Ella Crawford (she/her)
Class Year: 2019
Hometown: Alameda, California
Extracurriculars: Admissions Fellow, student representative on the Budget Advisory Committee, member of the Student Organizations Committee, finance coordinator of the Coop
Overseas study: India Regional Area Study
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
Autonomous, collaborative, thoughtful
What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?
Professor Becko Copenhaver in the philosophy department is my favorite professor and her course Philosophy Study: Memory has been the most fruitful class I have taken at L&C. The subject matter is challenging and Becko is an innovative and thoughtful teacher. She has encouraged us to take this study into our own hands by having small groups of students lead class discussion, think of questions, and provide textual evidence. In running class this way, it teaches students how to work together, meaningfully reflect on our work, present in public, analyze arguments, and be leaders in and out of the classroom.
Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?
“Challenge yourself (whether that be academically, socially, professionally, etc.) and trust your ability to handle what may come of it.”
I consider Serena Ancheta in the Admissions Office to be my mentor on campus. Serena has a special talent for supporting her team of students to implement their ideas for improvements. Not only is she active in making suggestions, but then once she sees that I have a plan she will let me handle the project from there. Not only have I learned a lot from her as a leader but her methods have motivated me to be confident in my own abilities and goals.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
I chose Lewis & Clark because I felt that I had found a space where I could grow. The feeling I had on campus was one of acceptance. No matter what kind of person you are, what you like, what your ambitions are, or what you want to study, you will be supported by the faculty and students. I wanted a college where I could try out a lot of different activities in order to figure out what I liked to do and what I was good at. The insecurity of wanting to fit in that I had in high school followed me when I found myself on other college campuses. Yet this uncertainty dissipated when I got to Lewis & Clark. This is an incredible community for a number of different reasons, but I chose Lewis & Clark truly for its flexibility. It is a campus full of encouraging faculty and students who have diverse interests. What makes this place a community, however, is that we want to see each other succeed in our respective initiatives no matter how different they may be from our own.
If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?
I chose to study abroad in India because I wanted to go to a region that would be totally different from my own context. I had worked as a nanny in Spain the year before and while I had enjoyed myself immensely, I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t Europe or any of the Americas. Going to India was an awe-inspiring experience that gave me a renewed zeal for my classes when I got home. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery and a completely different circumstance in order to have a better understanding of why you are doing what you’re doing.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
To challenge yourself (whether that be academically, socially, professionally, etc.) and trust your ability to handle what may come of it.
How did you decide on a major?
I talked to students in my major about their experience and the professors in the department about their projected curriculum. I had always been drawn to philosophy and after I met the students and faculty in the department I knew what I wanted.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced at Lewis & Clark?
Managing all the different activities and classes I have had. It was difficult for me to balance all the different pursuits I was involved in. I wanted to give all my attention to each thing I took on but there are just not enough hours in the day! Therefore, it was important for me to learn to rely on classmates, delegate work, and reach out to professors in office hours when classes became challenging or material confusing.
How do you manage stress?
I do my work.
How has Lewis & Clark changed you?
Lewis & Clark has fundamentally changed me in so many ways and yet I am also the same person I have always been. This school has taught me how to be thoughtful and rely on my own abilities. I feel more confident than ever to take the next step after graduation. I can thank my fellow students, professors, and administrative leaders for inspiring me to be the best version of myself.