What is the single most important thing a Marlboro alumnus can do to boost enrollment at their favorite alma mater? Refer prospective students, of course. Amanda DeBisschop ’10 MAT ’12, has referred 10 amazing students who are attending Marlboro, or have already graduated, through her role as a high school teacher and assistant residential director at an arts camp.
“The summer students I work with are some of the most self-driven, creative, vibrant individuals I have met, and the Marlboro connection has always seemed natural to me,” says Amanda. She spends summers at the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University, an interdisciplinary, four-week arts residency program for high school students in Middletown, Connecticut. “These are the kinds of people who will thrive in an environment that is rich in interdisciplinary exploration and will jump at the opportunity to design their own path through their educational experience.”
Some of Amanda’s referrals are from Leland and Gray High School, in Townsend, Vermont, where she has taught American literature for six years, since her internship there as part of Marlboro’s MA in Teaching for Social Justice program. She credits her Marlboro experience with inspiring her own teaching and giving her the confidence to design and enact a meaningful educational practice.
“I always begin my courses by talking about what the ‘humanities’ are and why we study them: so that we can be good humans. I feel that I am helping to teach students how to be a person in the world, how to empathize with the people around them, how to critically question the important things that are happening in their lives, and how to make hard decisions that will serve them well in the future.”
Marlboro is fortunate that Amanda has referred several of these good humans to a future on Potash Hill. “They are the kind of people who have the will and the motivation to take full advantage of the resources offered to them and excel in a self-driven educational setting,” she says.