Helen Hitz

Lewis & Clark has given me the tools to become a better student and a better person.

Helen Hitz BA ?21

Pronouns

she/her

Degree and Class Year

BA ’21

Hometown

Omaha, Nebraska

Current City

Phoenix, Arizona

Major

Economics and Psychology (double)

Extracurriculars

Associated Students of Lewis & Clark (ASLC), Feminist Student Union (FSU), New Student Orientation (NSO), Pioneer Success Institute (PSI)

Continuing Studies

JD Candidate, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Accepting, Extraordinary, Beautiful

Life After L&C

August 2022 Update

What have you been doing since graduation?

I am a law student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. This summer, I worked as a legal clerk for a public interest law firm called Nebraska Appleseed. This fall, I will be externing at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office.

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for law school?

Lewis & Clark allowed me to develop my writing and research skills in ways that students at larger schools often are not able to do. Also, the ability to get involved in so many student organizations, develop connections with professors, and communicate with administrators was really transformative for me personally and professionally.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

I think the most important thing Lewis & Clark taught me is to never be fully satisfied with the status quo and always aim for improvement. Lewis & Clark is such an incredible school, and I strongly believe that is because the community, especially the students and faculty, are always looking for ways L&C can improve.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I stay in touch with so many of the friends I made at Lewis & Clark. The friends I have made are truly lifelong friends.

Have you been to Alumni Weekend or other programming, like Homecoming, etc.? What did you enjoy about the event(s)?

I have not yet, but I hope to go to some events in the future.


Life at L&C

Helen Hitz BA ?21 What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

My favorite class was Social Psychology with Professor Diana Leonard. She encouraged us to expand on course readings and relate the material we learned back to our everyday lives. I have not looked at the world the same since taking this course. I often find myself at parties, in the dining hall, or on the streets downtown just observing human behavior and pondering the motivations behind it.

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

I would say that my mentor on campus is Harold McNaron, the advisor of the Associated Students of Lewis & Clark and director of Student Leadership and Service. Harold is always there to give me advice and provide much-needed information about Lewis & Clark, Portland, and life in general.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I always thought that I wanted to attend a huge university with tens of thousands of students and giant lecture halls. Then I visited Lewis & Clark and fell in love. The campus was absolutely gorgeous, the people in Portland were incredibly kind, and it was obvious the professors cared about their students and were passionate about what they were teaching. I left my campus visit knowing that L&C was the right fit for me.

How did you get involved with Campus Living? What has your involvement with Campus Living added to your L&C experience?

I became involved in Campus Living through my participation in New Student Orientation as a group leader. I loved being an NSO leader because I was able to make lasting connections with both my upperclassmen peers and the incoming students that were in my NSO group. As an NSO leader, I provided advice, guidance, and friendship to incoming students when they needed it the most, and that was an incredibly rewarding and unique experience.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

My advice for prospective students is to make an effort to reach out. This applies to everything: reach out to your professors, your peers, your resident advisors, etc… Everyone at Lewis & Clark wants you to succeed and is not only willing but excited to help you do it. Make use of the resources around you and do not be afraid to ask for guidance.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is the bench overlooking the ravine between the cobblestone circle and the grape arbor. It is the perfect place to hang out during the spring semester, iced coffee in hand, when the rain stops and the sun can be seen peeking through the trees.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

My favorite thing about living in Portland is definitely the people. Everyone here is so accepting and friendly.

How did you decide on a major?

I was enrolled in an 8 a.m. chemistry class my first semester, and I quickly decided after sleeping through my alarm on the very first day that it was not a good fit for me. Social Psychology looked interesting and still had an open seat in it, so I switched into it from chemistry. I fell head over heels in love with the field of psychology and quickly declared my major. The next semester I took economics and found it to be just as fascinating as psychology, so I decided to double major and haven’t looked back since.

What have been the biggest challenges you have faced at Lewis & Clark?

The biggest challenge I have faced at L&C was finding time for all of the things that I wanted to do in my first few months here. I wanted to be involved in multiple clubs, get perfect grades, and go out with my friends all of the time. It was fairly difficult to navigate at first, but with careful planning and a bit of practice, I am now able to do all of those things and more.

What’s your best Lewis & Clark memory so far?

My best L&C memory so far is definitely taking a trip to Los Angeles last spring break with the friends I made in my residence hall. We took a train down and hung out for the whole week.

How do you manage stress?

I manage stress by taking breaks to do things that I enjoy, like watching Netflix or taking a nap.

Where do you find community on campus?

I find community on campus through the student organizations I am a part of. I cannot imagine a life without weekly FSU and ASLC meetings and the friends I have made at them.

How has Lewis & Clark changed you?

I have gained academic intelligence, for sure, but I have also learned how to think outside the box, how to be a more empathetic friend, and how to be a more engaged citizen. Lewis & Clark has given me the tools to become a better student and a better person.