Students in Action

Jenna Behnke

"Eckerd is the island of misfit toys."

Jenna Behnke
Major: Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Environmental Studies
Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a happy person who likes to keep her plate full. Since I am a Biology major I have a busy schedule, but I still find time to do the things that I love. I can be found in the service learning office, in the garden, in the library, or at the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences. I love the outdoors, so going to school in one of the sunniest places on earth has its perks. I like to run, play field hockey and play guitar for fun. I love planning and participating in service. I also love to travel and learn about different cultures. Eckerd has given me so many opportunities to do just that!

Why did you decide to attend EC?

First, the Marine Science program and beach attracted me to Eckerd all the way from Michigan. I then made my final decision when I visited the campus and went on a tour. My tour guide knew almost every person who she came across. The Eckerd community is one of the friendliest places I've been. I thought, if I were going to go to college away from home, I want it to feel like home. Home is what Eckerd has become for me.

Do you have a "that's so Eckerd" moment? What is it?

My favorite "that's so Eckerd" moment would have to be a tie between puppies and shoes. During the stressful time at the end of the semester Campus Activities brought puppies for us to pet to relieve our stress. The other moments are all of the days when students have to run back to their dorm rooms to grab shoes before attending lab at the new James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences.

How has Eckerd changed your life?

I am now halfway done with my time at Eckerd and I am already an extremely different person than who I was when I first arrived here. Being a student at Eckerd has made me more open minded, outgoing, and concerned about local and global issues. Eckerd has made me be more confident to stand up for things that I believe in.

What are some traits or characteristics found in most Eckerd students?

Eckerd is a diverse place because students come from all over the country to attend. Some traits that describe Eckerd students would be open-minded, welcoming, easy-going, passionate, driven, and determined. I learn so much by just talking with my peers and listening to their different points of view.

When did you know you made the right choice coming to Eckerd?

I knew I made the right choice during Autumn term when there was a big thunderstorm. Earlier that day Campus Activities had a slip and slide event. The slip and slide was left out overnight and during the thunderstorm my entire dorm slipped and slided for hours. Those kids from my dorm that I shared that memory with in Autumn Term are a group I like to call my best friends today. Eckerd has great faculty, facilities, and location, but what really makes Eckerd what it is are the students. I knew I made the right decision because the people that I was constantly surrounded by were open minded, genuine, and just plain fun!

How would you describe the academic environment at Eckerd?

The academic environment is welcoming, serious, open for questions and intimate. The small class sizes make the academic environment everything that it is. I am never scared to ask questions or visit my professor in office hours. The professors truly care about their students.

How do you describe the social scene at Eckerd?

The social scene is very welcoming. I like to call Eckerd the island of misfit toys. Come as you are and if you are open to others, they will be open to you. Everyone is weird in their own way and when we all get together it is beautiful.

What are some of your favorite things at Eckerd?

This is one of the toughest questions. Eckerd is one of my favorite things in general. My favorite office at Eckerd College is the Service Learning office. I always feel welcomed, whether I am there for my internship or just to eat lunch. I have had some stimulating conversations there with great people. My favorite thing at the cafe is the freshly squeezed orange juice. My two favorite classes so far have been Field Ornithology and Reading for Rapture.

What is one thing you wish you would have known before coming to Eckerd?

I wish I would have known not to pack so many shoes. I had no idea that it was acceptable to walk around barefoot! At Eckerd, life is literally a beach.

@EckerdLife

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