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Skidmore College

Throwback Thursday: Senior reflections

May 22, 2017

Members of the Class of 2017 look back on their favorite memories from the last four years at Skidmore College.

Skidmore fall leaves
Katelyn Leong will miss Skidmore's fall foliage after graudation

Katelyn Leong '17

Major: business
Minor: Japanese
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Asian Cultural Awareness; International Student Union; Japanese language tutor
Favorite Memory: There are a couple of standouts, but one of the most memorable would have to be whenever therapy dogs are brought onto campus.
What will you miss most?The beautiful fall leaves. I live in the tropics, so being at Skidmore was the first time I got to see them for myself. I'll also miss the wonderful professors that I've had, as well as the people I've gotten to know here.
How has Skidmore shaped you? It's made me so much more open-minded than I used to be. I will admit that I was not the most open-minded person when I first came to Skidmore, but after four years of being here, I realized how important it is to accept and embrace diversity in all forms. It's also given me an understanding of what it's like to be a student in a liberal arts college in a small town; this was a drastic change for me, since I come from a major metropolitan city on the other side of the world. In addition, the classes here have challenged and encouraged me to be a creative thinker, something that I know will definitely be useful in the future.

Skidmore Outing Club
Skidmore's Outing Club helped shape Gabe Snider's college experience

Gabe Snider '17

Major: environmental science
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Outing Club
Favorite Memory: Way too many memories to go through and pick out my favorite.
What will you miss most? Hands down, the thing I'll miss the most is living so close to my best friends.
How has Skidmore shaped you? Being at Skidmore taught me to be more attentive of other people's needs and feelings. Learning to solve problems and hold conversations in different environments has really taught me to look at everything through different perspectives.

Isabella Bennett
Isabella Bennett mentored a Saratoga teen while at Skidmore

Isabella Bennett '17

Major: environmental studies
Minor: geosciences
Extra-Curiccular Activities: President of Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club; peer mentor; three-time study abroad participant—London freshman year, Iceland for the summer after sophomore year, and junior spring in New Zealand with Frontiers Abroad studying geology
Favorite Memory: My GE 101 course took a field trip to all of the local springs, and then another to do stream gauging in the Kayaderosseras creek, and that is pretty much when I realized that I needed to study geology. That realization has really changed my entire life and outlook on life because I am just so hyped about rocks.
What will you miss most? I will miss having all of my friends within a 10-minute walk. I already miss classes and that my only job here has really been to learn and grow myself. That’s a pretty amazing privilege—to spend seven to eight months every year for four years just learning and furthering your own knowledge. I’m really grateful for that opportunity and for all of the professors that I’ve had during my time here. I’ve been so inspired every semester by the professors that I’ve had and the opportunity to learn from and get to know, and I’m really grateful for those relationships. I will also miss the opportunity to continue to form those relationships and continue to learn and follow my own curiosity. I’m going to miss being in an academic environment.
How has Skidmore shaped you? I learned here that I am a total nerd. I’ve grown a ton in the past four years, and Skidmore has been a pretty safe place to do that. The people that I have met here have really helped me to be more aware and to recognize the areas of myself that I need to grow or expand. I am definitely ready to get out into the world and apply all of the things that I’ve learned and hopefully have a positive impact. I think that the study abroad experiences that I’ve had with the help of Skidmore have really made me feel comfortable jumping into the world, taking chances, and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to follow my ultimate passion for geology.

Perri Keehn at student art show
Perri Keehn at the 2017 Senior At Show 

Perri Keehn '17

Major: biology
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Peer Health Educator
Favorite Memory: One of my favorite memories at Skidmore was walking in the North Woods for the first time and discovering all of the cool swings, teepees, and decorations that Skidmore students put in the trails.
What will you miss most? I will miss the warm days when I would come out of the library and see so many friendly and happy people sitting on the green and Case walkway socializing and enjoying the sunshine.


Olivia Roth '17

Major: dance and business double major
Minor: art administration
Favorite Memory: My favorite memory from my time at Skidmore was learning and performing my Dance Capstone solo. I had the opportunity to work with an outside professional choreographer who I have looked up to and admired for years. The solo I performed was technically and emotionally challenging, making it the perfect culmination of my studies here. Experiencing the work on stage made me realize how much I have grown throughout the past four years and was representative of all that I have accomplished and gained through my Skidmore education.
What will you miss most? I will miss the unconditional and overwhelming support of my professors and peers in both the business and dance departments. I will miss dancing all day every day with my best friends in the most beautiful studios accompanied by talented musicians. I will also miss living in a little village with fellow Skidmore students and being a part of such a close-knit community.
How has Skidmore shaped you? My education and experiences at Skidmore have helped me to mature into a well-rounded and versatile individual. I have gained the confidence I needed to take ownership of my work as an artist and scholar, learning to value the importance of creativity and collaboration along the way.

Skidmore's Ultimate Frisbee team

Harry Sultan '17

Major: psychology
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Ultimate Frisbee
Favorite Memory: During a summer session that I was here between my junior and senior years, my friends and I would go to the river almost every day. We would just sit back in the water on some floaties and not a care in the world. Being able to do that while also working on my class studies was pretty great.
What will you miss most? Definitely some of the professors and a lot of the people I’ve met here. I was able to form really strong relationships with a few of my professors, extending even outside of my major. I will definitely miss having them to bounce ideas off of, but I know that they’re only an email away.
How has Skidmore shaped you? Well, I came to Skidmore with no facial hair, and am graduating with a beard, so I think that’s a pretty big one. But in all seriousness, I found my passion for audio documentary production at Skidmore, and I don’t know if I would have found that anywhere else.

Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs was a formative part of Emma Brand's Skidmore experience

Emma Brand '17

Major: neurosceince
Extra-Curiccular Activities: research assistanct, peer mentor
Favorite Memory: This one is hard, but I think that the friends I met here will be my friends for life, and everything I did with them is ingrained in my memory. From hanging out by the pond, attending concerts and parties, apple picking, family dinners, walks into town, studying at Uncommon Grounds and Coffee Traders, and just being together. It’s going to be surreal leaving them because they've been my life for the past at least three years, some of them for four years. I don't really know what I will do without seeing their faces every day. But every moment I spent with them would qualify as my favorite.
What will you miss most? I will really miss the intellectual environment here at Skidmore. I'm sure I will be hard-pressed to find a place full of bright and motivated people just trying to learn. Skidmore is definitely a bubble in that sense. I learned from everyone here, the students and professors alike. It will be hard to move on from the sense of community here.
How has Skidmore shaped you? Skidmore has definitely changed me for the better. It has taught me who I want to let in my life, who to aspire to, what to aspire to, how to think, how to research. I think these things will never leave me, nor do I hope they will. They have allowed me to grow into who I want to become. It wasn't easy, but I am forever grateful and excited to see where else I will go.

Tan gMuseum at Skidmore College
Ellie Rochman created an alternative tour of the Tang Museum for her senior project

Eleanor Rochman '17

Major: art history
Minor: studio art
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Skidmore News Arts & Entertainment editor; independent study in landscape architecture theory and design: The Alternative Tour of Skidmore
Favorite memory? I just recently had a very touching experience with two friends—a conversation I will never forget. The three of us stayed up until dawn discussing what life would be like after Skidmore, but eventually we shared intimate information about our personal lives. One life in particular, however, was the focus of the night; our international friend from Pakistan. Talking about what happens next for him was very different than for us (two Americans holding the right and privilege to live and find work in a country that automatically grants us freedom of citizenship). But for our international friend, he doesn’t have these rights. Finding job security and having the capability to fund life abroad is extremely difficult and in some ways, he expressed to us, detrimental to one’s sense of worth in America because he has to prove that he is “good enough” or “American enough.” And so he has decided to go back home where the opportunities are less, but at least he will not be constantly fighting a system infected with prejudice against immigrants. However, he said something in the end about Skidmore, about how precious his time was here, that made me realize how much I took it for granted. He said, “Skidmore is something they can never take away from me.” It is an experience that will always be part of him, and I thank him for letting me into his life and opening my eyes to how extraordinary it is to have had this opportunity.
What will you miss most? I will miss the gorgeous sunny days spent with friends and that sweet smell of Saratoga Springs.
How has Skidmore shaped you? Skidmore has shaped my interests, my passions, and keeps reminding me that I always will have so much more to learn.

Skidmore's outdoor pre-orientation porgram
Skidmore's outdoor pre-oreintation program helped Anna kickoff college right

Anna Lowenstein '17

Major: psychology
Minor: education studies and studio art
Extra-Curiccular Activities:Pre-orientation peer advisor for incoming students; vice president of Treblemakers; research assistant in the Social Cognition Intergroup Dynamics Lab; member of Hillel
Favorite memory? One of my (many) favorite memories from my time at Skidmore is SCOOP [Skidmore College Outdoor Orientation Program] freshman year! From the moment I stepped foot onto the Sagamore-bound bus, I knew my next four years were going to be filled with laughter, good times, and super cool people. Looking back on this experience, I could not have asked for a better way to jump into college. Also, at the time, I had no idea that I would walk away from this four day hiking/canoeing trip with lifelong friends.
What will you miss most? I’m going to miss a lot of things about Skidmore, but what I am going to miss most is living within such close proximity to my friends. I’m going to miss being able to leave my own apartment and be comfortably situated in a friend's living room within minutes.
How has Skidmore shaped you? Skidmore has shaped me into the person I am today through providing me with the space I needed to grow and mature, discover new passions, and step outside my comfort zone. This school—in addition to its faculty, staff, and other students—have opened my eyes and mind to new perspectives and different ways of thinking. I feel so grateful to have been able to spend four years in such an impactful and inspiring place.

Studio art at Skidmore
Madeleine Welsch spent her formative time in Skidmore's art studios

Madeleine Welsch '17

Major: Studio art with concentrations in communication design, drawing, and digital media
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Digital media assistant at the Tang, and Comm Design TA.; Outing Club leader; co-host on a radio show on WSPN called ArtAttack!
Favorite memory? I have so many amazing memories from Skidmore: having ABBA dance parties in my freshman-year dorm room, cooking with my housemates, and the crazy moments of laughter/desperation from all-nighters in the studio. But one of my favorite memories from Skidmore will always be those of SCOOP. I've led SCOOP for three years, and it's been such a great way to begin each new semester and make lasting friendships with incoming students.
What will you miss most? I'm really going to miss being in proximity to so many talented, thoughtful, and exciting people. One of the coolest things about Skidmore is the sheer variety of what my friends are studying. As an artist, it's valuable to be surrounded by people who are interested in something totally different than what I do, like neuroscience, business, or dance. It leads to really awesome discussions.
How has Skidmore shaped you? I'm so incredibly grateful for the opportunities I've found at and around this campus. Because of Skidmore, I've been able to work as a studio assistant in Brooklyn, carry out self-initiated and collaborative projects, travel to some fantastic places, and even complete my first artist residency. Skidmore has made me a more thoughtful and determined artist and (I hope) a better person in general. Another awesome thing Skidmore has given me is my love for hiking! I'd always been interested in nature before coming here, but I'd never really hiked until joining the Outing Club. This year, I even got to co-lead a trip to Death Valley National Park (funded by our awesome SGA) with a group of eight students.

Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College
Lean Schwaikert took full advantage of Skidmore's facilities such as the Zankel Music Center

Leah Schwaikert '17

Major: Management and business
Minor: arts administration and music
Extra-Curiccular Activities: Event supervisor at the Arthur Zankel Music Center
Favorite memory? My favorite memory of my time at Skidmore would definitely be studying abroad in Paris. It’s too difficult to choose one memory in particular, but it was a life-changing experience to live in a foreign city for a semester. There was something so special about having Paris as my “college campus,” while simultaneously learning about the city’s rich history and culture.
What will you miss most? I’ll definitely miss the people. My Skidmore experience would not have been the same without the friends I have made and the faculty/staff who have motivated and guided me through the last four years.
How has Skidmore shaped you? I was unsure of what I wanted to study when I first came to Skidmore. I only knew that I loved playing the flute, but did not know how to turn that interest into a career that wasn’t flute performance. Thanks to the faculty who guided me in the right direction, I ended up taking arts administration courses, and found a subject (and ultimately a career path) that allowed me to build upon my love for the performing arts.

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