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Scott Rownd ’12: Choosing F&M ‘The Best Decision I Ever Made’

A profile of Scott Rownd ’12 is Part V of “Faces of the Class of 2012,” a series on the academic and extracurricular interests of graduating seniors.

  • Scott Rownd '12
  • Scott Rownd ’12 says his time at F&M has been “like a cake with lots of different ingredients, all really crucial to the total experience.” (Photo by Tim Brixius)

Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio
Academic Major: Joint Studies (Environmental Studies and Public Policy)

As a high school student in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Scott Rownd ’12 was looking for the college or university that just felt “right.” He couldn’t imagine going to a large institution with 50,000 students, so he searched for something smaller. His guidance counselor recommended that Rownd visit a liberal arts college in neighboring Pennsylvania—Franklin & Marshall.

“My counselor told me to look for that ‘feeling,’ and I found that ‘feeling’ at F&M,” Rownd said. “I visited in the spring, and everything was in bloom. I wanted to stay that day. I knew where I was meant to be.”

Rownd calls applying to F&M “the best decision I ever made.” A close second was joining the Diplomat swimming team, which he captained the past two years. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on the commitment of swimming when I arrived at F&M,” Rownd says. “I wasn’t sure how long I’d do it. But I fell in love with it from day one after seeing the bond we had, and the camaraderie.”

Over the past four years, Rownd has been active in student life outside the pool. He served as a tour guide in the Office of Admission; a planning assistant with the community service program Putting it Together in the Community; a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee; and a member of .08, a student group devoted to raising awareness about alcohol awareness and education.

“My planner was my best friend,” Rownd said of his numerous activities.

Rownd managed to fit everything in while completing a joint major in environmental studies and public policy. After arriving at F&M with an interest in environmental science, he took a course titled “Great Watersheds” with Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy Rich Pepino. He eventually took all the courses Pepino taught, and also precepted a course with the professor.

“Professor Pepino has been a huge mentor and a big influence on my F&M career,” Rownd said. “Working with him is one of the best experiences I’ve had here. He’s helped me learn a lot about myself and the subject.”

Rownd graduated on May 12 with a full-time job already in hand, in the Hershey Company’s department of corporate social responsibility. He interned at Hershey during the summer of 2011 after writing a paper on the company in his “Business and the Natural Environment” course last year. He found the internship through F&M’s Career Services website. “I loved my experience at Hershey. In my full-time job, I’ll monitor what companies do as they go green. My environmental background from F&M will help.”

Rownd takes to his job a hefty list of awards he won at F&M, including the Environmental Studies Award; Huffnagle Scholarship Fund Award in Biology; John Kryder Evans Scholar Summer Travel Award; and membership in several honor societies. He also earned the John A. Fry Delphic Student-Athlete Award for earning the highest grade point average among F&M student-athletes during the fall semester.

“My F&M experience has been like a cake with lots of different ingredients, all really crucial to the total experience,” Rownd said. “What I’ll miss most is swimming, and being in a leadership role for two years.”

He’ll also miss being a tour guide for the Office of Admission, where he says he “grew up” from a first-year student into a 22-year-old senior.

“I’ve enjoyed helping people find F&M as a tour guide. When I see students on campus who I first saw when they were visiting on a tour, it’s a really satisfying feeling.”