Colin Blydenburgh '14Junior double major in political science and business administration from Ilion, NY
My Grandfather attended Hartwick and had only wonderful things to say about his experience here. The son of German immigrants, he played on Hartwick's first ever soccer team, began his career in business and law and met my grandmother here. He is my role model, so I am honored to follow in his footsteps and experience all that Hartwick has to offer, to see what he saw, and to pass on my experiences to future students.
What are your classes like?
I believe the class size and class content play a large role in the success of Hartwick students. The classes I have taken offer a personal touch combined with academic standards that challenge one to stretch their boundaries beyond what they already know. In my experience at Hartwick – though there have been both challenging and not so challenging courses – there is never a class that I have regretted taking. Each course has pushed me to learn, grow and achieve beyond what I ever thought possible.
What does "theory into practice" mean to you?
Theory in practice means moving beyond the limited realms of the classroom and applying what you learn to real world experience. Hartwick College's experiential learning approach allows students like myself to gain practical experience that sets their learning process apart from that of other colleges. In many of my courses I've been able to gain invaluable expertise that just can't be taught from a textbook. In my time at Hartwick I have completed internships around Oneonta, held mock congressional hearings, and run a simulated company. These are the moments and endeavors that make an impact and prepare students to enter the real world.
How have your professors made an impact on your education?
Being a transfer student, the contrast between the professors at other institutions and Hartwick professors is clear. Hartwick professors truly embrace the concept of experiential learning and push their students to challenge their limits. Every professor I have encountered here has taken an active interest in my education giving me personal attention in helping me to expand my educational horizons. Furthermore, our professors strive to go above and beyond outside the classroom – political science professor Dr. Laurel Elder has given students the opportunity to complete work as a research assistants, while her colleague Dr. Sara Rinfret will graciously offer her time advise a club.
What do you do outside the classroom?
Becoming involved in Hartwick, for me, has been crucial in my advancement at the college. As a student senator, I am able to effect positive change representing the student body. As a resident advisor I am given the opportunity to create a culture and environment that is both inclusive and unique and culminates in a community atmosphere that helps students acclimate to college life. As President of the Hartwick College Republicans and Associate Treasurer of Model United Nations I have honed my leadership skills and gained invaluable organizing expertise that will serve me well later in life. Finally, as a new student orientation leader I have been able to pass on the importance of staying involved at Hartwick to incoming first-years and advise them on how staying active in the Hartwick community is just as important as maintaining a strong GPA.
How do you describe Hartwick to your friends back home?
I describe Hartwick as my second home. The experiences, struggles, and successes I have faced here have made me a notably different person, and that has translated to my life beyond Hartwick. It is my hope that my friends see these changes and realize how influential Hartwick has been to me. What I have learned here I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
What comes after Hartwick?
My hope is to attend Georgetown Law School and eventually enter politics. Though I still have two more years at Hartwick, I know that everything I do now sets the stage for my future career and I look to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.
What would you tell future Hartwick students?
To any future students at Hartwick College, nothing is more important or easier than staying involved. With more than 63 clubs and organizations on campus, there is never nothing to do. Being involved allows you to become part of a community larger than yourself and learn how to live and thrive as an individual, while making connections for life. Being an active part of Hartwick is equal in importance to the education you will subsequently receive.