Elizabeth Elsbach ’13 loves a good challenge. With plans for a double major in history and international relations (through the University of Notre Dame), and potentially an additional major in English writing, Elizabeth enjoys pushing herself beyond her own expectations. “I do realize this is an insane amount of work, but I feel that I am more than up for the task,” she says.
With these majors in mind, Elizabeth chose to attend Saint Mary’s, where she knew she’d pursue her dream to work in a field of service, social justice, or political activism. “I want to work with developing and oppressed nations, hopefully as a diplomat, and the fact that Saint Mary’s has three alumnae as current United States Representatives definitely makes my dream seen like an attainable goal,” Elizabeth explains. “I think that’s the reason I chose Saint Mary’s, the fact that every dream I’ve ever had for service, social justice, or political activism can now become attainable goals.” Elizabeth already has some experience under her belt. Through RusticPathways, a volunteer program for high school and college students, Elizabeth worked to help improve living conditions and education in various countries in Southeast Asia.
Elizabeth feels at home at Saint Mary’s and enjoys the sense of community she experiences here. “Everyone has been extremely kind and welcoming,” she says. “There has been a real effort to make sure each person feels comfortable at Saint Mary’s—to the point where people regard it as home. The upperclassmen really try to help new students get the hang of the college life and point out where to find things, as well as pass on the old legends and traditions.”
In class, Elizabeth enjoys learning from her professors and appreciates how cooperative and understanding they are. She says professors are willing to make time for students outside of class, as well as provide helpful information. “Every teacher I’ve had to talk to has been more than helpful in suggesting alternative methods of study and providing helpful websites and just being there to discuss the materials that we went over in class,” she says. “Its nice to know that I’m viewed, not as just another tuition check, like I might be at a big state school, but as a student and a person.”
Elizabeth loves the challenging academics as well as the Saint Mary’s community. She says, “Saint Mary’s provides an academic learning environment where women are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone in order to become more confident and productive members of society. Each woman here becomes an individual with a sense of purpose, self-respect, and moral fortitude that is reinforced by the environment found at Saint Mary’s.”
—Alicia Smith '12