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In the summer of 2019, I spent five and a half weeks in The Gambia, West Africa. Three of those weeks were spent studying politics and culture with 19 other Juniata students, and two and a half were spent working for the Gambian Art Coalition.
As a sophomore at Juniata I became the co-founder of the non-profit organization known as the Gambian Art Coalition. Exactly one year later, (as of November 18th, 2019), I am knee-deep in organizing sales and presentations, working with interns and business professionals, and coordinating buying trips and budgets. Being the co-founder and Director of Communications and Marketing of an international non-profit organization was not something I thought I would be doing while earning my undergraduate degree at Juniata College.(more…)
I went into my sophomore year at Juniata with a full schedule. Three jobs, two internships, and a full load of credits. Never in a million years did I think I would have the time or the ability to co-found a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) as an undergrad.
The NGO I cofounded with two of my great friends, Evelyn McCammon and Sarah Borgardt, is called The Gambian Art Coalition. It was an idea brought to us by Professor Nagengast in the Politics department. He’s been travelling to The Gambia for the past 15 years and has made many great friends amongst the Gambians.(more…)
The HOBO Hike is a rite of passage for all business students at Juniata. Everyone on campus knows about it, but only a select few have really experienced it. It’s a mystical and cryptic field trip that you’ll immediately hear fellow Juniatians talking about, but they don’t reveal what exactly it is. To start, let’s break down what HOBO is; the actual name of the course is Behavioral Analysis of Organizations. However, it was originally called something like Human Behavior in Organizations. The professor at the time decided HBO was already taken, so he threw in the “O” to separate it from the TV channel. And so, the class was dubbed HOBO and it has remained that way ever since.(more…)
Publishing a novel is something that many people dream of accomplishing throughout their lifetimes, but for senior, Natasha Lane, she is already well on her way to becoming a successful, published novelist. As a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Juniata, I had the opportunity to interview Natasha to find out more about her accomplishments.
Her love for writing first started when she was a young girl. She said, “I had a love for reading, and that love for reading just changed into a love for writing. I started off writing just poetry, which was good because it was a way to get my emotions out. I guess I was an angry kid for various reasons, so I wrote poetry to get my feelings out.”
In 8th grade, Natasha had to write a short-story for class, and she told her teacher that she wanted to make it into a full-length novel. Her teacher responded, “Well, then why don’t you do it?” So at the age of 13, Natasha wrote her first novel and got into the habit of scribbling down ideas for future novels in a little notebook.
Although she has had previous works published in the past, A Meeting at the Grocery Store was the first novel that she had had published.
“I originally submitted a fantasy novel to Books to Go Now, but they rejected it. They said that they prefer to publish e-books versus print copies, but they said, ‘We can tell you can write, so would you come back on as romance writer for us?’”
“I am one of those people who used to look down on romance novels because sometimes it can just be so cliché with a damsel in distress and perfect cookie-cutter characters. You see people like Fabio and shirtless cowboys, but I thought that maybe I could write my novel in a way that wasn’t so cliché.”
Natasha then wrote A Meeting at the Grocery Store for the next several months, which is now available for purchase on Amazon. She is also working on a second novel titled, Waiting for Mistletoe, which should be available for purchase sometime this month. Additionally, she is writing a sequel for A Meeting at the Grocery Store.
When asked about where she finds inspiration for her novels, she said, “I daydream all the time. I am like the queen of daydreaming. I don’t really force myself to daydream, but if something isn’t really interesting to me in class, I let my mind just go. And sometimes, I’m inspired by things that have happened in my life. Sometimes, I reflect on past events, and I think, ‘I wish I could have handled that event differently, or I wish I was the person I am now so that I would have known how to handle that better.’”
In the future, Natasha hopes to find a bigger publishing company and also focus on entrepreneurship. She has an individualized POE of Entrepreneurial Journalism and hopes to one day work as either the communications or marketing director in a non-profit sector, while also continuing her love for creative writing.
“I love business, and I love creative writing. I can’t really see myself choosing one over the other, so I pray that I won’t ever have to choose,” said Natasha.
When asked which author she emulated the most, she responded, “I don’t really follow too many authors. I mainly just read the titles of books and decide if I would like them or not, but I do know that I want to be an original. One time when I was younger, my uncle was talking with me about what I wanted to do with my life. He said, ‘You could be the next Oprah Winfrey,’ and I said, ‘I don’t want to be the next Oprah Winfrey. I want to be the first Natasha Lane.’ And that’s the truth. I don’t want to be a copy of someone else. I want to be an original.”
Natasha is truly an inspiration for all writers, and I wish her the very best in all of her future endeavors!
To purchase A Meeting at the Grocery, check it out on Amazon!
At Juniata College there are many different types of out of the classroom opportunities that students can take advantage of. A majority of the departments use a “hands-on” approach to learning, trying to give students real world experience before graduation. For example, students in the Accounting, Business, and Economics department just returned from a finance case competition at McDaniel College. In this competition, seven different colleges and universities were given a company’s financial information and students from each college were to present analysis and a recommendation if the company should invest in a particular international project.
While in a conference room at McDaniel, the case was treated like a real world experience. Teams were judged based on their relevance of analysis and content. In fact, the case that the students worked on actually happened in 2006 and one of the judges was a financial executive from the company highlighted in the case. After the presentations were over, the students were able to interact with the judges and students from other schools, providing a great networking opportunity for Juniata students. The departments were judged, in which Juniata placed third out of seven.
The opportunity was brought to them by the professors in business department. For a month the five students prepared a presentation and financial analysis and delivered their final product to ten judges on October 23.
Opportunities like this are available for students in many of the departments across campus. The professors at Juniata understand that real world experience as an undergraduate not only looks good on a transcript for graduate and Ph.D. programs, but is more beneficial than reading from any textbook. In my opinion, this adds a new dimension to the educational experience provided at Juniata College.