Emily Corson ’24

History; minor in educational studies

Not only did Colgate have everything I wanted academically, but it had everything I wanted personally as well.

Emily Corson ’24 Yarmouth, Maine

Why did you choose Colgate?

This is actually a funny story. My dad went to Colgate, and when I was in high school I had no intention of coming to Colgate because I wanted to be independent and carve my own path in life. Nonetheless, my guidance counselor convinced me to tour because Colgate fit all of the things I was looking for: a small liberal arts school with a kind community and a strong educational studies program (especially the Masters of Arts in Teaching). I came with my mom and immediately fell in love with the school. Not only did Colgate have everything I wanted academically, but it had everything I wanted personally as well. People were saying “hi” to my tour guide and even to me, and everyone was smiling. It was exactly the type of happy and kind community I was looking for in a school.

You’re involved in a number of activities. Which one is your favorite?

I have so many favorite activities, but one of my favorites is Yes Means Yes. YMY is a seven-week sex-positive and consent culture discussion-based program that I joined in the fall semester of my sophomore year. As a participant in the program, I learned so much about myself, our society, and the world around me. My group became a mini family unit, which made it that much more of an incredible experience. After the fantastic time I had, I wanted to share my knowledge with others. I applied and was accepted as a facilitator, which I am currently doing this semester. Not only are there so many learning opportunities available outside of the classroom, but there are so many chances to be involved with leadership as well.

What would you consider your biggest accomplishment as a student at Colgate so far? 

My biggest accomplishment thus far has been entering the Teacher Preparation Program. I remember when I received the acceptance email — I was at Frank Dining Hall for dinner with my friends and just started jumping and screaming. I was so excited. Being a part of the program was the first step toward becoming a teacher and making my professional goals a reality. It is such a wonderful opportunity and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

Tell us about the mentorship you have received at Colgate?

One of my mentors is my academic advisor for history, Professor Douglas. I took History Workshop, the intro to the major, with him and absolutely loved it. He taught topics that were interesting to me and did so in a way that enabled me to get the most out of the course. I see him all the time in the history lounge or in his office, and we’ll chat or have a cup of coffee or tea. Not only is he my teacher, but he is the type of teacher I aspire to be someday.

My other Colgate mentor is my Arabic professor, Ustaadh Nady. I see him five days a week in the classroom but often arrive early or stay after class to talk to him. He is almost always in his office or in the Arabic classroom, so you can always find him if you need him. He’s taught me so much of the Arabic language and in doing so has pushed me to venture outside of my comfort zone more than I ever would have otherwise. He is also the type of teacher I hope to be in my future career.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

Lawrence Hall in the fall.

My favorite place on campus is probably the Middle East and Islamic Studies (MIST) Lounge in Lawrence. Not only is the view of town spectacular from the windows up there, but it’s where Model Arab League meetings are held. I had never competed in debates before, so it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. Within it, however, I found some of the most amazing individuals I had ever met. We quickly became a family. It goes to show that, no matter what you do at Colgate, you will always find wonderful people.

Tour Lawrence Hall

What’s coming up for you next year?

I currently plan to study abroad at the American University in Cairo during the spring of 2023. The school has a unique mix of all of my interests (history, educational studies, and Arabic) and is located in a major hub of the Middle East. I’m excited about the opportunity and looking forward to my experience!

A portrait of Emily.

What are your plans for the future?

My goal is to become a high school history teacher, but I’ve explored other options within the educational field, such as being an educational policy reformer or a college history professor. Either way, I know I want to work with and teach students in the future.

What advice would you give future Colgate students?

Try something new! College is an opportunity to explore who you are. In trying something new, you might discover a passion that you never would have had the chance to try elsewhere. Even if you try something new and aren’t terribly fond of it, you will find amazing people at every turn. Making connections and friendships are things Colgate students love to do, so you won’t have any trouble finding your place here no matter how you get involved.

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