Education Without Boundaries
“Home.” That is how Meggie Tice describes Goucher. “That’s the first thing I thought of even though it’s so cheesy,” she adds.
Also on her short list of adjectives to describe the college are “creative”– “There are so many people here who come from so many backgrounds;” “diverse” – “Creativity stems from that diverse environment;” and “collaborative” – “People here have a lot of drive and motivation, but they want to help each other just as much as they want to help themselves,” Tice says.
She says she honestly was a bit surprised by how friendly people are at Goucher and, more generally, on the East Coast. “Everyone is really nice. I was expecting it to be so different,” she says. “People from Minnesota always joke that they are ‘Minnesota nice.’ But everyone here is nice. Everyone is very open.”
Tice knew immediately that Goucher would be a very welcoming home away from home as soon as she visited as a prospective student. During her visit, she said several people came up to her to see if she was considering Goucher, if she’d been accepted, if the college was her first choice. People offered to show her around, and she marveled when they held the doors open for her. Some people even remembered her when she came back to campus as a first-year student.
“That’s what makes this such a welcoming environment. I really love it,” Tice says.
She originally came to Goucher for the sciences, particularly the pre-med program, but “Then I fell in love with peace studies,” she says.
Tice plans on pursuing a major in peace studies and combining it with a minor in biology to prepare for a career in public health, a natural nexus of the two subjects.
She is a member of Goucher’s Student Health Advisory Committee and a founding member and president of the college’s Public Health Club, which strives to increase awareness of public health on campus and to provide an outlet for interdisciplinary discussion through speakers, community service, and exploration of the numerous facets of public health.
Tice and other interested students are even trying to create an academic concentration in public health. They are compiling courses that are already offered in the sciences, social sciences, peace studies, and management to combine them into a concentration option. Once they get everything together in the booklet, they will petition for faculty support and then present it to the curriculum committee. She says they already have students who are interested and are hopeful that this will soon be a welcome addition to an already-stellar academic program.
“Goucher offers so many opportunities and so many majors,” Tice says. “The professors in those departments are absolutely incredible.” She really likes that professors work to get to know students and their strengths. She also loves that her professors all know her name and that she can talk regularly with faculty members one on one – realities at Goucher that have sparked jealousy among Tice’s sisters.
While there may be some good-natured envy among her siblings, Tice’s mom really pushed for her to attend Goucher when she found out the college requires study abroad. Tice says her mom’s reaction was, “This is perfect for you. This is exactly what I want for you.”
Tice will be going abroad to Morocco for peace studies next year. Although it is not a Goucher-led program, the college’s Office of International Studies was very helpful and worked hard with her to make sure she could participate. The focus of the program is migration and transnational identity, but it is also an intensive Arabic course. “I’m really nervous, but I’m so excited. When I come back I know I’m going to see everything differently,” she says.
As Tice says, “You have to leave Goucher to love Goucher. That’s how it really becomes your home.” Her Goucher home will be waiting for her return.