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What Unique Aspect of Lehigh Most Interests You?

Lehigh: What unique aspect of Lehigh most interests you? (1250 characters; 150-250 words)

by Julius Heftler

The alarm rings and getting up is easy at Lehigh with days like mine. I can’t wait to meet Professor Mark Bickhard to discuss my project on the utilization of robotics in community service.  In our last meeting, we discussed the foundation of skills that children need to understand artificial intelligence and the ways I could have imparted those skills as a camp counselor at Grand Street Settlement last summer.

After meeting Professor Bickhard, I am headed to office hours with Professor Steven Goldman to discuss my paper on the fire bombing of London in WWII. In our last meeting, I shared my observations of Winston Churchill’s bunker during my visit to the city. Later, my co-head and I run our Modern Psychology club meeting. The topics range from Professor Bickhard’s research to psychics; the hour long meeting feels like 5 minutes.

I love Lehigh because it has programs that one would expect at a large research university, but the school offers many benefits of a liberal arts college, such as the close interaction with faculty. Lehigh’s approach to the global issues manifests itself in tailoring its curriculum to address “grand challenges and national needs,” as stated in the University’s Strategic Plan.

The days at Lehigh are long and fun and I proudly wear my brown and white Lehigh apparel on the main quad. That night, the Mountain Hawks crush the Lafayette Leopards. Hopefully this dream day will become reality in the Fall.

Julius Heftler, a 2012 graduate of The Dalton School, is a freshman at Lehigh University.


What Is Your Favorite Word And Why?

The University of Virginia: What is Your Favorite Word and Why?

by Jordan Lassiter

With friends, I co-founded a jazz band that plays for senior citizens.  At the Daughters of Israel Nursing Home, an elderly woman in a wheelchair was so happy that she grabbed my hand.  She was bored with doing artwork, but excited to hear us play “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman. The music produced my favorite word on her face–Smile. She smiled at her memory of being a young teen dancing with the man who became her husband.

The smile of  the excited stranger at the nursing home leads me to consider an article by UVA Professor Luann Lynch. In “Cases in Managerial and Cost Accounting,” Professor Lynch examines the essential link between human interactions of people from diverse backgrounds. The smiling woman and I are different in many ways– gender and generation to name just two.  Yet my saxophone created a bridge between us.  How can such a commonality through music help forge stronger relationships between doctors and patients or entrepreneurs and customers?  At UVA, I would engage questions like that with professors like Ms. Lynch.

At the University of Virginia, I would also start my own band, perhaps with aspiring physicians like me.  I would call it “Pre Med Music” combining my dream of becoming a doctor with my passion for music especially for  my alto saxophone.

I appreciate  the variety of ways my saxophone helps make people smile. During football season,  I help bring smiles to Millburn fans  when the stadium lights up with spirit.  The football team hasn’t won a game all season.  So when the 200 of us in the marching band take the stands, there are probably more smiles than you find at the end of the games: Crazy Train is the crowd favorite.‬

Jordan Lassiter is a freshman at The University of Virginia and a 2012 graduate of Millburn High School.


Supplements: Why Tufts? Let Your Life Speak.

What aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” 50-100 words

by Ravi Popat

1 teaspoon of History

¾ ounce of Language

A pinch of Culture

A full cup of Economics

1 drop of Political Science

This is the tentative recipe for my perfect dish but you need a master chef to make your taste buds dance. The intellectual dialogue and strong IR program at Tufts makes it the ideal place to hone my “cooking” skills and become a master chef.


by Chris Drakeford

My intellectual curiosity is my child and Tufts is the ideal neighborhood to raise him. My child wonders about the world beyond his backyard and leading travel abroad and international relations programs will strengthen his natural ability to find answers to conflicts. He dreams of global citizenship and the pursuit of diplomacy or international business.


There is a Quaker saying: ”Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised–your family, home, neighborhood, or community–and how it influenced the person you are today. 

by Ravi Popat

England’s famous rainfall never failed to lull me to sleep as I travelled south to visit my grandparents every weekend. I complained about missing sleepovers as we made the journey from our affluent neighborhood near Bedford to my grandparent’s house in the projects of North London. In splitting my childhood between two very different neighborhoods, I was exposed to two completely different lifestyles. As I spent my weekdays with the Bedford boys and my weekends with the Shakespeare Drive crew, I would find myself shifting between a London “bruv” and a Bedfordian. This amoebic nature allowed me to move freely between groups if I wanted.  And even though I have left “Jolly old,” I find my metamorphic ability useful on stage, switching from the blood lusting Tybalt to the joker known as the Clown.

Back in the streets of London we played street football, emulating our heroes, whilst keeping lookout for incoming traffic; in the halls of Bedford, we vociferously debated which player was better and whose hero was more heroic. In Bedford, I sharpened my debating skills that have proved to be powerful weapons in my Model UN conferences. In London, I learned how to beat my defender, a quick drop of the shoulder, a feint, leaving the opposition skinned. The moves that I learned back on Shakespeare Drive have come back to aid me today. Ask any of my opponents on the soccer field.

Looking back on my days in England, I realize what molded me as a person. I owe something to both the brown brick house on Shakespeare Drive and the Harry Potter-esque halls of the 500-year-old Bedford School.


by Chris Drakeford

Like all children, I began as an unshaped piece of clay. My hometown, Yorktown Heights, New York, has performed the task of a sculptor shaping me into the person I am today. My parents are the sculptor’s right and left thumbs. My Dad, an IBM retiree, soaks up books like a sponge. He has taught me the skills I will need as an adult, anything from “how to fix the sink” to “how the stock market works.” My Mom, an IBM executive, is a testament to the fact that hard work harbors success. Although I only see her for an hour or two on weeknights, watching her work so tirelessly has shaped my strong work ethic. Growing up without siblings has fostered creativity and resourcefulness; as an only child my imagination was often my only companion. My Grandmother, a psychologist, has as much youth and energy as my 17 year old friends. Like her, I look to better understand others through their actions and behaviors. Relationships with a diverse assortment of friends have also shaped important qualities such as debate skills gained from witty arguments with my intellectual honors classmates, or the sense of community gained from my quirky close-knit family of lacrosse teammates.


Ravi Popat began his freshman year at Tufts in September. He is a 2012 graduate of The Trinity School in New York.    

Chris Drakeford is a junior at Tufts majoring in International Relations. He was the first student ever to enroll in Write for the Future. He is a 2010 graduate of Yorktown Heights High School in Yorktown Heights, New York. He now works part-time for Write for the Future developing social media outreach.

Introducing Yourself to the University of Pennsylvania

by Morgan Pilgrim

Introduce yourself to Penn. Our aim is to better understand how your identity, talents, and background guide your day-to-day experiences.

I sit on the school bus and watch two worlds blend as the scenery slowly changes.  The first commercial strip is Grand Avenue where I see check cashing stores, Crown Fried Chickens, and other assorted fast food restaurants. As I get closer to my school, the air seems lighter as neon signs disappear and traffic dwindles. By the time I reach Brookville Road, lined with tall trees hiding sprawling private estates, I see the sign to my school- Long Island Lutheran. The starting and ending points may be very different but they are both my home. The scenes of the bus ride reveal the variety of my American experience. Traveling between the two homes has broadened my perspectives and gives me the understanding of different cultures, which ultimately helped create the versatile person I am today.

Morgan Pligrim is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and a 2012 graduate of Long Island Lutheran High School.