Bethany Funk, '18

B.A. in History, Minor in French

How does the tuition cost of Grove City College compare to the other schools you looked at during your college selection?
The tuition at Grove City College is a lot more affordable than the other colleges that I looked at. I wanted to go to a college that would challenge me and was small enough so that I could really have a personal experience. In my search for a college like that, only Grove City College fully met these standards in a price range I could manage.
 
How has your faith been strengthened and perhaps even challenged during your time here?
It isn’t simply that it is a “Christian college.” The professors care, they know their students, and they offer grace in small and large ways that I have never witnessed. In a place like college, where performance is something to be measured, analyzed, and graded, it took me by surprise when the people doing this were also the ones challenging me in their demonstration of Christian charity and grace.

How do the academics challenge students to think on a deeper level about the world and life in general?
My time here as a history major has been a whirlwind of classes and seasons which offered insight to the study of humans, cultures, conflicts, and resolutions. And it wasn’t just the content, but the thoughtful, patient manner in which these things were taught, both in regards to the subject matter and the students, which gives me better insight into the way I see my present with respect for the past effects – known and unknown.

What is the relationship like between the students and the professors?
Like at every institution, the relationship that students have with the professor can vary from one person to the next. But it speaks volumes that I can pass a professor in the hall and get into a discussion about a recent guest lecture, the profound insight from a recent class period, or my plans for the weekend.

What advice would you give to an incoming student?
I know many people, myself included, who have gotten overwhelmed with the extra activities and demanding academics. If this happens, relax, take a breath; remember to keep what is most important, what is most lasting at the foreground. And even when things seem darkest, remember that you are not fighting your trials alone.

What are some of the things you do during your free time either on or off campus?
Some of the best memories I have are from some of the dances on campus and participating in ballroom club. My favorite night was the jazz dance; all students came in elegant attire to listen to our live jazz band, snack on some hor d'oeuvres, and dance a bit of swing or foxtrot.

Tell us a little about your internship experience.
I had the opportunity to be a summer intern at the Historical Society of Frederick, Maryland, under the Museum Operator and Educations Coordinator. The main project that I worked on is called History Time which targets pre-kindergarten students to second graders. Essentially, the program is designed for the instructor to read a story aloud to the students, engage them with thoughtful questions that cross different disciplines, and provide a craft, game, or other activity to reinforce the topics presented. For this program, I was given the opportunity to access the museum’s archives and library in order to locate and incorporate the unique materials the museum possesses. Each of the stories has a lesson plan provided with it so that the volunteer or teacher can immediately understand the objectives of reading the story and the nuances between the different selections.
 
When I was not working on the program, I was able to understand how the museum worked and the different administrative duties that my supervisor and her colleagues took on. The small size of the institution enabled me to see the roles the staff took on that were outside of their job description. I also was asked to help with transportation of bank records to the museum’s off-site archives and to understand the nature of the walking tours, events, and current exhibit for whenever I assisted at the front desk.
 
The internship gave me an opportunity to develop skills that I had never used or ever thought I needed. One such skill was the creation of a lesson plan: a beautiful and clear end-product but a personal agony in the first stages of understanding the intent of the lesson. Using an ancient cash register, Excel, and a disorganized phone system were practical talents I learned (at least in theory) that are most useful when working for a nonprofit organization. All that I learned, both directly and indirectly related to being a history major, made this summer experience unforgettable.
 

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