The Beginning

Stephanie Eisemann

To be honest, I am not entirely sure what to write here.  After all, the Northeastern experience is so difficult to put into words and the unique atmosphere of the University Scholars program makes my quickly ending first semester almost indescribable.

The opportunities we have been afforded are numerous and I would like to quickly thank everyone for all their efforts.  All the scholars I have spoken with feel that this desire to help us, this knowledge that we are truly wanted here and will always have someone to turn to, is incredibly comforting.  It’s not just money that makes involvement in this program irresistible (although don’t get me wrong it’s a very important perk!); it is knowing that not only are we more than an enrollment member, we are respected students whose names are worth learning.  We know Northeastern has high expectations of us, but we have high expectations for ourselves, and I am confident we will be given all the support we need to succeed.

For such a small group too, I have managed to locate scholars almost everywhere I go without being isolated from the rest of the Northeastern world.  A few popped up in my Theology class, two live across the hall, and I keep in touch with a few I met during that magnificent Clambake Cruise; the list goes on and on.  Most importantly, my faculty mentor Greg Goodale has been so enlightening and inspiring, it is an honor to work with him and soak up as much knowledge as possible.  But our collaboration has only just begun!  I am sure five years will go by in the blink of an eye, however I can only imagine the stories of scholarly success I will be hearing by then.  Hopefully, mine will be a worthy one.

As for the Community-Based Research Project, while I am sure it would be nice to work with my fellow scholars, I do not regret doing direct service for a minute.  I am placed with Generation Citizen, and I attend South Boston Public High School every Tuesday morning in order to meet up with a small, struggling class and try to teach them about democracy, government, and advocacy.  I say try because it has sometimes been a battle.  But when I see them engaged and passionate about an issue they want to change, when I read their personal connections or thoughts in the form of exit ticket essays, I know why I charge ahead, full of civic spirit, every week.  Speaking of which, it’s time to lesson plan.  Tomorrow I will be explaining the ideas of root causes and goal achievement in order to empower them to make a difference in the suicide/bullying issue in their community and around the world.  That might be my favorite part, knowing that when I am done, I have not only helped give these disheartened students a voice, but that they will use those voices to have amazing effects on society.

by Stephanie Eisemann, Communication Studies, University Scholar from Dumont, New Jersey