Damon Highsmith took advantage of the full range of opportunities Goucher has to offer -- in class, out of class, even out of the country. Now he’s getting ready to start graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University, working toward his master’s degree in public policy and focusing on environmental policy.
Highsmith came to Goucher from San Antonio, Texas. He initially wanted to combine studies in music and biology, but very quickly changed his mind.
“I took the kind of typical college track where my focus changed five or six times,” he says with a laugh. “Literally within a one-month span, I was telling my roommates I wanted to do a different thing every week.”
Classes in management and political science piqued his interest in those areas, and he eventually settled on them as his major and minor, respectively. But Highsmith never stopped indulging his restless desire to check out all he could.
“Because Goucher is a liberal arts school, I was able to major in the things I thought I would need in later life, and then take the classes that I just wanted to take,” he explains. “If I saw it and thought I might like it, I put it on my schedule.”
He took classes in computer music and art. He took piano lessons. He signed up for one of Goucher’s intensive courses abroad, spending three weeks in Havana learning about the culture and business of Cuba. Outside of class, he completed a management internship with Aramark, the company that provides food services for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and he worked as a Goucher Ambassador for the Office of Admissions. He played on the men’s varsity soccer team throughout his four years at Goucher, sang with the Red Hot Blue and A Few Good Men a cappella groups, and served on House Council and the facilities subgroup of Goucher’s Strategic Planning Group. He even donned the giant, furry costume of Mortimer, the official mascot of the Goucher Gophers.
Now he’s bound for graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University, and although he’s still not 100 percent certain about what he ultimately wants to wind up doing, he says he feels as though Goucher has prepared him well to take advantage of whatever opportunities come his way.
“Goucher has provided a good stepping-off point in terms of the things I want to continue learning about,” Highsmith says. “In the classroom, you learn about different elements of the world. Going out into the field, you get to see those elements for yourself, and you understand that they’re not exactly as the textbook describes them, but that you can definitely use the things you’ve learned to figure them out. I think a lot of my experiences at Goucher gave me a lot of different tools that I’ll use.”