The Honor’s Experience "College is When you Really Grow Up"
Carrie Roznik, a graduating senior with dual majors in Spanish studies and history, member of Mortar Board
and the Honors Program, provides some thoughts on her time at Lake Erie.
"College is when you really grow up, the place where you learn to handle situations while figuring out who you are. The choices you make here determine the type of adult you are going to be. Excellence isn’t a trait; it’s a habit.”
This is just one of the insights she offers her peers. Carrie recently had the opportunity to present her senior honors research project, "The Power of Blood… Exploring the Relations Behind the Hapsburg Chin,” at the Senior Honors Colloquium. "If I am to go on to graduate school, such final projects have definitely worked miracles on my academic stress tolerance.” Regarding the Honors Program, she adds, "It has been an incredibly enriching experience. There is no downside to joining the Honors Program. I have yet to meet anybody in the program who I didn’t get along with, even though all of us are just a bit unique in our mindsets.”
Carrie took advantage of the opportunity to participate in a short-term faculty-led study abroad program at Lake Erie, going to Guatemala in May of 2012. "It made me realize how big the world is, how many things change from place to place. It felt like a whole new planet… I climbed the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, kayaked in a volcanic lake, zip lined through the Peten national rain-forest and spent a few days exploring the wonders of Antigua. How many people can say they have done that EVER?”
Regarding academics and her experience with faculty, Carrie speaks about Spanish Instructor Pablo Gomez: "He has absolutely made a difference in my faith and abilities in a foreign language. My Spanish major is a huge part of my career. My courses in history have given me historical backing in certain settings, but more importantly, much improved critical thinking… saying ‘I don’t know’ is never going to be an acceptable answer to me.”
Outside of her major, Carrie says, "There was always something going on most weekends [on campus]; at each of these events I was able to branch out, meet new people and team up with them to plan other events. It seems like anywhere I went on campus, there was somebody saying hello, asking about classes, how my life was going. It made me feel like I belonged.
The ability to impact the community and the world was
brought home to Carrie while still a post-secondary student at Lake Erie. The Spanish Club had become involved with the Pulsera Project, a way to raise money for Nicaraguan children. "That really inspired me,” she says. "I want to change the world.”
Changing the world can be done right here, one person at a time; Carrie participated in a local volunteer project, "Coaches’ Corner,” where she helped tutor and mentor students who are still in school to work on bettering themselves and planning their futures. "It was very fulfilling to help impact another life, to help put them on the right path… I am so incredibly proud of them.”