Education Without Boundaries
Joey Fink’s oldest sister graduated from Goucher College in 2009. He saw her going here and said to himself, “I’m never going to Goucher. No way.”
But as he began his own college search, he knew an equestrian program was absolutely one of the most important factors in his decision making. When he compared Goucher to other schools that have varsity equestrian teams, most of them were “horse schools,” which he says he didn’t really want. “I realized that Goucher was the school that made the most sense for me.”
Then, once he came to campus for an Accepted Students Day, he remembers sitting in the large auditorium and seeing banners of the five Community Principles (respect, inclusion, communication, service and social justice, and responsibility). “That was very in line with my beliefs, and Goucher felt like the right place for me,” Fink says.
So he got over his aversion to following in his sister’s footsteps, and now that he’s here, Fink says, “I love it.”
He adds, “The thing that really got me about Goucher is that it is a safe environment, a very welcoming, nonjudgmental place to be.”
This open, accepting atmosphere — as well as Goucher’s intimate size — has allowed Fink to explore and embrace his interests. “There are so many ways to get involved here because it is a small school. I feel like I’ve been given all of these great opportunities. I don’t think I’d be able to do that at a bigger school,” he says.
Fink’s list of activities is, indeed, a long one. To start, he’s captain of the Equestrian Team, a title he was given his sophomore year. He was elected the 2015 class president and is striving to create a sense of community within his class and to bridge the gap and forge relationships with other classes.
He serves on the Goucher Hillel Board of Directors and on the Board of Trustees’ Committee for Development and Alumnae/i Affairs. He has been an ambassador in the Admissions Office, and he was on Orientation Committee. Next year, he’s going to be a community assistant.
Fink works in the phone-a-thon in the Alumnae/i House, and he was a Vagabond, a student representative who travels around the country to not only meet with incoming first-year students but to help connect Goucher’s alumnae/i with one another. “That got me really excited about being a Goucher alum one day and being involved,” he says.
“I’ve really been able to try different things and see what I really enjoy,” he says.
While Fink has closely followed his mother’s advice always to take advantage of the opportunities he’s given, he recognizes that the autonomy and breadth of prospects available at Goucher may be overwhelming for some students.
He offers this encouragement: “If you’re willing to put in the effort to find out what Goucher has to offer, you’re going to find a lot of amazing things.” He also adds this caveat: “If you’re not interested in taking part in what Goucher has to offer, this is probably not the college for you. If you want to sit in your room all day, maybe going to classes, you’re not going to like it here. Goucher is perfect for students who can advocate for themselves — both socially and academically. That’s what makes a student happy here.”