Welcome to the Triton Times Issue 8!
"In times like these, it's helpful to remember that there have always been times like these."- George Burns
One of Eckerd’s most truly liberal arts majors is History. Students who major in History are able to perfect clarity in writing and speaking, effective use of evidence and argument, the ability to perform independent research, and an awareness of cultural differences and commonalities. The major is designed to give students a deep understanding of a broad range of topics, as well as the ability to focus in on different areas of interest, such as East Asian Studies, European History, American Studies, African-American Studies, and Ancient Studies. With a wide variety of courses as well as excellent one-on-one time with the professors in this area, students are able to carve out an area of expertise to build upon. From internships in the area, such as the Florida Holocaust Museum, to Winter Term trips to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine to study the Byzantine Empire, Eckerd students majoring in History are able to obtain an outstanding education in an area of interest in many ways other than just reading about it!
What Eckerd graduates do with their degree in History is just as unique as the students who go here. Many of our recent grads have gone onto law school and graduate school at institutions such as Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, University of Florida, and George Washington University, to name a few. Others go onto successful careers in business, the ministry, high-school teaching, library sciences, and in public service. Through hands-on experience, personalized time with professors, and a broad, well-rounded curriculum, Eckerd students majoring in History are prepared for the world, no matter how they choose to use the knowledge they have received!
Dr. Ashley Hill, '86
Executive Medical Director, Loch Haven OB/GYN Group
"I left much more inquisitive and intellectually curious than I was when I came."
Dr. Ashley Hill wouldn't have attended Eckerd at all if it weren't for his family. Born and raised in Albany, Oregon, Dr. Hill was in his first year at Linfield College when his family moved to Florida. He followed soon after, transferring to Eckerd College.
Now the chair of an academic OB-Gyn practice in Orlando, Dr. Hill is a practicing obstetrician who also mentors students interested in medical careers.
Teaching has made him appreciate his Eckerd faculty mentor and the research the two did together. "I actually got to publish a paper with the chairman of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission as an undergraduate!"
The experience paid off in med school interviews. "I was one of many who had high GPAs, had done charity work," he remembers. "But every single person I interviewed with was fascinated by the manatee kidney article I published with Professor Reynolds. They were just fascinated by it."
But the best thing he learned at Eckerd? "How to process a lot of different concepts and get to a final solution without being linear.
"I do a lot of work with safety in my practice and sometimes I'm asked to evaluate 14 or 15 different elements: Does the patient have allergies? Is the equipment up-to-date? Has the surgical staff had any practice with it? Eckerd taught me how to do those sorts of calculations."
Dr. Ashley Hill '86 is the Executive Medical Director of Loch Haven OB/GYN Group. He's also a Clinical Associate Professor at both Florida State University College of Medicine and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.
Ask the Director
Does anyone actually read those letters of reference our faculty write? How we can help them write more helpful letters?
Every letter of support is read. We use the letters to place the student’s academic work and school activities in the context of the school. The most helpful information from classroom teachers highlights the student’s ability to work with others, to articulate questions that generate discussion, to synthesize information from other classes and see the thematic ties across disciplines, and to help the reader see the challenges faced and overcome, as well as to point out strengths and abilities.
Should we strongly encourage our quiet or shy students to do optional interviews?
No. Unless the interview is required for admission or a scholarship, do not push the student into a situation in which s/he will not be comfortable. The discomfort comes through clearly and little is gained by the student or the college rep. For students who are comfortable interviewing, here are a couple of tips to share – Do some preliminary research (why fly 3,000 miles to ask me how many students at Eckerd…). Know what classes you’re taking next year, and expect to be asked about academic performance. Be yourself – that’s the most important tip!
Question for the Director? Email Maria Furtado to be featured in our next newsletter.
Tell us a little about yourself. What makes you a unique Eckerd student?
I came to Eckerd from Chicago because of the well known marine bio program (and to escape the Chicago winter). Freshman year I started racing triathlons here and have gotten totally hooked. We are in one of the best possible areas to train and race. A few of us started a triathlon club here that has been growing and is very successful. If I'm not in class or doing homework I'm probably out swimming, biking, or running.
Why did you decide to attend EC?
I decided to attend Eckerd because I thought the small school environment would be good for me. I love having small classes and getting to know my professors. It was a little weird coming from a high school that had over twice as many students as Eckerd, but I soon realized that the small school environment is amazing. Also, you definitely can't complain about the location. Where else can you go to school that has a beach on campus?
What are some traits or characteristics you find in most Eckerd students?
Eckerd students all seem to be very socially open. Everyone seems to get along with each other. Coming from a big high school where people kind of fell into social groups it was great to get away from that.
The first year of college can have a profound effect on the other 3 years; what was the defining moment of your Autumn Term experience and/or freshman year?
Living with all the guys on our floor freshman year had a huge effect on the rest of my time here. We are actually still living together this year and we are planning on living together for the rest of our time here. I'm really glad to be part of such a fun group of guys.
How would you describe the academic environment at Eckerd?
Eckerd's academic environment is really unique. It's challenging without being unreasonable and you get to learn a lot through experience rather than just lectures. The professors are all very passionate about what they teach and really want you to learn and succeed. In many of the classes, I have learned above and beyond what I expected to learn. It's also really helpful to have small classes with lots of interaction and fieldwork.
How do you describe the social scene at Eckerd?
Everyone can fit in somewhere. There are so many organizations and clubs on campus as well as so many different people with different thoughts and ideas that everyone can find somewhere they feel comfortable.
What are some of your favorite things at Eckerd?
It’s hard to pick just a few things. The location is perfect, the professors and classes are great, and everything is set up to make students successful in academics as well as their own endeavors. One of the greatest things about Eckerd is ECOS (Eckerd College Organization of Students). Sophomore year when we started the Triathlon Club, we were amazed by how great the ECOS system is. They helped us along in forming the new club and we even got a pretty good budget to help us get started.
Come out, Come out wherever you are!
As June is upon us, we would like to kick start the summer to acknowledge our students and supporters of the GLBT community at Eckerd. Worldwide, June is dedicated to Pride celebrations where thousands of GLBT people and their supporters march down streets to celebrate their individuality, stand up for human equality and support love of all kinds. EC Pride is a club on campus that provides a safe and welcoming environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) students and their supporters.
Club meetings can range from hanging out to watch a movie to attending the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The group also sets up outings to local GLBT restaurants and venues as well as outdoor adventures in the beautiful Tampa Bay environment. Perhaps the biggest event all year is the amateur drag show hosted by EC Pride and Palmetto Productions in our very own Triton’s Pub. The importance, of course, is that EC Pride provides a safe atmosphere for students to be themselves and express their identity freely without fearing discrimination by peers. Eckerd College is proud of Pride and remains GLBT friendly and supportive. For more information on this club, you can contact our President of EC Pride, Nick Arent firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's New at Eckerd
Scholars, Fellows and Researchers…O My!
Every spring the student body of Eckerd College waits in anticipation as scholarships are announced, fellows are granted and summer research opportunities are given. It brings the “what I did over summer vacation” to a whole new level. Here are just some highlights. We love bragging about our Hollings Scholars each year, because for the 8th year now, Eckerd College has held the “best in the nation” title - beating Penn State and other big name brand schools. This year we awarded 7 Hollings Scholars, bringing our running total to 46 Eckerd students who have been recipients of this prestigious award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Students are given $8,000 a year for their junior and senior year of college along with a fully paid internship with NOAA the summer between their junior and senior year. We also have our 13th Eckerd Goldwater Scholar this year, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate research scientists in the United States. Two marine science fellowships were granted, a Galbraith Fellow, and 2008 graduate was given an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the University of California Santa Cruz. Our Galbraith fellow will be spending their summer doing research at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
If spending your summer doing research on parasite ecology, biomedical neurotransmitter research, carbon dioxide and ocean acidification, or the impacts of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at places like Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, University of South Florida, or Louisiana University, then Eckerd College may be a good fit for your students. Come see how our students THINKOUTSIDE.