Nick Gonsalves '11
"One of the greatest opportunities about my major — geography and international relations — is just the chance to travel abroad. Last spring, I went to Argentina; talk about culture shock. In the end, it was one of my most worthwhile semesters, because I was out of my comfort zone and that's a good thing sometimes."
Geography and international relations: Madison, Conn.
"I went to the Presidential Fellows breakfast and met geography Professor Duane Griffin; after the conversation I was sold. I wasn't 100 percent decided on a major when I was looking at colleges but Professor Griffin helped me decide. It was like, 'Oh you do geography? This is how we do it. Would you like to be part of our department?'"
"One of the greatest opportunities about my major — geography and international relations — is just the chance to travel abroad. Last spring, I went to Argentina; talk about culture shock. In the end, it was one of my most worthwhile semesters, because I was out of my comfort zone and that's a good thing sometimes. While I was in Argentina I did an independent research project on recuperated factories. After the huge economic crisis in 2001, the factory workers who were out of work combined together to form cooperatives; they overtook their former factories and started production again. I interviewed a shipbuilder and factory workers in plastics, ice cream and metallurgy."
"The arboretum project was a very formative experience. I learned a lot about trees and how to go about accomplishing a project and a lot of random technical skills. I also served as community service chair of Chi Phi fraternity last fall. We worked with the Linn Conservancy at the Dale/Engle/Walker House; we have alliances with Habitat for Humanity; we work at Mostly Mutts animal shelter. We also helped out at the football game. I felt like I was really participating and helping out Bucknell. My whole strategy was to get involved in as many activities as possible; it mattered more that I could make a lot of connections with a lot of organizations and give people a lot of different opportunities.
"In the past two years, I've been involved in the Frontiers of Knowledge program. We go to inner city Chicago to peer mentor high schools kids. This peer mentoring experience really helped me learn how to take on a leadership role in front of a group of six to 10 high school students and has led me to apply to Teach for America. I'd like to go to graduate school, and, after graduate school — part of me wants to say I would like to be a professor, but another part says I'd like to head some kind of NGO, to use my education to impart practical policies. I plan to put my foot in as many doors as possible because it's better to have choices and better to have different opportunities than to just say I'm going to this specific graduate school. Because, you know what? It might not work out."
Posted Jan. 4, 2011