The Colgate Scene
Table of contents
|A tie at the top|
|by John D. Hubbard|
Jen Greer remembers her first year and how impressed she was when roommate Lara Hueth got her grades. You can get A pluses?
"That was the impetus I needed." Of course, being thusly inspired has meant each year has been increasingly busy for Greer, who majored in Spanish and women's studies, sang with the Swinging 'Gates, was the head coordinator of the Sexual Crisis Resource Center (SCRC) and managed to run 25 miles a week.
"I've taken advantage of the liberal arts education," says Greer, "and I'm happy I've been able to balance my time and focus."
Arriving at Colgate from nearby New Hartford, Greer knew she wanted to be a Swinging 'Gate. During a campus tour with Jen Buckley Clive '95, they attended an a cappella concert and Greer was hooked (she was also awarded an Alumni Memorial Scholarship -- "a big honor and a big factor") on Colgate and singing.
"Joining the 'Gates right away was one of the best things I could have done," said Greer, who made instant friendships and began a series of musical adventures that enriched her experience.
Academically, Greer has "really liked all the things I've taken. I feel like the professors I've had have been intellectually challenging but have also talked to me on an equal level."
Spanish has offered the extra challenge of working in another language, while women's studies provided a different perspective.
"Both majors helped me become an analytical reader and writer, to look and pull things apart."
Her junior year study group experience in Madrid further enhanced Greer's work while research projects have led to other unique opportunities. Greer presented her findings on the role of women in war and rape as a tactic of conflict at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Montana in March. She has continued to investigate topics such as "women in the Balkans: bodies as battlefields," sex tourism in the Caribbean and how sexual stereotypes affect women. It has all dovetailed with another of Greer's interests.
Her work with SCRC has been rewarding while also allowing Greer to collaborate with administrators and be exposed to some of the university's behind-the-scenes activity. "Being a student leader gave me a chance to see the backbone of the college. I also was going through the red tape and found it interesting." The work helped Greer determine she wants to remain involved with students. She will study educational administration at Harvard in the fall, but not until she sums her Colgate career with a summer internship working on orientation. She will also work in admission, and what a story Jen Greer has to share with prospective students. '
Hueth finally decided to concentrate in economics with a Russian minor. "It was harder than deciding on the future," said Hueth, who was swayed finally by the study group opportunities (she went to London and Moscow) and the fact that she liked econ.
"In theory, at least, it's very logical. You can make sense of anything -- political motivations, social issues. Economics is like a puzzle and you figure out how the world works."
Her study group experiences allowed Hueth to see the world, too.
"They were a constant adventure, especially Moscow, where we lived with host families. We had to figure out, in a sometimes hostile country, what was going to happen next."
Hueth returned to Colgate last fall much more self-reliant and with a greater appreciation for the safe and nurturing campus environment. She also began the year knowing her class rank was lofty.
"I didn't really want to know and think about it all year. That would be too stressful. I think I'm ambitious but not aggressive. I hang back a bit but I really do love school."
That love kept sending Hueth in unexpected directions.
"I was always taking courses that were too hard or not in my field and so I felt I had to work to prove I belonged."
Being named valedictorian caps a senior year that "has been the best" for Hueth. "I saw I could make my Colgate career anything I wanted it to be. I learned more and I felt empowered." Hueth also joined the women's rugby team, rounding out a busy slate of extracurricular activities.
Music (Chorus and Chamber Singers), Russian Club (exotic dinners at her apartment), Newman Community (volunteering at a soup kitchen, work on the Nazareth Farm in West Virginia), economics tutoring ("I got to write on the board") and work in the Cooley Science Library ("I don't have an aversion to science, I'm just not very good at it") were all part of a very full whole.
The next step for Hueth is a giant one -- all the way to Senegal, where she will serve in the Peace Corps.
"I had no idea about long-term goals, though I was pretty sure I didn't want to settle down in a big job on Wall Street." Instead she will be a business advisor. "Exactly what that will entail, I won't know until I get there," said Hueth, whose thesis was on African debt to America. "The Peace Corps will tie together a lot of the issues I've studied."
Lara Hueth was beaming throughout commencement weekend. Of course, she had plenty to smile about.
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