The Power to Learn Differently

  • Jacquie Koob ’19 sits in Shadek-Fackenthal Library

 Jacquie Koob '19

What does it mean to be a student at a liberal arts college? It’s the smaller class sizes, the relationships students can create with their professors and other students, and the meaningful involvement on campus. Senior psychology major Jacquie Koob says it’s also developing the ability to learn through many different lenses, rather than following a straight—and rigid—path all the way to graduation.

“I think a liberal arts education provides a student with the tools to become confident, both inside and outside of the classroom,” she says. “Like a lot of students, I was nervous about college… but as classes started my first year, I met professors and upperclassmen who helped me to see what I could accomplish for myself. And that gave me the confidence to take risks… I found myself making connections from one class to another, becoming involved in student government, and learning about myself.”

Koob, who is the senior class president, is also an admission tour guide, a member of the Kappa Delta sorority, and served as a member of the Bonchek House congress. She sits on the Trustee Committee on Student Life. These diverse activities are all critical parts of the mosaic that is her liberal arts education, but the purely academic experience has been exciting, too.

“My junior year, I signed up for a personality psychology research collaboration with Assistant Professor of Psychology Allison Troy,” Koob recalls.

 “I never saw myself as someone who would be successful with research, but I soon became extremely excited to see the work that my group would be doing that semester.

“At the end of the semester, she and I talked about continuing the project into my senior year as an independent study, which I am working on now. My professor’s encouragement for this project pushed me to grow and helped me to see that I can work through uncertainty and find new passions. First-year me would never believe that I am now working on an independent study!”

This past summer, Koob volunteered as the first student intern for the executive team at Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, focusing on business development and human resources. She started before the hospital opened and helped with new employee hiring and orientation, community events, and more. She’s stayed with LBHH and is working as an intern for credit in the fall semester.

For students at F&M, their education gives them the power to go places and do things they didn’t know they could do. Koob plans to work in behavioral health, and graduate school is in her future. She is up for the challenge, and says, “Never say no to a project… say ‘I haven’t done this before, but I’ll give it my best effort!’”