Students in Action

Sarah Seniuk

Santa Cruz, California

Sarah Seniuk
Major: Ancient Studies
Minor: Anthropology, Religious Studies
Tell us a little about yourself. What makes you a unique Eckerd student?

After getting my feet wet here last year, I decided to jump into as many projects as possible this time around. I joined the Ethics Bowl team, Women's Rugby team (go Sirens!), and became an Ambassador, as well as a Ford Scholar. While being involved in so many parts of EC life doesn't make me unique (most of our students seem to be in multiple clubs, organizations, and activities), I'd like to think I have a nice random combination of EC aspects.

Why did you decide to attend EC?

There are two main reasons I came here: the ability to explore all my interests (maybe discover some new ones), and the support system created by faculty and peers. When I applied to Eckerd, I planned on studying International Relations, but then I discovered the Ancient Studies major and my inner ancient history nerd cheered! Why not go for it? The first time I met my mentor, I mentioned my interest in graduate school and she mapped out for me the next four years, and promised that she would help me get into whatever program I one day decided to enter.

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

Once while giving a tour, we walked by a group of students who had hooked up ropes between some of the palm trees. It turns out, they wanted to practice tight rope walking.

Eckerd is recognized as a college That Changes Lives (book by Loren Pope). How has EC changed your life?

Eckerd has changed my life because it has allowed me to view myself as a completely different student. In high school, I was extremely competitive with my fellow AP students and wasn't able to fully concentrate on how and what I enjoyed learning. But at Eckerd, both my classmates and my professors have taught me to become a better student. Your peers and your professors want you to succeed (sometimes I learn just as much from my classmates). If someone told me two years ago that I would be on the seven year running winners of the South East Ethics Bowl team, and entering into the Ford Scholars program, I would have scoffed. But now I truly see that anything is within my grasp with the support that I have found here.

What are some traits or characteristics you find in most Eckerd students?

Students here like to get involved in anything and everything, whether that's feeding the homeless or starting a Dumbledore's Army club on campus.

The first year of college can have a profound affect on the other 3 years; what was the defining moment of your Autumn Term experience and/or freshman year?

Probably all of Western Heritage in a Global Context. Everyone in that class became so comfortable with one another that we were able to deeply explore all of our views in a safe, respectable manner, and it taught me how to better synthesize cross-discipline ideas.

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

I knew I made the right choice on my first day of Autumn Term. My professor said something that would be deemed vastly inappropriate in high school to shock us, and got us all laughing and comfortable with these new people and this new place.

How would you describe the academic environment at Eckerd?

Academics at Eckerd can be rigorous, but you'll never feel too overwhelmed because there is support out the yin-yang, from your professors, mentors, classmates, and friends. Plus, when your campus is directly on the water, you can always find a place to de-stress.

How do you describe the social scene at Eckerd?

The social scene is easy. Students are extremely friendly, are from everywhere, and interested in everything, so it's really easy to meet all sorts of people.

What are some of your favorite things at Eckerd? (professor, organization, class, club, event, café meal, etc.)

I love the new paddle boards, yellow bikes, studying Ancient Greek in the hammocks at South Beach, glow face paint, International Cinema, Elie Wiesel, dorm life, and classes.

Using 5 words or less complete this sentence: Eckerd is…

truly 'barefoot and brainy'.

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