2017-Rachel Rubino

Rachel Rubino

First Major:       English

Second Major:   French


300 Word Statement

Lafayette students are determined doers: “Cur Non?”-ers. Leopards are engaged enthusiasts of learning who actively apply their education within their everyday lives. I arrived to Lafayette with ambition to immerse myself in every opportunity provided that ignited my passions.

My academic goals have always rested on the front burner. My classroom experience has been an essential cog within the ever-large, complex structure of my student potential. Lafayette has warmly facilitated my learning processes of exploration and discovery. Being a Lafayette student is more than attending office hours, spending late nights in the library, and developing a sweet tooth for academic recognition. It is about pushing the boundaries of one’s comfort zone and evolving one’s capacities.

I was too intimidated, for instance, to speak at the first Literary Magazine Meeting I attended as a first year. I served as Editor for the following two years. In another instance, come junior year, I adjusted to the classroom expectations of my Humanities courses. Consequently, I served as a member of Technology Clinic and a Writing Associate for STEM courses. The list goes on. Lafayette boundlessly encourages community and individual growth. Ultimately, my supported and self-guided experiences have enhanced my sense of confidence and leadership abilities.

I came to Lafayette inspired by its “Cur Non” mission: its student ideal. By personally applying this ideal, I have evolved into a dynamic young woman who is not only interested, but also interesting. Lafayette has helped me conquer my reservations and pursue my goals each step of the way. I have reared and readied a mindset that will carry me strongly through post-graduate life.


Academic Activities/Awards – Total Years Involved

  • Dean’s List (4)

Lafayette College students are named to the Dean’s List for outstanding academic achievement during the semester. Each student achieves at least a 3.60 semester grade point average on a 4.0 scale. I received Dean’s List in: Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, and Fall 2016.

  • Honors Thesis in English (1)

I am currently pursuing my Honors Thesis with Head Professor of English Patricia Donahue. My English Thesis is organized into three sections, which consist of both critical and creative components.  My thesis focuses on Cleopatra as a female leader. Upon distinguishing the ruler’s history, I investigate her role as a signifier in literary text. I explore her symbolic value in works that both alter and epitomize verified aspects of the woman and her reign. In order make inferences conducive to Cleopatra as a signifier in literary texts, I focus on the renowned Shakespeare play, “Antony and Cleopatra.” I employ close readings of Shakespeare’s work in order to draw verifiable conclusions about the leader’s role as an emblem within literary tradition. Lastly, I incorporate response poems within my research. This creative element complements the analytical bulk of my essays. The poems provide a distinct insight into my conclusions about Cleopatra’s legacy.

  • The Gilbert Prize in English (1)

The Gilbert Prize is awarded annually to students who, in the judgment of the department of English, have demonstrated superiority in English. I received this prize in Spring 2016.

  • James Alexander Petrie Prize in French (1)

The Petrie Prize is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates a high degree of proficiency in French. I received this prize in Spring 2017.

  • MacKnight Black Poetry and Literature Prize (1)

The H. MacKnight Black Poetry and Literature Prize is awarded annually to a senior who submits the best poem or group of poems in a contest conducted by the Department of English. I received this prize in Spring 2017 from contest judge Kazim Ali.

  • Jean Corrie Poetry Prize (2)

The Jean Corrie Poetry Prize is awarded annually to first-, second-, and third-year students who submit poetry in a contest conducted by the Lafayette College Department of English and the Academy of American Poets. I received a First Place prize in Spring 2017 from contest judge Jay Parini. I also received a Special Mention in Spring 2014 from contest judge BJ Ward.

  • New York State (NYS) Summer Writer’s Institute Scholarship (1)

The NYS Summer Writer’s Institute launches a merit-based scholarship competition each year. The competition is open to students enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate programs, who are nominated by their creative writing instructors.  From more than 300 applications, an odd 50 applicants received a scholarship. This scholarship funded a two-week poetry workshop led by author Peg Boyers. This workshop awarded me the ability to strengthen my writing skills and widen my academic writing network. I received this scholarship in Spring 2016.

  • Order of Omega (1)

Order of Omega is a leadership Honor Society for fraternity and sorority members. Order of Omega recognizes juniors and seniors who have exemplified high standards in areas of scholarship, leadership, and involvement within their respective campus and community. Members are selected from the top 3% of students at each institution. I wasinducted into the Rho Tau Chapter of Order of Omega Spring 2016.

  • Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society (1)

Pi Delta Phi is the National French Honor Society that recognizes students with personal achievements in the field of French. The purpose of the Society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and increase knowledge as well as appreciation of the French-speaking world. I am to be inducted into the Society Spring 2017.

  • Flash Fiction Contest Prize (2)

All Lafayette Students are eligible to submit to the Flash Fiction Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Department of English. I received a First Place prize in Fall 2016 from contest judge Kate Brandes.  I also received an Honorable Mention prize in Fall 2015 from contest judge Margo Rabb.


Campus Service/Activities and Awards – Total Years Involved

  • Writing Associate (3)

I have been a Writing Associate (WA) for the College Writing Program (CWP) each semester since Fall 2014. The Program Heads partner me with a professor to coordinate writing services for their students. I have worked with professors and tutored students who represent an array of majors and writing levels. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with texts written by students in FYS, STEM, and Humanities courses. In addition, I attend staff meetings led by Program Coordinator Professor John Tatu. During these meetings, Professor Tatu guides discussions on rhetoric and facilitative tutoring. Lastly, I participate in a bi-weekly drop-in tutor service that helps students with their writing and multi-media assignments.

  • Literary Magazine (4)

I have been on the staff of the Literary Magazine since Fall 2013. My Sophomore and Junior Years I served as Editor. This role required I lead weekly meetings, in which the staff reviewed student-submitted writings and photos. I arranged staff-selected pieces for magazine publication. I created the annual magazine on the Adobe IRCC platform. I handled transactions with the publication company Sheridan Press. I advertised the magazine on social media. Finally, I gathered the staff to distribute the magazines around campus. Throughout my second year as Editor I revamped the organization by distributing responsibilities that were previously allocated solely to the Editor. I devised a new branch of roles for student members seeking leadership positions within the club. These positions included Social Media Director, Treasurer, and Magazine Web Designer.

  • Board of Trustees Committee on Educational Policy (1)

Throughout senior year I served as a Student Associate on the Board of Trustees Committee on Educational Policy. This position provided me with the opportunity to not only share my experience, but also learn from the college’s governance structure. I gained invaluable connections with Board Members and Chief Academic Officer, Provost Abu Rizvi. I participated in semesterly discussions relating to the college’s curriculum, admission process, and faculty/student development.

  • Technology Clinic (1)

Technology Clinic is a two-semester independent study in which teams of Lafayette students from each academic division work together to craft imaginative solutions for their clients’ real-world problems. Students are nominated by professors and mentored by two faculty facilitators. The project teams are purposely multidisciplinary, including students and faculty mentors from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences and Engineering.  From Fall 2015 to Spring 2016, my Technology Clinic team and I worked to improve collaboration between different academic branches at Lafayette. Our project was led by Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Dan Bauer, and Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Luis Schettino. We focused on establishing a “Maker Movement” on campus. The “Maker Movement” facilitates inquiry-based learning by means of physically creating materials, source-sharing, and utilizing “Makerspaces” as learning hubs. Our project was sponsored by The Skillman Library.

  • The Lafayette (3)

Throughout Fall 2013 to Fall 2015, I served as a Contributing Writer to the Lafayette Newspaper. I composed reviews, and informational articles for the Arts & Culture section. My service for the Arts & Culture section was especially rewarding because it required I attend numerous shows, talks, and events held by the college. I also received the opportunity to interview and engage with numerous faculty/staff members and students on campus. I published 35 articles total.

  • WJRH 104.9 FM (2)

Throughout Fall 2015 to Spring 2017, I served as a staff member for the college radio station WJRH. I hosted a weekly show, which could be tuned in locally at 104.9 FM, or accessed via the web. I selected musical pieces to play and poems to read for my audience. This opportunity helped me learn about radio engineering, audio production techniques, and podcasting. It was undoubtedly fun to connect with the Lafayette community under the alias “DJ Ruby.”

  • Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women (3)

In Fall 2014 I was inducted into the Pennsylvania Eta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. My involvement in this organization has encouraged my philanthropic engagements and commitment to leadership on campus. Throughout Spring 2015 to Spring 2016 I served as a Leadership & Nominating Committee Member within my chapter. Throughout Fall 2016 to Spring 2017 I served as a Judicial Board Member for the Panhellenic Council.

  • French Club (2)

Throughout Fall 2013 to Spring 2015 I served as a member of The French Club, formally known as “Le Cercle Francais.” My sophomore year, I was elected as the head of Social Relations. I developed the club’s social media presence through the WordPress platform, and advertised various events for National French Week. I also contributed to the club’s community outreach program, designed to teach French to local elementary school students.


Community Service – Total Years Involved

  • Kids in the Community (KIC) (1)

From Spring 2014 to Spring 2015 I volunteered for the Landis program KIC. Each week I visited the Easton Community Center to tutor and provide after-school activities for children who reside at the local shelter. As a staff volunteer, I developed personal relationships with children who attended the program, as well as the team of KIC volunteers.

  • Alternative Break Club (1)

In January 2016, I attended a service trip that focused on educational reformation issues along the Mexico-US border. I served on a team of student led by Assistant Director of Admissions Ed Bianchi.  Together, we worked with “Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement” (IDEA) Public Schools, Inc.  The IDEA charter school where we volunteered was focused on helping underserved students achieve academic success. Many of the students enrolled in the school were children of immigrants. Each day I tutored both non-native and native English Language speakers in a seventh grade ELA class. My week-long immersion within this program inspired my aspiration to teach at a charter school, as I will be doing upon graduation.

  • STEAM Camp (1)

During Spring 2015, I worked with a team of teachers and Lafayette students to develop lesson plans for activities within the camp itinerary. I taught classroom motivation and management tactics to camp volunteers. My expertise was derived from the hearty load of Education courses I took at Lafayette, which were taught by part-time Instructor John Squarcia. After this planning and preparation period, I facilitated activities for middle school students during the week in which the camp was held.

  • Lehigh Valley Alliance for Sustainable Communities (LVASC) (1)

From Fall 2015 to Spring 2016, I worked with LVASC to design tools for Lehigh Valley K-12 teachers. These tools included sample lesson plans and recommendations that integrated climate/sustainability concepts into a student-centered, inquiry-based teaching rhetoric. LVASC aimed for Lehigh Valley teachers to integrate environmental education in an interdisciplinary fashion, across a variety of subjects taught to students. I had the opportunity to study sustainability records, learn more about lesson-planning, and exchange project ideas with Lafayette staff.

  • Career Services Externship (1)

In Fall 2015, I accepted an offer from the Career Services Extern Program to shadow the principal of an Elementary School in Ridgewood, NJ. The principal was a father of a Lafayette student.  I enjoyed the opportunity to network as a representative of Lafayette while outside the city of Easton. For my externship, I observed the ins-and-outs of educational administrative work and elementary classroom experiences. I also had an informational meeting with the Ridgewood district superintendent.

  • Easton Area Middle School & March Elementary School (1)

During Winter Interim 2015, I observed and taught lessons to middle school students enrolled in an ELA class at Easton Area Middle School. During Spring 2015, I volunteered weekly at March Elementary School in a first grade classroom. I learned invaluable lessons about teaching and working with children through this unique outreach experience within the Easton community. I completed this work through my enrollment in Curriculum & Instruction classes taught by part-time Instructor John Squarcia.


Athletics Activity/Award – Total Years Involved

  • Fitness Assistant (3)

From Fall 2014 to Spring 2017 I worked as a Fitness Assistant for Recreation Services at Kirby Sports Center. While athletics are not my strongest suit, maintaining a healthy body is important to me for its correlation to the maintenance of a healthy mind. I was drawn to work as a Fitness Assistant because I am inspired by a working environment that is dedicated to this aspect of athleticism.  My work for Recreation Services has enabled me to interact with the athletic branch of our community at large. Each week I greet patrons who walk through the fitness center doors. I can recount numerous situations where I have maintained friendly interactions with athletic coaches at work in the Kirby Sports Center.  As a Fitness Assistant, I serve as a proponent of Mind & Body classes, as well as maintain my CPR/First-Aid Certification in case any physical emergency were to arise while I was on duty.

  • Yoga as a Spiritual Practice (1)

Throughout my junior year I made a commitment to attend Yoga classes on a weekly basis. These classes were administered by the Director of Religious & Spiritual Life Alex Hendrickson. Junior year was demanding, both academically and extracurricularly.  Therefore, I highly valued my commitment to attend these classes, as the commitment helped me maintain a healthier balance within my life.


Special Interest – Total Years Involved

  • Sculpture

Fall 2016 I took a Sculpture class taught by Art Professor Nestor Gil. I fell in love with the art of sculpting. A plaster sculpture entitled “Mama,” which I made with sophomore Lola Wegman, is currently on permanent display in the Williams Visual Arts Center.


2017 Winner

Finalists 2017

Contact Us

Dean of Advising & Co-Curricular Programs
200 Scott Hall
(610) 330-5080