In episode 13, President Bob Iuliano and three members of the Class of 2020—Darby Nisbett, Jason Sinsheimer, and Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz—define what it means to be a “Gettysburgian” by reflecting on their time at Gettysburg College, sharing the lessons they learned, memories of the people and moments that shaped them, and more.
In Episode 13 of Conversations Beneath the Cupola, podcast host, Gettysburg College President Robert W. Iuliano, is joined by three members of the Class of 2020—Darby Nisbett, Jason Sinsheimer, and Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz. Iuliano asks the graduates to define what it means to be a “Gettysburgian” by reflecting on their time at Gettysburg College, sharing the lessons they learned, memories of the people and moments that shaped them, and more.
The episode begins with the graduates reflecting on their takeaways from the transition to remote learning during the spring semester, which was prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They discuss the challenges it presented, such as balancing the demands of homelife and schoolwork and being outside the residential learning environment, but also several positives, including the support of their dedicated faculty and the opportunity to learn to be more flexible. As the conversation continues, all three students agree that community is a special component of a Gettysburg College experience, and while remote learning has temporarily put a hold on in-person gatherings, the sense of community remains. They then reflect on the faculty members and courses they took at Gettysburg that had the greatest influence on them.
Later in the episode, the graduates share their advice to the incoming class of 2024: learn as much as you can, but don’t forget to have fun; step outside of your comfort zone; and seek out mentors.
The episode concludes with an anecdotal “Slice of Life” told from the president’s perspective.
Iuliano uses this moment to congratulate the Class of 2020 for their perseverance and accomplishments during their time at Gettysburg. While the entire College community cannot wait to celebrate graduates in person in October, Iuliano highlights the happenings of the Senior Celebration that will be held on May 17 to commemorate the Class of 2020’s original Commencement date.
Guests featured in this episode
Darby Nisbett ’20, psychology and studio art double major, and peace and justice studies minor
Jason Sinsheimer ’20, history major
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz ’20, political science and public policy double major
Jason Sinsheimer: I think being a Gettysburgian, obviously you’re doing great work, you’re part of this community. But, in my mind, it’s becoming a part of something much bigger than just yourself.
President Bob Iuliano: Hi, and welcome to Conversations Beneath the Cupola, a Gettysburg College podcast. I’m Bob Iuliano, president of the college, and your host.
President Bob Iuliano: As we record this, one of the more unusual semesters in this college’s long history has come to a close, with final exams concluding just a few days ago. The end of any academic year offers a time for both reflection and celebration, and today’s podcast is designed to do both. Joining me today are three remarkable members of the class of 2020, Darby Nisbett, Jason Sinsheimer, and Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz. They will offer thoughts on their time at Gettysburg College, sharing the lessons they learned, the people and the moments that shaped them, their post-graduate plans, and of course, how they have made sense of the last few months.
President Bob Iuliano: Well folks, welcome to this conversation, and thank you for joining in. But, most importantly, congratulations. As we’re recording this, you have all completed your senior year. Exams are done, they’re in, and we’re looking forward to a senior celebration in the coming days.
President Bob Iuliano: Let’s start, if we can, by just acknowledging that this was not the end of the year that any of you could have predicted, and my guess is it wouldn’t have been your choice about the way to have ended the academic year, much less your senior year. What lessons do you draw from this? That is, what do you feel like you found as challenges, what did you think you’ve found as opportunities to learn something more about yourself, perhaps? So, what do you guys make of the last couple of months, in particular, as they relate to your activities as students?
Darby Nisbett: So, I think I’ve learned the value of flexibility, for sure. I’m a double major, and both of my capstones are this semester. So, both of my capstones were disrupted, so learning how to make those work with these circumstances definitely took up, I think, the most of my last several weeks on campus. Or, not on campus, here at home. I had to change how I did my research, or change how I completed my art projects, so it really pushed me to grow. Just, how can I look at research, how can I look at my projects, and make them adapt to whatever situation I’m in, Which is, I’m sure, a great skill moving forward.
President Bob Iuliano: Darby, do you see that as a lasting change in the way that you approach work, or is it too early to tell?
Darby Nisbett: It’s probably a bit too early to tell, but I already know my graduate school classes that I’m starting this summer will be online as well, so I’m sure that will be lessons that I continue to learn, and that will help me grow even further. But, I have a good foundation for it now.
President Bob Iuliano: Jason or Jazmin, how do you reflect on the last couple of months?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, for me, I felt that establishing a routine was very important. Because in college, we’re all used to getting up, having a cup of coffee, going to your classes. Then, going to the library, doing all your work. Being at home, it’s hard to, of course, establish a similar routine, and getting all your work done, and everything. For me, that was important. I also took my senior history major seminar this semester, and we had to write a pretty lengthy research paper, so for me, waking up early, establishing a routine, and working everyday on that was important.
Jason Sinsheimer: In terms of the online classes and Zoom, I felt that the professors were very flexible, and flexibility was important, like Darby said. Just being very communicative with your professors, and being wiling to seek out help when you need it is important. We’re lucky that we have a lot of great professors at our school that are flexible, and willing to help students, so seeking help when you need it is important.
President Bob Iuliano: Jazmin, how about you? As you reflect over these last couple of months, particularly relative to the rest of your time at the college, what do you make of it all?
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: I faced a lot of challenges, because unlike Jason, I’ve always been very structured and disciplined. For me, being on campus, I do believe that it really helps with maintaining that routine, but I’ve always been a morning person. It sounds a little bit weird, but I always plan out my day, so I plan the day the night before. So for me, what was really difficult was the fact that I would plan something out, but my family would not be mindful of the plan. So I would have to constantly just change my plan, or rearrange things, so I had to be flexible.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: The other component to that is that my family were first generation, so interesting enough, sometimes they don’t understand how different the education in America is, to the education in the Dominican Republic, which is where we’re from. So, there would be days that they would just complain, and say, “Oh, you never do anything around the house.” I would explain, “Hey, this is pending, I have to focus on this.” It was just constantly reminding them, “Hey, I’m not on a vacation, I’m still in school, I have to get things done.” So, my mindset was there, I was still motivated, but I was just constantly struggling, trying to finish the work while making sure that I was also pleasing my family, making sure I was helping them out as well.
President Bob Iuliano: Jazmin, that is an answer that I have heard from many students, who said that it wasn’t just the structure that Jason and I were talking about, but it was just the changed set of expectations. That, when you’re here, some people have campus jobs, of course, and they’re attending to a lot of competing demands on their time, but there’s sort of a commonality of experience that is brought about by virtue of being on campus. But, when you disperse from campus, everyone’s life circumstances are wildly different, and it was the variables of their home environment that end up having a profound impact on their ability to engage with the academic material as fully as they would like to. I completely understand that.
President Bob Iuliano: Let’s change gears, if we can. In part, we’ve gone a little bit at this. This place has been very much, at least in my experience, about a special nature of community, a sense of what brings us together, helping to define the place. Do you guys agree with that? Am I reading the campus right, that this has a special sense of community? If so, how have you found that, in the absence of being on campus? And, how would you define that special sense of community? Again, if you think that’s right.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Okay, when I was on campus I would constantly hear people say things like, “Oh, there’s a sense of community at Gettysburg.” I would, oddly, not feel it. I would like I was on my own, because in college, it’s not like high school. In high school, professors hold your hands. In college, it’s very, very different. So I would often hear, oh sense of community, but I just wouldn’t really feel it, I wouldn’t really think about it.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Yesterday, I was actually texting one of my mentors because I was really, really sad, and I realized wow, now I feel it. Now that I’m away from the community, I really feel it. The reason why I texted the mentor is because I was actually working on some things for grad school, and then I realized okay, I can no longer go to this person, or that person. Then, it hit me how, at Gettysburg, I had my support group, I had people that I could go to for advice, or I could go to, to talk about something that I found interesting during that day, or during a reading or something. Then I realized, I don’t have that.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: I mean, it’s there at Gettysburg, and I could still reach out, but I realized wow, that’s probably what people mean by sense of community. So, when I reached out to my mentor I realized, okay, that’s another component. The sense of yes, it’s there physically at Gettysburg, but it doesn’t stop being a community once you leave Gettysburg. Then I realized, okay wow, I do have community, and I am a part of it.
President Bob Iuliano: I think you will find ... Again, you guys have been around this campus longer than I have. You guys are four year veterans, I’m a one year veteran. I want to just underscore the point, Jazmin, I think it has an enduring aspect to it. It’s not just for the people who are here while they’re students, I think that connection remains as strong as you want it to. Part of it is staying in touch with your mentor, staying in touch with your friends.
President Bob Iuliano: Jason, from your perspective, what defines being a Gettysburgian? What does it mean to be part of this community?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, that’s a good question. Obviously, Gettysburg has a slogan, or we like to say we do great work, but I feel like being a Gettysburgian, it encompasses much more than that. In the sense that, like Jazmin was saying, and how you were saying, we do indeed foster a sense of tightly knit community. That’s something that’s distinctive, I feel, about Gettysburg, and being a Gettysburgian, you’re privileged in being a part of that.
Jason Sinsheimer: I think being a Gettysburgian, obviously, you’re doing great work, you’re a part of this community. But, in my mind, it’s becoming a part of something much bigger than just yourself. That’s obviously something that a community does for you, but what I mean by that is actively pursuing something, to join a group, or join something you can’t just do individually. Becoming a collaborator, and just joining something that puts you out of your comfort zone, and embracing the environment around you is something that a Gettysburgian does.
President Bob Iuliano: I like that answer a lot, in part because it’s my sense of the place. That, every institution has its own DNA, and that DNA is established, at least in part, by its history. I think our history is a little bit about getting yourself out there, working together towards something that’s bigger than yourself. I mean, there are not many institutions that sit in such an important moment in American life as this institution does. I think it can’t help but influence the way we think of who we are, and where we’re trying to go. I see it in our students, and your answer, I think, reflects that.
President Bob Iuliano: Darby, what about you, what has it meant to you to be part of this community?
Darby Nisbett: So, everything that has been said already, but I also think there’s a certain, I guess, vivaciousness is probably the right word. There’s an urgency, I think, among many of the students to do more, make a bigger difference. Of course, we’re not perfect, there are always things we can improve, but I think there are so many people who work really hard to find ways that they can make differences, and can improve the experiences of different groups of people. So, that sense of responsibility, and really strong desire to make a difference, has been something that’s really punctuated my experience as a Gettysburgian, and something that I’m proud to tell people when I say I went to Gettysburg College.
President Bob Iuliano: A good education changes you, it changes you in ways that sometimes are obvious, and sometimes are not obvious. As you all get ready to graduate on Sunday, you actually get your degrees on Sunday, the diplomas are different. You get your degrees on Sunday, all three students are smiling I should note.
President Bob Iuliano: How have you changed? Has there been an event that you would give as an illustration, as one of those moments that really caused you to see the world in a different way? Jason, I’ve called on each of your other colleagues to lead the conversation once, would you be willing to take a stab at this?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yes. Are you referring to a transformational class, or just an experience?
President Bob Iuliano: An experience, or a class, or a person. Jazmin was talking about a mentor. How have you changed, and how did that change come about?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah. When I first came to Gettysburg, I came from New York City so the environment, of course, is very foreign to me. Arriving at Gettysburg the first semester was tough, in the aspect of just trying to fit in, and finding a group of people, doing new things that I wouldn’t otherwise do, so that was tough. So, adjusting was a challenge, but I felt that I had to stick with it, and I was very proud that I did that. And, that I took many interesting classes.
Jason Sinsheimer: One of the strengths of Gettysburg, I feel, is the liberal arts education, and that we’re exposed to a wide breadth of academic discipline, and you get to really discover what you like, and what you don’t like. That helps you find what you’re passionate about, and that’s ultimately what made me choose my history major. Because I’d always had a very strong interesting in writing, and exploring my research skills, and stuff like that, that’s why the major was appealing to me, because I enjoyed writing. I felt taking the major, and taking a lot of classes in that would allow me to prove that.
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, I’ve taken many great classes in the history major, but this semester I took an individualized research tutorial with Professor Bowman from the history department. Although this wasn’t a typical history class, I had taken history classes before with Professor Bowman, he’s my advisor, and we both have a common interest in soccer. Or, football, how we like to call it. I wanted to combine my interests in football, sports management, sports history, and business, and through developing a close working relationship with him, I was able to engage in this individualized study. We met once a week throughout the whole semester, even through the pandemic we would still meet once a week on Zoom. It was a profound experience in that I was able to discover new things that I’m interested in, that I otherwise wouldn’t have.
Jason Sinsheimer: The one on one attention that I received from Professor Bowman, and his dedication to my learning was great because I was really able to discover my own self, and figure out that I like sports management, and sports business is something that I’m interested in. That was a transformational experience.
President Bob Iuliano: Jason, you just give the best articulation of why a liberal arts college, and why this college, that I’ve heard. I’m just going to take it all, and just repeat it to parents when they ask me, “Should my kid go to get a liberal arts education?” Because it is about that close mentorship, Jazmin talked about that. It’s about the breadth of the curriculum, the opportunity to get to know yourself a little bit better.
President Bob Iuliano: Darby, what about you? As you think about your four years, I’m assuming you leave a different person than you came in? How has Gettysburg helped you along that path?
Darby Nisbett: Of course, there have been several classes that have had a really big impact on me, but I would say the after effect of my first year seminar has permanently changed the path of my career. Going into college, I thought I was going to be an art therapist, but then my first year seminar professor in the spring semester, after the class, sent my name to the library as someone they thought would be a good candidate for the peer research mentor position in the library. I ended up getting the job, absolutely fell in love with library science, librarianship, so now I’ll be pursuing my masters of library and information science, to become a librarian.
Darby Nisbett: Had I not taken that first year seminar, four years ago, and gotten to know that professor, she never would have seen something in me to forward my name. I was just this amazing domino effect that completely altered the path of what I thought I wanted to do, and showed me my true passion. It wasn’t necessarily something I learned in the class, but just that experience and opportunity forever changed my life.
President Bob Iuliano: Again, I think the part of a whole collegiate experience is that you learn not just in the classroom.
Darby Nisbett: Exactly.
President Bob Iuliano: You learn in 1,000 different forms about who you are, and what inspires you, what excites you. But, I congratulate you both for finding something that excites you Darby, but also being open to it. Because it can be easy, sometimes, to say, “I’m coming to college, I have my blinders on, this is what I’m going to do.” But, you opened yourself up to a broader horizon, and found something that spoke to you. That, I think, is incredibly encouraging.
President Bob Iuliano: Jazmin, your thoughts about these four years, and how you leave the college?
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Yes. There are four classes that have made such a big impact on me.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Well, I just took, this semester, a class, it’s a religion class, or a religion course. It focused on the competing narratives between Arabs and Jews, or Israelis and Palestinians more specifically. I really enjoyed this class because I’ve always been a big nerd. I remember when I was in high school, I would constantly get into debates with people that just never seemed to care, or knew much about the situation, so I really enjoyed this class. You may not know, but I’m someone that I like to hear two sides to every story. We all have our biases, and I recognize my own. In this class, I found myself really understanding not only the side that I am biased towards, but just understanding the other side as well.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Then, I had these three other course, and one of them was in my major, political science. I loved this course because it was challenging. I’m someone that I love to challenge myself, because I like to be the best version of myself. So, I took this last semester I think, my fall semester 2019. What I loved about it was that it was for my capstone, but it was so complicated, it was just so complex. It was also on religion, ironically, but what I liked about it is that the professor allows me to be who I am. I’m someone that I just don’t take things at face value, I like to put things together like a puzzle.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: So what I liked about this class is that not only did I have to do readings on top of my capstone to really get a big picture, I liked that there were writing assignments where I had to draw the picture. I had to do this on my own, it wasn’t simple in the way that it was, “This is the lecture, I’m putting the picture for you.” It was like, “No, this is the information, and I need you to do that.” I liked that because I like ambiguity, I like to just write and see where my words, or where my mind takes me. So, I really, really enjoyed that class. And of course, I also find religion interesting, so I’m like perfect.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Then, the last two classes, the other one was more focused on legal writing. I loved it because I like to ... Like I said, I like to improve myself, but in this class I took it specifically because I wanted it to prepare me for law school, which I will be attending in the fall. I just loved it so much, because again, it prepared me but also it was just that constant belief. I really liked that all my professors at Gettysburg, I feel like they believe more in me than I do in myself, so I really enjoyed it. I surprised myself, too. I thought I would just get a C in this class because I heard it was hard, but I didn’t get a C. I was like great, I was really thrilled.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: The last class that I took, ... I’m actually drawing a blank, so let’s go with these three courses that I can think of at the moment.
President Bob Iuliano: Talk about great life skills, looking at issues from multiple sides, drawing your own conclusions from facts. Again, I don’t think a good education tries to give you the answer, a good education tries to give you the tools to figure out the answer. Darby, you’re going to go into a profession in which that’s exactly what you’re going to do, right? You’re going to give people the resources so they can learn for themselves, what they think of a given situation. Part of your task, I think, in the library sciences world, is helping people distinguish noise from signal, good information from bad information.
President Bob Iuliano: Let’s go back, for a moment, to the unusual semester that we’ve just had. Has it changed your views, folks, about what you want to do? Or, the way you look at the world, in any significant ways? Or again, is it just too early to draw any profound conclusion? Darby, what do you think? Have these last couple of months, not just on campus, but as we look at the world as a whole, have they influenced what you want out of your future?
Darby Nisbett: I wouldn’t say it’s changed, but I would say it’s reinforced. Part of the reason I love working in the library is because I get to interact with students, and people from different backgrounds. Missing that, and not having that as part of my regular routine is definitely something that’s been a noticeable absence. So, just realizing how important it is to be around others, help others, that’s definitely something that is just being reinforced. We need human connection, and as much as we talk about community, it’s something that we all really miss. This has been an opportunity to realize how important others are in our lives.
President Bob Iuliano: You know, Jazmin answered earlier that she sensed the community for fully once she was away from it, while in it. One of the conversations that is going on in higher education is what does all this mean for the residential model, and I’m quite strongly of the view that the fact that we were apart is going to underscore, for most people, how important it is to be together, and how much richer the educational process is by virtue of that.
President Bob Iuliano: Jason, what about you? Have the last several months in your life, and in the world, changed the way you’re looking at your future, or what you hope for?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, it certainly has, but probably in a different way. So, I didn’t get to study abroad at Gettysburg College. Not that I didn’t get to, but I just wasn’t able to, I didn’t have enough time. So, that was one of my big regrets, and I highly recommend that everyone does that. My plan this summer was, before I would start working, was to travel a lot. Go to Europe, and just travel, and experience new cultures and places. I really can’t, obviously, do that, so I have to put that on the back burner. In that respect, my outlook has changed, I have to put that goal aside.
Jason Sinsheimer: In other terms, in terms of my career, and stuff that I’m interested professionally, I wouldn’t say it has changed, but I think I’ll have to expand my search, my job search. And, I’ll have to expand certain things, and be open to applying to different types of jobs and everything like that, because I think that I was able to gain a wide range of skills, and develop a lot of different things at Gettysburg. I feel like, reflecting on my past four years here, I have to be a little more open, and just open to new types of experiences moving forward.
President Bob Iuliano: You said a moment ago that sports management, or the business of sports is of what’s interest to you. If that’s the case, this is not the optimal time to get into the business of sports, no are sports occurring. Is that what you’re hoping to do?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, that’s definitely something that I’m interested in, after taking an individualized research study with my history professor this semester. Yeah, I’ll be looking into that.
Jason Sinsheimer: However, I’ve also really been interested in real estate in New York City. I grew up in New York City, of course, and that’s a great real estate market to be around. I just feel attached to it, because I’ve had several internship experiences in it, and I’m interested in general property development, and stuff like that, and creating communities through property development. That’s something else that I’m interested in.
President Bob Iuliano: So Jazmin, what about you? It sounds like law school is in your imminent future, congratulations. Was that so a year ago? How has this year influenced you?
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Yes. Law school’s been on my mind for two years, so [inaudible 00:25:10] had nothing to do with me making the decision. However, similar to Darby, this situation has reaffirmed my passion. I’m really passionate about immigration and criminal justice. In terms of immigration, I’m not sure if you’re all aware, but at least in New York there’s been talk about releasing ... they have been, they have released some prisoners due to COVID-19, because they’re not safe, they’re in these overcrowded cells and whatnot. So, just hearing about that in particular just, again, reinforces why I’m interested in immigration, and just that aspect of people just as people. We have these individual human rights, but also rights that, regardless of status, there are still civil rights. That really reaffirmed that passion.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Then, in terms of criminal justice, there’s also been a lot of police brutality, like in New York. There’s been so many case of police brutality, regardless of race and ethnicity. So, that also reaffirms my passion for criminal justice. If anything, I’m kind of in a bind because I’m not really sure ... I know that I still have time, but I’m not sure if I want to focus on immigration, or criminal justice. But, I’ve just been really riled up, and been really caught up in all the news, and the social activist part, while being home. That’s just where I’ve been at.
President Bob Iuliano: Let me just underscore the point you yourself made, you have time. As someone who went through law school, law school is three years. As you change during the course of college, you will also find that law school influences the way you see the world, and that question may become clearer to you by virtue of the passage of time.
President Bob Iuliano: Let me end with we’ve admitted the class of 2024. They will be walking the steps that you all have walked for the last four years, in the fall. What advice would you have for them? Darby, we’ll start with you. What advice would you have for the class of 2024?
Darby Nisbett: I would say, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Not just academically, but also personally and socially. I think all three of us can say we know how quickly things can change, so really take advantage of going to the Apple Harvest Festival, or going to participate in different Gettysburg traditions. I know that’s one thing I’ll definitely miss, is I learned so much in the classroom, but I also grew so much as a person just by getting to know different people, and participating in different activities.
Darby Nisbett: Have fun, make the most of it, and learn as much as you can. But, don’t forget that you have the rest of your life to continue learning and working, but take advantage of the fun times, also, that’s something I wish I had done more, actually.
President Bob Iuliano: Excellent. Jazmin?
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Yeah. I would suggest, or I would advise the class of 2024, to build mentorships. For me, at Gettysburg, I didn’t have too many friends, which I was completely fine. I had my really small circle, but I had so many mentors. I would suggest, okay, build a mentorship.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: And, inside the classroom, to never be afraid to participate, whether that is by asking questions, or whether that is by just, maybe, making a comment. If someone said something that they value, they agree with, just commenting because that helps us, as peers. Also, speaking your truth, or speaking up, never being afraid to say what’s on your mind. Basically, never minimizing your experience.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: In terms of outside the classroom, I would emphasize to please step out of your comfort zone. I’ve met a lot of people at Gettysburg, where they’ll have an interest in something, in whatever topic it may be, and they’ll tell me things like, “Yeah, I’m interested in this but I just never pursued it. I was never part of this club, or I was never part of that.“ Then, I would ask them, “How come?” They would be like, “I would be uncomfortable, I wouldn’t feel comfortable being in that space.” I would urge ... I just think that it’s important for us to be uncomfortable, because I think that’s part of the learning process.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: I would urge students to be uncomfortable, and once they are in spaces that they do feel comfortable, I think it’s crucial that they are active listeners, and that they just be mindful of that space. Because, that’s also part of why people would think they’re uncomfortable, or feel uncomfortable, because again, it’s an environment that they’re not used to. But, if you’re listening, and you’re being mindful, and respectful, then I think it could go a long way.
President Bob Iuliano: Excellent. A good education needs to make you a little bit uncomfortable, because a good education asks you to question your foundational assumptions about how the world work. It doesn’t ask you to change those assumptions necessarily, but it asks you to question. Whenever we question our fundamental assumptions, you get a little bit uncomfortable.
President Bob Iuliano: Jason, you have the final word on this. What advice do you have for our soon-to-be first years?
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, I think my answer is twofold. Building off what we were all talking about, getting outside of your comfort zone, that’s extremely important.
Jason Sinsheimer: I believe, I would say don’t be 100% locked in, coming into college with a major, with a minor, things that you’re definitely going to do because one of the strengths of Gettysburg is, as I previously mentioned, is that you’re exposed to a wide range of academic discipline. I think, through taking a diverse range of classes, you’ll find what you like and what you don’t like, and that’s very important. You should choose your major on what you’re most passionate about, not necessarily on what you think is best for a career path. Because, as you’ll learn after four years, you can apply a lot of the things and skills that you learn in college to so many different types of careers.
Jason Sinsheimer: The second part of my advice is to, as Jazmin was saying, is to find a mentor. Definitely work towards building close working relationships with your professors, and the people around you. I think another one of the major strengths of Gettysburg is how you’re able to become very close, and collaborate with your professors. I didn’t discover that, really, until later on, in my last year of college. That’s definitely one of the strengths, and the professors at Gettysburg are amazing, in terms of how much time they give back to their students, and how they’re so much willing to help us in achieving our goals.
Jason Sinsheimer: Yeah, I would say don’t be 100% locked in with your major, explore a wide range of things, and find what you’re most passionate about. Secondly, try your best to work with your professors, and develop close relationships because they’ll help you grow, and learn more than you thought you could learn.
President Bob Iuliano: Well, all three of you have given phenomenal advice to the class of 2024, and you leave me heartened about the future. Because you guys will be graduating into a world that, I’m fond of saying, needs people like you. The challenges in the world, whether it is in understanding information, Darby, whether it’s in immigration and criminal justice reform, Jazmin, whether it’s in sports management or building space that people can live in, and engage in constructively, those are important questions. They need people with a wide ranging capacity to think, to care about inclusivity, to care about the things that you guys have articulated. So, I am heartened by this conversation, I am optimistic of the future in your three hands.
President Bob Iuliano: Let me end by thanking you all for joining us today. I will see you virtually, on Sunday, and I hope to see you physically, in October. Again, congratulations on a wonderful four year career at Gettysburg.
Jason Sinsheimer: Thank you so much for having us.
Jazmin Reynoso Ortiz: Thank you so much.
Darby Nisbett: Yeah, thank you.
President Bob Iuliano: I normally end these podcasts with a story about something that’s happening on campus, or an accomplishment by an alumnus, or other members of the Gettysburg community.
President Bob Iuliano: Today, I want to end with a simple congratulations to the class of 2020. You have made this campus a better place for your presence, for your commitment, for your engagement on issues that matter. You’ve experienced a senior year unlike that of any in modern times, but through it all, retained your good humor, a belief in this place, and a deep sense of gratitude. I speak on behalf of the entire Gettysburg College community when I say that we cannot wait to celebrate you and your accomplishments. We’ll do it in person on October 9th and 10th, alongside your friends and families. But, we also think it’s important to mark your original commencement weekend, may 16th and 17th, and we are looking forward to a virtual senior celebration, comprising a series of virtual events to laud the graduating class.
President Bob Iuliano: This is a place whose history teaches us the importance of resiliency and commitment. The class of 2020 stands proudly in the tradition of this college, and we are equally proud to call you our friends, and now our alumni.
President Bob Iuliano: Thanks for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this conversation and want to be notified of future episodes, please subscribe to Conversations Beneath the Cupola by visiting Gettysburg.edu, or wherever you get your podcasts. I you have a topic or suggestion for a future podcast, places email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, and until next time.