Four Years of Great Work

Find out more about the Class of 2014's accomplishments.

Members of the Class of 2014 have accomplished a lot during their time on campus, and we mean a lot! Find out more about some of the accomplishments and experiences of this year’s graduating class.

For more information on 2014 Commencement, check out our Commencement preview or visit the Commencement webpage.

Athletics and Academics


Andrew Bellis ’14 has made his mark both on and off of the soccer field. Known as an outstanding athlete by his teammates, the political science and philosophy double major is also distinguished for his work in the classroom. He even found the time to take on leadership positions through the Eisenhower Institute, the Garthwait Leadership Center, and his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. For these accomplishments, he was named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

“Gettysburg has offered me the chance to pursue a variety of interests. This diversity enabled me to grow as an individual and as part of a community. Finding a balance between those two parts has been my greatest takeaway from my Gettysburg career,” Bellis said. “Gettysburg instills in each of us a sense of community that we can take with us wherever we go for whatever we do.”

Bellis will be attending Duke Law School in the fall.

Read more about his story.

Mellon Summer Research

Griffiths Earning a Mellon Grant to conduct research during the summer of 2012, French major Joshua Griffiths ’14 examined linguistic differences between gay men in rural and urban areas of Pennsylvania. He worked with Africana studies professor Jennifer Bloomquist, who originally sparked his interest in linguistic studies during his First-Year Seminar.

“When I first came to Gettysburg, I thought that I wanted to be a high school French and English teacher,” Griffiths said. “That plan quickly went out the window because of my seminar with Dr. Bloomquist. [When I] told her that I was interested in conducting more research in linguistics, she encouraged me to apply for a Mellon Grant.”

This research inspired Griffiths to continue studying this field. He will be attending the University of Texas – Austin, pursuing a PhD. in French linguistics.

“It's crazy to think that my future was completely reshaped because of one influential course and one influential professor here at Gettysburg.”

Read more about his story.

Original Research through Social Justice


Aleksandra Petkova ’14 has had multiple opportunities to conduct original research. As a psychology and mathematics double major, her research often centers around issues of marginalization, pairing with an interest in social justice that she further explores through her work with the Center for Public Service. As a first-year student, she participated in a Heston Summer Experience which enabled her to work with migrant families in the Adams County community. The following summer she was a Mellon Scholar researching teenage Muslim identity in the United States.

“I cannot thank my psychology and math professors enough for helping me discover my passion for research, as well as for guiding me through every step of the application process. I feel prepared to jump straight into a PhD program because I have had a myriad of opportunities on campus to engage in original research in psychology.”

Petkova plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh for their Ph.D. program in Clinical/Developmental Psychology.

Read about her Heston Summer Experience, her Mellon Summer Scholar experience, and the impact she has had through her work with the Center for Public Service.

Service through Sports

LooneyDuring Memorial Weekend 2012, members of the Women’s Soccer team traveled to Marseilles, France, in order to participate in a service opportunity centered around the “universal language of soccer.” Organized by health sciences major Colleen Looney ’14 and members of the U.S.S. Gettysburg, which was stationed off of the cost of France, the soccer team collected soccer equipment to donate to underprivileged areas in Marseilles.

While Looney was moved to see the ways in which a game of soccer could bring people across the world together, the experience made her aware of the care athletes receive on campus.

“Reflecting on this experience has made me so grateful for the support the athletic department gives all the student athletes. Without the donations from the equipment room and encouragement from the coaching staff, this project would not have been possible. The unconditional support student athletes have at Gettysburg is truly unique and something to be appreciated.”

After graduation, Looney will be pursuing of M.S. in Exercise Science at Appalachian State University.

Read more about her story.

Experiential Education


A student facilitator with the Gettysburg Recreation Activity Board (GRAB), Jess Jozwik ’14 has had plenty of opportunities to develop leadership skills through experiences that push her outside of her comfort zone.

The environmental studies major attributes her experiences on the GRAB staff as the reason she was offered a fellowship position with Princeton University to teach English in Yakage, Japan next year.

According to Jozwik, “GRAB has impacted my Gettysburg experience in ways that I couldn't possibly articulate. I've seen a lot of personal growth in terms of confidence, assertiveness, and willingness to try new things and push myself beyond my comfort zone. I think the nature of what GRAB does--pushes you emotionally, mentally, physically--really allows you to get close to people. You depend on them often, but they depend on you and come to you as well.”

Read more about her story.

Passion for Politics


David Wemer ’14 exemplifies the meaning of a liberal arts education. As a history major, Wemer became interested in politics through his work with the Eisenhower Institute. He was able to take courses in economics, politics, and international relations, which helped him focus his research analyzing Polish-Ukraine relations post-World War II as part of the Mellon Summer Scholars program. Another paper he wrote on the economic policies of Vladimir Meciar in independent Slovakia received the competitive Raymond J. Cunningham Prize, awarded by the American Historical Association.

“College is about testing things and finding what you like and don’t like. I think I’ve always known that I had it in me to effect policy in some way. Working at EI showed me how—that it was possible.  I want to heed that call,” Wemer said.

After graduation, he plans on continuing his education in diplomacy and work in foreign politics.

Read more about his research as a Mellon Summer Scholar, his award winning paper, and his Gettysburg experience.

Musical Connections

Yealy During the 2013 – 2014 winter break, Sunderman Conservatory students were offered the opportunity to perform on their East Meets West concert tour in China. Music education major Jennifer Yealy ’14 signed on for the chance to travel and meet new people, but wasn’t expecting the experience to connect with her academic courses as well.

“I think one of the biggest things that I take back is the language barrier and [finding ways to come] across that,” Yealy said. “I’m student teaching and we have a lot of students who are English Language Learners. They are coming in and they are struggling. I feel that I understand a little bit better how they are struggling and maybe can empathize a little bit more with them.”

Yealy plans to pursue a career in music education.

Learn more about her experience; watch the video.

Lessons in Leadership

Gilmore Through his position as Leadership Mentor (LM) at the Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC), David Gilmore ’14 helped develop the Dream Team workshop series, holding its inaugural program during the Fall 2011 semester.

Based off of Patrick Lencioni's "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable," the health sciences major worked with other LMs and GLC director Andy Hughes to create a series of workshops that would enable other students to be better leaders and team players.

Gilmore plans to attend physician assistant school.

Read more about his involvement with the GLC.

Art Exploration


Majoring in both art history and English, Emily Francisco ’14 has had countless opportunities to pursue her academic interests. From interning at the Gettysburg Review and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to curating an Andy Warhol art exhibit on campus, Francisco has had a wealth of opportunities to help her determine what career path she wants to pursue upon graduation.

“Working on the Andy Warhol show gave me a glimpse of the kind of research professional art curators do for a living,” Francisco said. “It also allowed me to gain experiences in exhibition planning and public relations. Between the Warhol project, having summer internships, studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and my art history coursework, Gettysburg College and its resources have been integral in helping me shape what I want to do in the museum field.”

Francisco will be will be attending Syracuse University in the fall for and M.A. in art history and museum studies.

Read more about her story.

Historical Immersion


History major Avery Lentz ’14 spent the summer of 2013 interning at the Gettysburg National Military Park as part of the Civil War Institute’s Pohanka Internship Program. Fully immersed in Civil War history, Lentz discovered that he has ancestors who served both the Union and the Confederacy.

“It is very interesting for me to have ancestors on the Confederate side of the war,” Lentz wrote in The Gettysburg Compiler. “I can claim that I have a Pennsylvania Bucktail and a North Carolina Tarheel in my family history, both of whom fought at Gettysburg.”

Lentz plans to work in the public history field.

Read more about his internship and family history.

Analyzing the Food Gap


Working with the Center for Public Service during the summer of 2013, Helena Yang ’14 researched issues of food sustainability in Adams County. Specifically, the health sciences and public policy double major examined a food voucher program from families who fall within the “food gap” – making too much money for food stamps, but too poor to afford healthy food options.

“What I learned through my time working with food insecure families is that you can’t solve the problem [of food insecurity] by giving someone a voucher for food. There needs to be a system around it – you need to pair healthy food choices with a healthy lifestyle.”

She plans on attending graduate school in the fall to continue her education in public health.

Read more about her research on food sustainability.

Article by: Kasey Varner '14, communications & marketing intern

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Sat, 17 May 2014

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