A profile of Dana Teano '14 is part III of "The Class of 2014," a series on the academic and extracurricular interests of graduating seniors.
Hometown: Media, Pa.
Academic Major: Public Health
Dana Teano discovered her calling 5,300 miles from home.
The Franklin & Marshall College senior spent the spring of her junior year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where her independent study project on public campaigns for diabetes focused her career interest.
"I think the heart of my independent study was finding out where I like to be best, and that's with the patients, giving them clear instructions," said Teano, who graduates May 10 with a degree in public health. "It really focused and shaped my passion for the medical field."
A liberal arts education, with its emphasis on test-driving a variety of disciplines, frees the mind to consider other possibilities, Teano said. Her post-graduate plan is to become a physician's assistant, but she will take a year to work in a hospital and gain practical experience before choosing a school.
"It's almost like applying for medical school, though instead of four years, it's two years," Teano said.
F&M's small classes and student-to-faculty ratio drew Teano to the College, but what excited her most about F&M was the friendliness and enthusiasm of the students she met on her visit.
"I just thought, 'This could be my home for the four years,'" she said. "I made a lot of meaningful friendships here at F&M, and I know that the one thing I can count on is those relationships."
At F&M, Teano joined the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Spanish Club and the Dance Company. She said F&M's intellectual rigor pushed her to excel, enriched her academic experience, honed her research skills, and helped her to realize her potential.
"It challenged me to be a stronger person, academically and personally," Teano said. "The College and my faith in God has helped me to be persistent, to strive harder, to learn from my mistakes, and to do better. It built a stamina in me to pursue greater things for myself."
Attending college close to home also had its advantages, she said.
"I like the accessibility of going home, if I need to," Teano said. "I have a lot of international friends, so I always invite them to my house during the holidays. It's great. My home is their home."