Hello! My name is Jenny and I'm a senior at Dartmouth studying biology and quantitative social science. On campus, I also work as a communications intern for the Admissions Office, teach piano to elementary school students through Musical Empowerment, and mentor freshmen in the Great Issues Scholars LLC. My hobbies include reading, attempting to finish crossword puzzles, and embroidering, which I only recently picked up. Welcome to my blog!
I looked forward to this class every week, partly because of the professor and partly due to the content. We read books on a wide variety of topics, ranging from privilege and how it affects our interactions with others to restaurant kitchens and the hierarchies inherent in surgical residencies.
Biol13 is structured so that you have to work as a group on difficult class problems and even on some exams, which was novel to me and pushed me to really understand the material. This class inspired me to pursue research (both off-campus and on-campus) related to genetics.
Although this class was daunting to me in the beginning, given that I had little to no experience in either Women's, Gender, and Sexuality or Art History, it was also one of the classes in which I became the most engaged in. For our final project, I investigated the history of allegories in Western art and why they were so often portrayed as women.
I interned at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA under Dr. Livingston. I explored the mechanism by which BRCA1 acts as a tumor suppressor. It was really rewarding to be able to apply what I had learned in Biol13, including specific procedures and techniques we had been tested on, to a real-life laboratory setting.
This class is notorious for its difficulty, and I would not call it an easy class. Nonetheless, it was my favorite class because I loved Professor Jacobi, who has taught at Dartmouth for 22 years, and I appreciated learning mechanisms behind why certain reactions happen. Instead of rote memorization, this class relied on being able to predict the products of a reaction, a skill picked up from lots of practice.
Although this was an introductory class, Professor Craig made it more dynamic and interactive, with several visits to the Hood Museum of Art, ethnography labs, and weekly discussion posts. I learned about everything from the Gebusi culture and their rites of passage to the opioid epidemic. For my final paper, I conducted an ethnography studying the social dynamics that take place in Baker Lobby and how that relates to the exchange of capital.
Though I had taken four years of computer science before (mostly in middle school), I did not have a very good experience with coding prior to taking CS1. However, the professor was one of the best professors I have had, explaining jargon in understandable ways and even giving out chocolate bars to students who answered the most difficult questions she would ask in class. I was certain that there was no way I would be able to create the lab assignments (such as a revolving solar system animation and map of Dartmouth that calculated the shortest possible route between two points), but she enabled all of us to through exercises, short assignments, and exams.
I took this class for a distributive requirement and ended up loving it. Each student was assigned a day to present on a certain topic - mine being patriarchy. I decided to analyze relationships in Crazy Rich Asians through a lens of the patriarchal bargain. We explored transgender issues, the history of feminism, gender identity, and so much more. Would highly recommend!
As someone who didn't know the rules to pretty much any sport, I tentatively signed up for this class. However, the professors made it clear that everyone had a different sports background, so I never felt at a disadvantage. We used Markov chains to predict winners of tennis matches, analyzed field goals kicks using logit models, and listened to guest speakers from a variety of industries.
I spent the winter at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, studying epidemiology and global health. I was first involved on a project using data surveillance and social media to model Ebola outbreaks in the DRC, but as soon as the COVID-19 outbreak started, I transitioned to that. I was even able to publish my first paper!
I was planning to study in Rome for the term and practice my basic Italian skills, but unfortunately the program was canceled. Instead of taking classes, I decided to continue working at my winter internship at NIH. Some of the research I conducted involved analyzing data on excess mortality as a method of estimating the true burden of COVID-19.
I continued my research at Fogarty while also working part-time as a Learning Fellow for BIOL13 (Gene Expression and Inheritance), a job I also did my sophomore summer. It was great to see some familiar faces and help with transitioning this very interactive class into something Zoom-friendly!
I had heard about this class long before taking it my senior fall, as it's one of those quintessential Dartmouth classes. We had a total of six projects over ten weeks, many of which were group projects. They included everything from building rollercoasters, creating Photoshop posters to combat harmful misconceptions, and designing prototypes to improve student dorm life. I learned so much about what it means to design ethically and purposefully, and will definitely carry these lessons forward with me in my future endeavors.
How did you become a blogger? What was the process like?
How did you become a blogger? What was the process like?
Great question! First of all, let me just say that becoming a blogger for the Admissions Office was something I never planned to do (or frankly, even knew about before coming to Dartmouth). The summer before my freshman year, I received an email from someone who worked in Admissions, inviting me to apply to join the inaugural cohort of bloggers.
I was told that the bloggers submit one post a week on a variety of topics and post formats, spanning from playlists to "days in the life" and interviews. To apply, I sent in a document stating why I was interested, relevant experience, and a writing sample. I mentioned that although I loved to journal, I had never written for a blog before. Furthermore, I had turned to student blogs as a resource while I was applying to colleges, and found it immensely helpful, for it provided me with a more personal voice.
In high school, I was very involved with our school newspaper along with a Humans of New York spin-off that featured the stories of students, staff, and guests on social media. Although blogging about my Dartmouth life is markedly different from writing opinion columns and interviewing random students during lunch, it still was an avenue by which I could become more involved with the community.
Even more than I had imagined, blogging has allowed me to meet so many interesting, talented, and passionate people who I likely would not have met. It has also been a creative outlet for me, and I genuinely love interacting with prospective students through the blog. Finally, finding moments or aspects of Dartmouth to blog about, whether that be my favorite class of the term or a cool event I attended, has forced me to be more introspective. Instead of just spending my free time in my room watching Netflix (though there's nothing wrong with that), I try to go to political events, watch shows at the Hop, and find new things to do at Dartmouth to write about!
When adapting to a unique college environment, it is important to open yourself up to new perspectives and meet all kinds of wonderful people! Yet, it is even more important to remember your values and what makes you happy.
For me, having a close-knit community played a vital role in my college search. Dartmouth's respect and love for Indigenous and Latinx students inspired me to apply. These factors all played a role in my decision to ultimately attend Dartmouth.