Community matters at Denison

BY MANDY HONG

홍성현씨, 안영하세요?  저는 캐이트 폰고니스

(Kate Pongonis) 입니다.  주한미국외교관 인데

Denison 대학교 출신 입니다.  1991 출업생 입니다.”

 

When I first got an email from a Denison alumni, Kate Pongonis ‘91, starting with this Korean sentence, I thought that someone was deceiving me. I couldn’t imagine getting an email written in Korean from a university in America.

As an international student, I had the chance to interview with a Denison alumni or senior interviewer. I thought I was going to interview by Skype, but I received an invitation from Kate to come over to her house for the interview. Denison was the first school that I had an interview for, so I was really nervous. Interviewing with alumni at their house was something that I had never done before and is pretty uncommon in Korea.

On the day of the interview, Kate baked cookies and a cake for me. She introduced herself as a diplomat and said she was working in Seoul, the capital of Korea.

I expected the interview would be formal and calm, but it was very casual and enjoyable. She wanted to hear my story and what I was interested in. We had a long conversation for more than an hour. She also told me a lot about Denison. As she told me more and more, I became curious about the school called Denison, and was impressed that an alumni who graduated a long time ago remembered her school life so vividly. I thought that students at Denison must really love their school.

After the interview, I kept in touch with Kate. When I got an acceptance letter from Denison, Kate even sent me a letter to congratulate my acceptance. She also invited me to dinner, and she gave me lots of advice about my dreams and college life. After visiting campus this April, I decided to study at Denison. Choosing Denison was probably the best decision that I made this year.

During the international pre-orientation and August orientation, one of the words that I heard most was “community.” I think a lot of people might question why Denison emphasizes community so much. Does community really matter at Denison?

Through my experience, Denison really cares about the community. I’ve met really nice people in my classes, school organizations and offices. Outside the school, I’ve already experienced the Denison community in Korea.

It has only been a little over a month that I have been a student at Denison University, but I feel like I am already a member of the school’s community. All of my experiences make me so excited about things that will happen in the next four years. I am looking forward to meeting Denisonians both on and outside of campus.