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How I learned to ask for help early and often

Jules Slater
Jules Slater ’21, Advocacy Communication POE, Future Mayor of Picklesburgh

One of the best things about academics at Juniata, as many will attest to, is the two-adviser system. Assigned to you upon the start of your freshman year, you’ll have an academic adviser, someone who knows the ins and outs of your POE, as well as a mentor, someone who is there to guide you through your college experience. The pros of the two-adviser system are abundant if you know how to use it.

I believe that I began my first year at Juniata at a disadvantage to many of my peers, simply because I was unaccustomed to asking for help. In high school, I felt like there was a stigma associated with receiving help from teachers. When I began college, I tried to figure things out on my own instead of going to my advisers for help. So for my first two semesters, I relied on myself to schedule my courses, understand my POE requirements, and learn what each requirement meant and how to fulfill it.

It wasn’t until my second year at Juniata, when I decided to change my POE, that I finally admitted to myself that I would need help if I was going to be successful at Juniata.

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My journey through Juniata’s pre-dental program

Madison Wrightstone
Madison Wrightstone ’23

I tend to get one of two reactions whenever I tell people I want to be a dentist. The first being some variation of, “I could never put my hands in someone’s mouth!” or “Mouths are so gross; I have no idea why you would want to do that.” The second is some reference to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Hermey saying “I want to be a dentist.” (shout out to you, Dad). Since the 7th grade, I have had my mind set on being a dentist, and the path Juniata has taken me on is one that continues to turn this goal into a reality.

A unique component of Juniata’s pre-health professions program is specialized advising from summer orientation before your freshman year. As a pre-dental student, I was matched with an adviser who specializes in pre-dental advising, making it easier for my advising sessions to be personalized to me. As a student in health professions, you have an adviser specifically for this, as well as a general adviser outside of your designated POE to help you incorporate a holistic approach into your education and help you include your other passions into your academics. From your first day of classes, you are immediately introduced to the entry-level science courses you will need for professional school. With small class sizes, it is easy to seek out help from your professors in class and build personal relationships with them.

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Inside Washington Seminar in D.C.

This winter, I had the opportunity to live in Washington D.C. for two weeks and participate in a seminar called Inside Washington, through the Washington Center. I lived in a suit-style apartment with three other girls, one was from Juniata and the other two were from Suffolk University in Boston. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have had and one of the most mentally challenging. Not only was I immersed in the politics of D.C. by attending lectures each morning, by speakers like former Senator John Kerry. But I also visited embassies and think-tanks across D.C., while learning about the historic impeachment going on right now.

You might be wondering what life was like living with three strangers and going grocery shopping by ourselves each week…

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Summer Reflection: NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship

I was honored at the end of my sophomore year to receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship for 2018. This scholarship program provides financial assistance for two academic years and one summer internship between junior and senior year. I am thankful for the help of my advisers and Dr. Buonaccorsi, the biology professor who is the Juniata adviser for the application. He did not really know who I was, but was willing to help me throughout the whole application process and my essay.

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Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata

When I transferred to Juniata for the spring 2018 semester, I found my home in the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Department. As a PACS student, I’ve been offered an insane amount of opportunities. The Baker Institute for PACS frequently funds and organizes student trips to professional conferences. I was actually invited to be a student member of the Baker Institute Advisory Board to offer my perspective surrounding the trips and opportunities that the Institute offers!

Last semester, I attended the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis, MN, where I discussed the abolition of nuclear weaponry with those acting in the field. Most recently, I traveled to Washington D.C. for the Lemkin Summit to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities, which focused mainly on injustices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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