Freshta Akbari '15
How did you find out about Goucher?
I heard about Goucher from one of my high school teachers and a few other friends. Then I looked into the school and loved the principles and the community.
What made you decide to attend Goucher?
While in my senior year of high school, I was looking into colleges that would provide me with a well-rounded education. Besides that, I knew I wanted a student-focused undergraduate education where I won't be forgotten in the back of a large lecture hall. Realizing that Goucher is a small liberal arts college helped me decide to come to here and receive a great education that is preparing me for graduate school. As an international student from Afghanistan I couldn't visit the campus, but I fell in love with the campus environment (seen from the website) and its location between the two famous cities of DC and New York, which strengthened my will to come to Goucher.
What is your major? For upperclassmen, has it changed?
I'm majoring in biological sciences and minoring in psychology. Before coming to Goucher, I knew I wanted to major in biology because it is a subject that fascinates me so much, and I enjoy learning about the diverse living systems. However, after taking my first psychology class at Goucher, I decided to explore that field more, and I am enjoying all my classes, which is why I decided to minor in psychology.
Is your experience at Goucher meeting your expectations? Have your expectations been exceeded? If so, how?
My experiences and time at Goucher have been valuable to me and have prepared me to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. Besides that, my education here has emphasized the broader knowledge of the wider world by allowing me to learn about different cultures and society as a whole. I feel attending Goucher has nurtured me as a person. What has gone beyond my expectations is that there is a great sense of community and inclusiveness at Goucher. I have had great support from friends, faculty, and staff, and now I consider Goucher as my second home.
What do you like about your classes and the faculty?
Because of the small class sizes at Goucher, professors can focus on the individual students more. There is a low ratio of student to faculty, which gives students plenty of chances to work closely with their professors. While sitting in a class at Goucher, I know I am not forgotten, and I will receive a good amount of help and assistance. Also, classes are taught by professors and not the teaching assistants, unlike bigger schools. I love that students get recognition in classes and the professors start to know them by their name and not just another face in the class.
What support have you received from the campus community?
The sense of community is strong at Goucher, and we owe this partly to the size of Goucher and, of course, the people who are attending the school-whether they are students, faculty, or staff. I am fortunate to have built communities that I hope will last as my lifelong friendships and relationships. People have been there for me when I needed to talk about classes, needed suggestions to make decisions, or needed to talk about everyday life or simply to laugh.
What are you involved with on campus?
As a peer facilitator orientation leader, I assist the first-year students in their transition into college life. As a math tutor in the Goucher Prison Education Program and a teaching assistant for introductory and microbiology labs, I provide academic assistance to students. I help connect a local school student with students from Pakistan as the international coordinator of the Imagine More club. I serve as the vice president of Lotus, the Asian student club, to help students explore Asian cultures and traditions. On the Student Health Advising Committee, I have helped plan events related to student health and wellness. On the side, I also enjoy playing handbells in the Handbell Choir.
What do you like about the area? Campus, Towson, Greater Baltimore, East Coast?
The campus is gorgeous, with different trees, wooded trails, and running creeks, which is therapeutic and stress relieving, especially at times of final exams! It is located within walking distance of the Towson Town Center, restaurants, and many other stores. It is only about half-an-hour drive from Baltimore City, which is convenient whenever you are bored and need a break from Towson. Also, it is in between the great cities of New York and DC.