Senior Profile: Jason Swartz

Environmental studies major Jason Swartz taking a bearing while at anchor aboard the Student Sailing Vessel Corwith Cramer in the British Virgin Islands during the spring 2017 semester. Photo courtesy of Jason Swartz.

What is your preferred name and your major and minor?

Jason or Jase. Environmental studies major with a specialization in biology and a French minor.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

Student Ambassador with Admissions, Peer Writing Tutor at the Writing Center, Honors Peer Mentor, and Transfer Peer Mentor with the First Year Team, French Language Tutor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

Treasurer of Heroes Helping Hopkins, Fellowship Vice President of Alpha Phi Omega, and Co-President of DangerSauce.

Did you enjoy your time at McDaniel? How?

Yes, I have definitely enjoyed my time at McDaniel. While I think many of us can get easily frustrated by different administrative struggles or by the shear amount of pressure we feel from work/class/extra-curriculars, I have definitely grown as a person and met many influential people along the way. McDaniel is a great place to learn and I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to study here!

Who do you think is/was your best mentor(s)?

Dr. Jason Scullion Dr. Mona Becker, the two environmental studies professors during my time at McDaniel, have definitely been my greatest mentors, though there have been many good ones along the way.

What is your best memory at McDaniel?

I think one of my best memories at McDaniel has been helping my sister to move in during her freshman year (when I was a junior). I was very excited to see her getting ready to start out on an awesome adventure at a new place that I also loved calling home.

What were some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

Neither of my parents have attended a 4-year college which can definitely make some of the registration, writing assignments, and even just daily life so unrelatable and difficult for parents to understand. Suddenly, someone who knew so much about what I was going through in high school had very little idea of what I was going through in college, which can be quite isolating and lonely. I overcame this struggle by reaching out to different offices (First Stop, Academic Affairs, Writing Center, and the Honors Program, among others) that helped me get connected to on-campus resources that could help me out and create a support system here that helped to supplement my support system at home.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I intend to work for a year or two, hopefully in coastal/wetland sciences, before heading to graduate school. My ultimate goal is to work towards an M.S. and then a PhD so that I can be a professor.

What advice can you give to those not graduating?

Make sure that you take advantage of every opportunity you get. Whether this is a professional opportunity (networking, internship, etc.) or social (hang out with friends, explore Westminster, etc.), just DO IT. You’ll regret sitting around not doing anything when it comes time to leave this place!

Is there anything else you want to share with the McDaniel community?

Kenny Porter wrote the playbook.