Guest Post! Meet Alyssa + Spotlight on Franklin Students

Dear Readers,

This week, I am pleased to bring you a guest post by a talented writer and hard-working student on campus. Keep scrolling to learn more about Alyssa, what she does at Franklin, and what she prepared for this week's post! Enjoy.

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Hi everyone!

My name is Alyssa Viernes, and I am a Junior here at Franklin University Switzerland. My major is Visual Communication Arts with an emphasis in Fashion Studies and a minor in Marketing. If you’re not familiar with me already, check out my Franklin related posts here. My post on Odyssey, “8 Misconceptions about Franklin University Switzerland” already has 889 views and 103 social media shares!

Our Franklin blogger, Gabrielle, asked me to guest-post on Adventures at Franklin. I thought about what I could write about, and decided writing about my experiences working for the Annual Franklin Phonathon would be an interesting topic.

In case you don't know what the Phonathon is, it is an event practiced by many American universities in which students reach out to alumni. It often leads to interesting conversations between current and graduated students.

During the Phonathon, students are able to update alumni about current events at Franklin. I went around campus to ask students to answer questions that I frequently received from alumni while working at this event.

Keep reading to find out what students had to say.

. . .

Name: Dilan Hettiarachchi
Year: Junior
Major: International Management with an emphasis in Marketing
Hometown: Potomac, Maryland
Franklin Fun Fact: “I am a Falcon’s Nest monitor, admissions ambassador, and treasurer for the student government”

What was your favorite Academic Travel course and why?
“My favorite travel was ENV 230: Freshwater Conservation with Professor Della Croce, because the places we went to in Italy and Slovenia were really unique. I would never have gone there if it wasn’t for the travel.”

What was your favorite travel destination beyond Academic Travel?
“My favorite place I’ve been to outside of Academic Travel is Budapest, because it was really great on a student budget.”
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Name: Jessica Borgert
Year: Junior
Major: Double Major in Communications and Media Studies and International Relations
Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota
Franklin Fun Fact: “I’ve been the stage manager for the Franklin Thespian Society since my freshman year. In our last play, The Exit Interview, I also got to play the character of stage manager.”

Who is your favorite professor at Franklin?
“I would have to say either Professor Hoey or Dean Sara Steinert Borella. They have great classes and are extremely friendly professors. SSB’s travels are the best, especially for freshman.”

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
“My favorite class was an Academic Travel course, CLCS 235: Greek Civilizations and its Discontents, led by Professor Wiedmer. I loved the class because I was able to interact with the area I was researching. Also, I was able to freely write on a topic I find interesting, which was political cartoons and their use of an iconic image of the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe.”
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Name: Maddie McWilliams
Year: Freshman
Major: Considering Double Major in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and French Studies (Currently Undecided)
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Franklin Fun Fact: “My favorite Franklin event is Apple McGoober, because it’s a way for me to play music and tap into the community.”

Where did you go on Academic Travel?
“I was in Dean Sara Steinert Borella’s travel, CLCS 248: European Food Systems. We were studying the relation between food and space. My favorite thing was going to visit all the artisans and it was really inspiring to see their passion in their work.”

Did you travel anywhere else this semester?
“I went to Malta right after Academic Travel. If you’re looking for a change of pace from mainland Europe, Malta’s kind of off the beaten path. I recommend staying on the main island.”
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Name: Suraya Watfa
Year: Senior
Major: International Relations
Hometown: Dubai, U.A.E.
Franklin Fun Fact: “My tip is that the USI library is a great place to have a change of scenery when studying.”

Who is your favorite professor at Franklin?
 “My favorite professor at Franklin would probably be Professor Cordon. I think I gain a lot from his classes and he’s a very focused professor; he doesn’t deviate from what’s important.”

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
“My favorite class is POL 290: Government and Politics of the Middle East with Professor Bregman. I found it a very interesting topic and he’s a very good professor.”
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Name: Juliana Brito
Year: Senior
Major: Combined Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and Political Science
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Franklin Fun Fact: “I’m the president of the Franklin club PACE!”

Who is your favorite professor at Franklin?
My favorite is Professor Wiedmer, because she gives you the freedom to write about the things you're passionate about within the class topic.”

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
“I really like CLCS 371W: Law and Culture with ProfessorWiedmer, because it was during that class that I realized what I wanted to write about for my thesis. I always had these ‘wow’ moments in class. I also really like LIT 300: Modernism/Modernity: “Making It New”? with Professor Peat, because you can tell how much she cares about the topic. Her passion makes it more exciting to learn. Plus, she’s funny!”
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Name: Kyle Rolda
Year: Freshman
Major: Considering Communication and Media Studies (Currently Undecided)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Franklin Fun Fact: “Professor Sugiyama is my favorite!”

Where did you go on Academic travel?
“I went to French-speaking Switzerland and France with DeanSara Steinert Borella (CLCS 248: European Food Systems). I’ve always said that food is one of the pinnacles of culture. Because I’m experiencing Switzerland for the first time this year, it’s been very enlightening.”

Did you travel anywhere else this semester?
 “I went to Barcelona and Munich. I would totally recommend Munich. It had such a cool mixture of history and innovative technology.”
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Name: Min Gacayan
Year: Freshman
Major: Considering International Economics with an emphasis on Political Economy (Currently Undecided)
Hometown: Baguio, Philippines
Franklin Fun Fact: “I really appreciate learning lots of different languages by hearing them from other students.”

Who is your favorite professor at Franklin?
 “My favorite professors are Professor Dasgupta and Professor Gardiner. I think that both of their classes have greatly enriched my life and I feel like, as a result, I think more out of the box.”

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
 “My favorite course is Fair Trade Economics which is my FYS, with Professor Dasgupta. It’s my favorite because I was never interested in economics beforehand, but now I see how economics is multidimensional and how, when understood correctly, it could help social justice causes.”
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Name: Reema Alireza
Year: Junior
Major: International Management with an emphasis in Marketing
Hometown: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Franklin Fun Fact: “My favorite thing about Franklin is the burger truck that comes on Tuesday nights. That is my absolute favorite thing that has been happening at Franklin since it started last year! I’ve been a regular customer at Togo’s ever since.”

Who is your favorite professor at Franklin?
 “My favorite professors are Professor Pamela Adams, Professor Sandra Dudukovic, Professor Nicholas Hemlin, Professor Cordon, and Professor Howard. I like these professors because they are very professional and they take a personal interest in students’ progress and learning. They are very reliable when it comes to emails and contacting them, and I just enjoy business classes, especially marketing classes.”

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
 “My favorite class was BUS 286 Product and Service Marketing with Professor Pamela Adams. I used to wake up just to go to that class, because she was always very excited to teach us and very happy to hear what the students had to say. She was very good at teaching the subject and very passionate about it. I also liked BUS 385: Consumer Behavior in International Marketing with Professor Howard, because he related everything we were learning to real life. He was also genuinely interested in everyone’s progress, passionate about teaching, passionate about the subject, and took a personal interest into everyone in his class. He was very encouraging to everyone and very happy to help outside of class.”
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Name: N.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Combined History and Art History with Minor in Environmental Science
From: India
Franklin Fun Fact: “I wholeheartedly contribute to the organization of Franklin's Holi celebration.”

What events do you enjoy most at Franklin?
“My Art History classes have been taking me on museum visits, which is great. Also, I currently teach yoga here at Franklin, and it gives me happiness to spread ancient knowledge to the international community.”

What is your dream job? How do you think the Franklin experience will prepare you for it?
“My dream job is to be a curator in art history museums and to continue teaching yoga. I feel that the Franklin experience is providing me with a strong foundational base for my career by giving me confidence to face the world.”
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Name: Sydney Turnwald
Year: Senior
Major: Combined Communications and Media Studies and Psychology
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Franklin Fun Fact: “I work in the Library.”

What was your favorite Academic Travel course and why?
 “My favorite travel was History of Modern Ireland with Professor Hoey. What we were covering in class really corresponded with where we went on travel. I felt completely prepared to understand the places where we were at: their significance in history, and how they fit into the material, and what we were supposed to learn at each site. Also, Ireland is a beautiful country, and we still had a good amount of time to explore by ourselves”

What was your favorite travel destination beyond Academic Travel?
 “My favorite trip was the one I took to Budapest my freshman year. It’s not necessarily my favorite city, but it was my favorite trip, because it was a lot of fun with good people and great food. It was also the first trip I planned by myself, and so it will always have special memories.”
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Name: Veronica Apache
Year: Senior
Major: Visual Communications Art with an emphasis in Fashion Studies
Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia
Franklin Fun Fact: “I’m the president of the Latin-American Club.”

What was your favorite Academic Travel course and why?
 “My favorite travel was ENV 200: Understanding Environmental Issues in Iceland, because it was the perfect mixture of academics and practical work. It was very well-organized and got to connect with the actual culture, and not be tourists”

What was your favorite travel destination beyond Academic Travel?
 “My favorite place I’ve visited outside of Academic travel is London, because of the mixture of cultures and the events available.”
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Name: Pamela Herrera
Year: Junior
Major: Double Major in International Economics and International Business and Finance
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
Franklin Fun Fact: “I’m a Resident Assistant!”

Who is your favorite professor at Franklin?
“My favorite professor is Professor Dudukovic. She encourages students to not just memorize, but to understand what we’re doing and look forward to doing it.”

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
 “I’m torn between BUS 306: Quantitative Methods and Dynamic Forecasting with Professor Dudukovic and ECN 265: Managerial Economics with Professor Dasgupta. For Quantitative Methods, we turn the models we learn in class into real life situations. It’s really interesting to see how it works. Managerial Economics has a lot of math and I love that. It’s microeconomics - you can apply that to businesses, households, etc.”
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Name: Diego Barrenechea
Year: Junior
Major: Double Major in Art History and Communications and Media Studies
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
Franklin Fun Fact: “I work for admissions and I get to tour prospective students around the school.”

What events do you enjoy most at Franklin?
“My favorite Franklin event is Latin American Night, because it is a chance for us to show off our traditional food and music. It’s such a nice community and we want to show our beautiful distinct cultures.”

What is your dream job? How do you think the Franklin experience will prepare you for it?
 “My dream job would be something related with combination of my majors: Art History and Communications and Media Studies. I’m really interested in how social media relates to museums. I would be interested in being the social media correspondent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). Franklin has allowed me to learn so much about European art history and has allowed me to pursue a 3rd language. I am able to travel and update my personal art history blog, because of Franklin’s prime location.”
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Name: Guanchen Liu
Year: Sophomore
Major: International Management with an emphasis in Marketing
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Franklin Fun Fact: “I recommend everyone to go on the Franklin Swiss Bus Tour!”

What was your favorite Academic Travel course and why?
“My favorite Academic travel was STA 280: Adventures in Printmaking with Professor Zdanski, because I’ve always liked art and this travel taught me new techniques for doing artwork.”

What was your favorite travel destination beyond Academic Travel?
“My favorite place that I’ve gone to outside of Academic travel is Florence, because the city is a center of art. There are many museums, and there are many famous paintings in the city. I recommend the gelato there!”
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Name: Ariana Satina
Year: Junior
Major: Communications and Media Studies
Hometown: Leesburg, Virginia
Franklin Fun Fact: "I'm learning to quickly adapt and acclimate to new environments, cultures, and people - I don't think I would have learned this if I went to school in the States.”

What was your favorite Academic Travel course and why?
 “My favorite Academic travel was COM 220: Symbolizing Scottish Folk in Scotland with Professor Vogelaar, because the class excursions that we had were relevant to what we learned in class as well as interesting. Also, the Highlands in Scotland are beautiful and remind me of my home region.”

What was your favorite travel destination beyond Academic Travel?
 “One of my favorite places that I’ve gone to outside of Academic travel is Colmar, France, because the journey to get there was beautiful. Colmar itself was a quaint and delightful town. I recommend people to bike in Colmar as there are decent bike trails and refreshing views.”
. . .

Wow, looking at all these responses has me thinking that Franklin is a place for unique and amazing opportunities. Not only do we get to travel Europe and study it closely, but Franklin provides us with awesome in-class experiences with quality professors.

As for me, if you’re wondering what I think of Franklin, I’ll answer some questions myself:

What is your favorite course you’ve taken at Franklin?
I’ve had many good classes at Franklin. Three unforgettable classes for me have been CLCS 245: Critical Approaches to the Graphic Novel with Professor Gardiner, STA 200: Computer Graphics in Advertising with Professor Triacca and Professor Heubi, and CLCS 300: (Re)Defining Masculinity with Professor Saveau.
In the Graphic Novel class, we defined the difference between a comic and a graphic novel. I was always interested in graphic novels, due to manga, but it was really amazing to see the power of the image and its ability to convey serious topics in a way that is much easier to digest. My favorite graphic novel from this class is One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry, because of its connection to the Filipino-American experience. I ended up writing my final paper around this topic. I really liked my computer graphics class, because I was able to tap into my own creativity while also dealing with the challenges of making sure the finished logo conveyed the company/individual’s image. Last, I’ve been really enjoying my class on masculinity, because of the discussions we have in class. The readings are insightful, and together with the opinions in class, I feel that I look at society in a more critical light.

What are your thoughts on your Franklin experience?
Every day I think that there is no way I could attend any university other than Franklin. Being able to travel freely across Europe and be with so many people from different paths of life, the Franklin experience is amazing and extremely gratifying.
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Well, that’s it from me. Thank you to everyone who participated! (Especially since I asked you all during what is basically already finals week.)

Follow my Franklin experience on Instagram (@afridayhabit).

Want to put a face to the names mentioned in this article?

Check out our exceptional professors at www.fus.edu/academics/faculty and find courses here


Also, you can learn more about Franklin from an alumni perspective through this recent Franklin University Switzerland YouTube video!

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