living in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria where I am working on a six month contract as a Response Peace Corps Volunteer and am finishing a final Capstone Project for my Master's Degree from the Clinton School of Public Service. I help small Bulgarian communities set up outdoor programming for kids. We take the kids hiking, climbing and camping and teach them leadership, teamwork, first aid, orienteering and other skills through hands on activities.

Just prior to coming to Bulgaria, I completed a project setting up a computerized medical database for a hospital on a remote island group in Fiji. I also provided IT training for hospital staff and community leaders on the island in order to improve medical care.

What unique or special opportunities did your Eckerd education provide and how have they impacted your life?

Eckerd is filled with intellectual, hardworking and caring professors. That combined with the small class size allows students an opportunity to build lasting relationships with professors. I graduated over five years ago but still communicate with my mentors from Eckerd. They are still just as willing to provide encouragement and guidance for my professional endeavors as they were when I was an undergraduate student.

Describe some of your best memories or favorite traditions from your time at Eckerd.

It was always great to go from class to the beach or beach to class. I enjoyed windsurfing, ocean kayaking, playing soccer and intramural sports. And I'm grateful for the semester I was able to go study in Australia.

What activities were you involved in while at Eckerd and did they influence what you are involved in now?

I played on the Women's Soccer team. After Eckerd, I moved to Fiji and taught at a high school on an outer island. While I was teaching, I decided to start the first women's outer island soccer teams and women's high school soccer teams in the nation. I wanted to give the Fijian girls an opportunity to just find the joy in playing – and I wanted an excuse to play again too.

I also started refereeing with one of my co-workers, Finau Vulivuli. We became the first female soccer referees in Fiji. Soon we were refereeing men's professional soccer matches all over the country. This year Finau was appointed as the youngest center referee for the Women's World Cup in Germany. I, on the other hand, stopped refereeing when I moved back to America, but I did continue coaching. In the future I hope I find work in an industry that uses sports to encourage development. I think being able to play soccer at Eckerd while studying development had a big influence on my career goals.

Ask the Director

What should my classroom teacher colleagues address in their letters of reference?

It’s simple but important. Classroom teachers should talk about the applicant as a student in their classroom. There’s something telling about a science teacher recommendation that talks about the student’s volleyball talents (only) or about the student volunteering experiences (but not her lab work). Does the student ask good questions that engage other students in conversation? Is he a good group project partner? Is her writing clear and concise or especially creative? Classroom performance on a day-to-day basis is the strongest predictor of success at the college level. Teachers see the student consistently and are great judges of a student’s ability to succeed.

We offer colleges a chance to meet all our students at a full day in-school college fair. This is a good option for colleges, isn’t it?

Most colleges are trying to cover a lot ground while their reps are on the road. Talking with juniors and seniors is always a priority. Sophomores and ninth graders are often hesitant to talk to college representatives. I think it’s fair to say that most reps would prefer to have high school combine forces and offer an evening event that serves several high schools as opposed to a four hour fair that tries to be all things to all students. Many of us would instead prefer to do college awareness workshop for 9th and 10th graders but leave the college fairs to the older students who are closer to applying for college.

Student Highlight

Tyler Lane
New Port Richey FL
|Major: Computer Science
Minors: Philosophy and Theatre

Tell us a little about yourself. What makes you a unique Eckerd student?

I'm a computer science major, but I love art and philosophy, something uncommon for a field dominated by people who double major in math.

Do you have a "that's so Eckerd" moment? What is it?

Eckerd's radio station was holding an event mid-day just because. They were blasting Zydeco music and giving out really cool t-shirts. The station's mascot is Henry the VIII so they had somebody dressed as him handing out turkey legs to kids as they went to class. It was pretty surreal.

Eckerd is recognized as a college That Changes Lives (book by Loren Pope). How has EC changed your life?

I think above all, Eckerd has taught me the importance of a liberal arts education. All too often, people specialize in a certain field and they start believing their way of thinking is the only right way. And it's sad because a lot of ingenuity, openness to new ideas and progress is lost that way.

What are some traits or characteristics you find in most Eckerd students?

Everybody here is laid back and happy. Nobody's afraid to have their own style or worries about having to be a certain way to fit in. Students love adventure and care about their impact on the world, whether it be social or environmental.

The first year of college can have a profound affect on the other 3 years; what was the defining moment of your Autumn Term experience and/or freshman year?

My autumn term was life changing and has set the stage for the rest of my time at Eckerd. I took a course on Buddhism and it was one of the most difficult classes I have ever taken, before or since then. The teacher was brilliant and challenged me to go beyond just reciting facts but really think about how what we're learning about applies to me as a person; something I realized no other teacher had really tried to get me to do before.

When did you know you made the right choice coming to Eckerd?

After I finished my Autumn term, I felt like had grown more in one month than I had in four years of high school!

What are some of your favorite things at Eckerd?

I love my dorm! I live in Beta Darwin, a pet dorm. Everybody on my floor is best friends with each other so there's always something going on or somebody to hang out with right outside my door. Plus there's a basset hound named Nubbles and a cat named Izzy that I get to hang out with, too!

Organization Highlight

Eckerd College Hillel
President: Amy Share '12

What we do:

EC Hillel provides opportunities for students to experience Jewish culture and heritage in ways which are positive and relevant to their lives. We have two Shabbat dinners a month and a Bagel Brunch on the first Sunday of every month. All are welcome to attend. Besides our monthly events, we also celebrate many Jewish holidays on campus like Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim and Passover. We also have a Family Ties program for Jewish students that matches them with a family in the St. Petersburg Jewish community where they can go for a home cooked meal and attend other events with. Our Campus Rabbi, Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, teaches extra-curricular classes once a week each semester. This semester he taught From Where We Came: 4,000 Years of Jewish History in Five Weeks. EC Hillel is all about student empowerment, so all of our programs have grown out of students taking interest and initiative. We also go on a Birthright trip at least once a year, which is a program that offers a free trip to Israel for Jewish students who have never visited the country before.

My favorite thing:

One of my favorite parts of the club has been the Birthright trip, which was a great experience. It was so amazing to go to Israel, see all different parts of the country, meet Israelis my own age and do it all with my friends from Eckerd! The Shabbat dinners and other holiday events are also a big part of Hillel on campus and they are great way to meet up with students from all walks of life and learn about Jewish culture. Birthright is open to Jewish students who have not yet visited Israel on a peer-led trip.

What we want to do better:

Since Hillel is a student run club, the biggest challenge we have is students taking initiative. Since Hillel has grown exponentially in the last three years, this problem has slowly diminished.

Who to contact for more information:

  • Website: www.eckerdhillel.org
  • Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ECHillel
  • Follow us on Twitter: @ECHillel
  • For more information, please feel free to contact the Hillel President, Amy Share at sharear@eckerd.edu.

What's New at Eckerd

Eckerd was recently ranked as the number one school in Florida for sending students abroad! Read our press release on our website!

Letter of Recommendation

Download the admission recommendation form (pdf)

Fast Facts

Contact Us

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

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

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