The Colgate Scene
May 2006

Taking it all in

[Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Dahlia Rizk '08 is living the sophomore-year experience, and she says it is changing her life. At Democracy Dinners she has met professors who challenge her to articulate her views. And on the spring break NGO trip to Washington, D.C., she was exposed to many different approaches to philanthropy, which, she said, has helped her weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each.

"My interest, as an international relations major, is in seeing how people and governments make decisions, and how society and government balance off of one another. At a think tank, you can get beyond the first level of activism to research how to apply those principles in a practical way. But organizations at the grassroots level are perhaps better able to identify the needs of the community."

At the Ashoka Foundation, Rizk and her fellow students also learned about social entrepreneurship, which, as she wrote in her trip journal, "seems extremely effective because it focuses on the power of the innovation of the individual, but at the same time promotes systemic change."

Rizk, who was born in Egypt and speaks fluent French, Arabic, and English, plans to further explore these differences through a summer internship in D.C., through Colgate's Watson Fellowship for Career Planning. What she learns will help her choose the future courses she will take, as well as how she will spend her extracurricular time. Presently, she is active in the Progressive Students Organization and Amnesty International, whose office she visited while in D.C. She will attend the Dijon Study Group next spring.

"Before, I thought nonprofit work meant volunteering. Now I see that it's much more nuanced; it's something you study. It involves so many different disciplines: political science, economics, sociology, reaching across international borders, languages, and more."

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