Championships is the most important event of the year for a Juniata College swimmer, and the reason we all brave the 6 A.M practices every day. Everything builds up to that one moment at Championships. Championships is the motivation to keep us going in those brutal practices that tear our muscles to pieces. Champs is the reason we lift and swim and push ourselves to the breaking point twice a day, every day for five months. We give up our winter break, our lunchtime cookie, our afternoon free time and most of all, our sleep, just to perform to our maximum potential at Champs. It is the goal of every swimmer at the conference to get up on the blocks and swim their fastest time. After all the pain and suffering, winning the race, and beating the swimmer in the next lane by a tenth of a second makes all the grueling training worth it in the end.
This year, Champs was held at Marywood University in Scranton. We left on Thursday afternoon, did a warm up swim to loosen ourselves up after the long journey, and settled into the hotel to ready ourselves for the next day’s adventures. Friday morning we were all ready. The first day turned out to be very successful for Juniata; at the end of the day we were placed first on the score board. We hoped this would be a sign of the continuous successes to come.
The following two days points were eaten up by the larger teams and Juniata’s ranking was not longer at the top. The score and the rankings, however, did not reflect the lasting mark that Juniata made on the meet. Two of our relays captured gold and set new personal, school, pool, meet and conference records. Everyone preformed equally as well in each one of their individual events. Several school records were broken and individual records were shattered all over the place and even a new conference record was set. How then is it possible to have so much success yet have it not show by our team’s ranking?
Swim meets determine winners by a point system. Each swimmer that performs for an event earns a certain amount of points for their school ,and the team that earns the most points (with the most points given to the first place and the least points given to the last place) wins the higher ranking. However, Juniata’s team is one of the smallest in the conference and it makes it hard for us eleven girls to gather up as many points as the other 20-30 person teams. So no matter how many successes we have, it can never reflect because the math just does not add up. On top of the sheer size difference is the equally frustrating principle that the meet is scored as a combination of swimming and diving; we do not have a diving program, and thus do not have eligibility to earn diving points. As the larger teams in the conference devour more points from diving, Juniata continues to be pushed to the bottom of the rankings.
Despite the seemingly unfair point system, Juniata comes out on top for the passionate relentless, die-hard spirit and team-support. No matter whether we win or lose, for every race, the women on the Juniata swim team support each another. The love and comfort that the team demonstrates is something that is better than points and better than winning. Any team, large or small can win, but not every team can be a family like us.
Congrats to the swim team and all of their accomplishments this season! Proud to be… JC!
On Friday, February 21st in Ellis Ballroom, Juniata College’s English Department hosted “Lift Ev’ry Voice: Dancing in the Streets.” “Dancing in the Streets” comes from a song performed by Martha & the Vandellas. During the event, poems, songs, and a folktale by African American artists were read and performed by over a dozen students. Audre Lorde, Frederick Douglas, Maya Angelou, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper are just a few of the writers whose works were read.
“Lift Ev’ry Voice” is a program to celebrate African American writers. The event alternates yearly with “Unlock Your Voice,” which focuses on women writers. Both events were introduced by Dr. Judy Katz from Juniata’s English Department. Beginning with “Unlock Your Voice” in 1996, Dr. Katz introduced “Lift Ev’ry Voice” not long after. However, after many years with the programs, Dr. Katz has retired, marking this as her last “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” but also Dr. Amanda Page’s first.
Since I was involved with planning the event since the fall semester, it was great to see the ballroom decorated along the block party theme that we decided upon. A city skyline spread across the back wall of the ballroom, and strings of lights added an upbeat glow to the walls. Paper records and musical notes decorated the walls, and large posters depicting jazz, motown, hip-hop, and gospel music were dispersed around the room. All the readers did very well, and the event was a lot of fun. I’m sure that I will get involved next year, too!
One of the first things that anyone entering Juniata will learn is who Dr. Nagengast is. The first thing you will hear about him is that he is the scariest professor on campus. The second thing you will hear is that he is the reason why students change their POE from Politics to anything else. And the last thing you will hear is that he is the reason why students leave his classes crying.
My first encounter with Dr. Nagengast was on my first day of classes for my freshman year for a class called African Development. After taking a class with Nagengast and going on his study abroad trip to The Gambia, I now consider him to be one of the best professors anyone could be lucky to meet.
Going into the spring semester of my sophomore year, Nagengast gave me a list of classes to take for my POE in International Development. It just so happens that I am in every one of his classes this semester. At first, I was nervous that I would die of exposure to too much Nagengast. On Tuesdays, I am in class with Nagengast from 10:30am-3:00pm. Luckily, Nagengast likes me enough to let me be a little late for class so I can quickly grab lunch.
Many of my friends tell me I’m crazy for taking all of his classes at once, but I couldn’t imagine a better schedule. Taking Nagengast’s Intro to International Politics, African Politics, and Political and Cultural Modernization at the same time makes me appreciate Nagengast for all that he does. It’s so interesting to see how each of these classes can connect to each other. In every class that Nagengast teaches, he gives different lectures with the same greatness that could never put someone to sleep.
For anyone who has never taken a Nagengast class, I would highly recommend taking one. Don’t be scared, Dr. Nagengast is one of the best and kindest professors any student could ever meet, as long as you do the class reading of course.
During my college search I was looking for somewhere similar to what you seem to be looking for: a unique place with an engaging and challenging curriculum. I wanted to be certain that the school I attending would prepare me for my future and help me attain my career goals. I’m from Mooresville, North Carolina, but my search lead me all over, including Pennsylvania. After many campus visits and a lot of deliberation, I chose Juniata College.
If you are under the impression Juniata College is your “typical liberal arts school,” I assure you, it isn’t. I have talked with family, friends, and strangers about my experience at Juniata College, and have yet to hear of someone having a similar or better experience. In fact, the responses tend to fall more along the lines of, “Really!? I wish my school was like that.” Yet, the experience that has made me most appreciative of Juniata College was the one I have had applying to dental school.
I can’t say it wasn’t stressful, because it was – every single step of the way. But being at Juniata College made a huge difference. We have the most supportive staff I could imagine. Every single person that works here is determined to see you succeed. Not only that, but the other students here create an amazing tight knit community. From freshman year, my classmates and I have helped each other to persevere and succeed. We all support and encourage one another, and every one of us benefits. On top of that, Juniata College has a pre-health professions adviser that devotes almost all her time to figuring out what you need to get where you want to go.
As I was interviewing at dental schools this past fall, I talked with my fellow applicants about my experience. Every single one was impressed with the experience I had had at Juniata. Even better than that, every single program I interviewed at seemed to be pretty impressed as well, because I was accepted to all of them. I’ve decided to go to the UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, one of the top schools in the country.
So now as I recall the pressure in choosing the “right” school, I am happy to say I have always been happy that I chose Juniata College. Many of my friends and peers here have had similar experiences: my roommate is also pre-dental and is planning to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Many of my friends are pre-med and having been receiving acceptances all semester. There are about 30 pre-health students in my class, and I feel like I am constantly hearing from everyone about where they are deciding to go. Not just that, but I honestly think we have all really enjoyed our time at Juniata College, and while we may be anxious to pursue our respective professions, we all wish we could stay here just a bit longer because we have loved it so much.
I think this is in part because of how much Juniata College has to offer. Being at Juniata allowed me to be more than just a “pre-dental” student. In my time here I have participated in everything from Archery club to Habitat for Humanity. I swam for the varsity women’s swim team. I studied abroad in New Zealand and had an amazing experience. I have joined my peers in our awesome traditions (if you haven’t heard about Madrigal, Storming of the Arch, or Mountain Day they are definitely worth looking into!) In summary – I have had an amazing, unique, fulfilling experience at Juniata College, both socially and academically. I am so glad I chose to come here and couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.
Things are pretty quiet right now at Juniata College. All the students have survived finals and retreated home. While all of the faculty and staff enjoyed their holiday vacations, I think I can safely say we are all eager for campus to come alive again on January 20th with the start of the spring semester.
In the meantime, here in Enrollment we are bundled up against the vortex of cold that has sent just about everyone scurrying inside to hide from the howling wind and bitter cold temperatures. We are keeping warm by processing and reading applications.
As we read your essays and remember your interviews, we look forward to seeing you in this new year. If you haven’t visited campus yet, we hope to see you this spring. Remember, you can schedule a visit by contacting Pam Zilch at 814-641-3428 or by clicking here. From all of us at Juniata College, we wish you the best in the new year!
I got an email awhile back from an acquaintance that I met through working in the Enrollment Office. She and another girl were starting up a HerCampus chapter at Juniata and they wanted me to be involved. At first, I was kind of shocked. I didn’t even know what HerCampus was.
I went on their website and was generally pleased with what I saw. It seemed a little like Buzzfeed for girls on college campuses, so there are a lot of stories, blog posts, and pictures – a great way to express yourself and, if I’m being honest, a place to procrastinate.
I went to the first meeting and found out that HerCampus was originally started by a group of gals during their time at Harvard – it has expanded, so that many different universities and college have a page on the main website. Each campus can express themselves on their page and really gear it towards what specific activities are happening at each institution.
There was a lot of excitement at that meeting and it was infectious! Now, I have written about four articles for Juniata’s chapter of HerCampus – my favorite being an article about thrifting! Since the group came together about two or so months ago, we have grown considerably, having a lot of amazing people on campus writing for us. I have been very impressed with the organization of the group, plus the strong writing and content that has emerged from the group! I can’t wait to see where HerCampus Juniata goes next semester.
Five nights, sleeping outside in tents and competing in random competitions in the middle of a cold Pennsylvania November… punishment?? Nope, it’s something we call tenting. Tenting is honestly my favorite Juniata tradition, even though it results in zero to four hours of sleep for a week. The purpose for tenting is to determine the order that groups of students can buy tickets to Madrigal. Madrigal is a winter themed formal dinner and dance where the students are served dinner by the faculty. One of the traditions at Madrigal dinner is to sing Christmas carols as a student body, with most of the attention going to the singing of the “12 days of Christmas”. The 10 tables that are the closest to the stage and musical performing group are the tables that get to stand on their chairs and belt the “FIVE GOLDEN RINGS” line of the song. These are the most coveted tables at the dinner. Now, what’s the big deal of being able to do this? It doesn’t sound like that big of a thing. To quote my one friend who decided to try tenting this year and competed to get a Five Golden Rings table, after the dinner he said, “For three years I thought tenting was stupid and pointless, just to be rewarded with a table that gets to sing one line in a Christmas song. But the week of tenting and going to the Madrigal dinner and singing with everyone has been the most fun I’ve ever had at college.” During the dinner, the musical group that was performing said they had visited hundreds of schools and audiences around the nation, and they had never seen a school that loved each other and loved their school, as much as we did.
There are limited tables at the Madrigal dinner and each table is only allowed to seat six or eight students. Therefore, tenting was developed as the traditional way to determine which students got to buy their tickets first and thus, choose their table first. After all the groups that tented buy their tickets and choose their table, then the remaining tickets can be sold to the rest of the student body. But once the tenting groups get their tickets, there are not very many tables left for the rest of the students to buy.
Tenting takes place either one or two weeks before Thanksgiving break and starts with an air horn. And it can sound at any point on Sunday or Monday of that week and once it does, it is a race to see who can set up their tent the fastest. The first group to set up their tent completely is head tent, and they get to plan all the activities for the entire week and keep track of the order of all the tents. This year there were 30 tents competing. The fun part of tenting is that it takes place from 5pm until 8am, every day of the week. Every day there was a major competition, like a dance competition, scavenger hunt, rap battle, baking competition, cardboard box race, etc. On top of this major competition, there are also lots of little competitions mixed throughout, like stuffing marshmallows in your mouth, paper airplane races, or water balloon toss. But because they can happen at any time, we would be woken up from our tents in the 28 degree weather at 4am to do limbo in the cold, or make a house of cards in 30 minutes. There were over 50 challenges we competed in this week of tenting. It’s an exhausting week, but honestly so much fun to compete against other students with a group of your friends. While going to class the week of tenting, I find myself distracted, thinking about what we’re going to do for tenting that night. Every year I’ve done tenting, I’ve always come out having grown close to a lot of people in other groups, because we all share one thing in common… we all survived tenting week.
My first semester at Juniata went by so quickly. Just a few months ago, I was going to high school graduation parties and wondering what college would bring. I think that these feelings are fairly common among soon-to-be freshmen. I was nervous about making new friends and what college life would be like. Also included in my anxiety was whether or not I made the right choice.
So, yes, making friends can be difficult. Before college, I never really had to make new friends. Most of my friends were with me from preschool or kindergarten to high school graduation. But it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. A few days into the semester there was a knock at my door followed by, “I heard that you’re a vegetarian. I am, too. Let’s be best friends.” That’s the kind of unexpected thing that can happen at Juniata, and we are now very good friends.
College life is a lot like life at home, but it is also very different. In college, you’re accountable for yourself. There is no one there to remind you to do something or to go somewhere, but the basic schedule of “school, activities, homework, sleep” from high school is still present.
So here we are at the big question: did I make the right choice? Yes. Juniata is a really great place. It may be small, but everyone is so friendly. Sometimes, that smile and wave from someone on campus is what you need to brighten your day. All of the professors that I have had so far have been great, and they really care about what they are teaching and about their students. Activities like clubs and sports and traditions like Mountain Day and Madrigal provide a nice break from the academic side of college. Now, looking back, I realize that being nervous was really unnecessary. Juniata College is a welcoming, interesting, and fun environment that I am happy to attend.