Anoush Arakelian

Anoush Arakelian came to Dartmouth from Bedford, Massachusetts. A member of the class of 2014, she has certainly carved out a niche for herself. In addition to being a Neuroscience major with a theater minor, Anoush plans on completing the Teacher Certification Program and getting her teacher certification in the fall after her senior year. She sings in and is the business manager for the all-female a cappella group the Rockapellas, plays rugby, and is part of the Hill Winds Society, a diverse group of students who serve as ambassadors to the alumni body. Also, this summer, Anoush participated in the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD), a program for high school students from under-resourced schools, as a mentor. Additionally, Anoush led a Sophomore (summer) trip because she loved her Freshman Dartmouth Outing Club trip so much!

Jan 272014

So something that is interesting about my D-Plan, is that it involves not one but TWO off terms. My second one is going to be my senior spring, as I have had an incredible opportunity arise. A Dartmouth alum started a neuro-marketing firm in the Upper Valley and has hired three Neuro majors to come help her out for the Spring. So, instead of taking three more classes in the Spring, I am taking one extra class now to finish early. Not the easiest thing to do, but totally worth it.

I want to talk about one class that I am taking right now that is totally unique to Dartmouth. It is an experiential learning class (arguably the most influential kind…) taught by Helen Damon-Moore of the Tucker Foundation. The class is called “Gender, Activism, and the Common Good.” Also, arguably a class everyone should be required to take. As a senior Neuroscience and Theater major, I am finding that I have a lot to learn and this class has a LOT to offer me. We are working with the Family Place and the Listen Community Center both located in the Upper Valley. We had an entire three hour discussion today about the definition of the word activism and activism at Dartmouth. Pretty cool when grassroots campaigns are taking place at your very institution (you go Panhell!).

So, I guess my way of avoiding the negative temperatures, except for my morning runs of course, is to immerse myself in some pretty neat classes!

This snapchat accurately describes our Rockapellas rehearsal this past Thursday night #cold

This snapchat accurately describes our Rockapellas rehearsal this past Thursday night #cold

Dec 112013

First off AHHHHHH congratulations to those of you joining the Class of 2018 early decision. Choice well made, if I do say so myself. Secondly AHHHHHHH I will probably never meet most of you because I am graduating. That reality has not quite set in yet…but I am sure when I see the shirts with the number 18 at the Co-op, I will begin to understand.

I also want to add that I applied ED to Dartmouth and this blog post probably would’ve made me cry because I was deferred. BUT there is hope! Look, I am blogging for Admissions now and graduating with a degree in Neuroscience and Theater. Deferral is not the end all be all, but I do acknowledge that not a ton of people come off that list. Know that in the end everything works out for a reason. Although I love Dartmouth, I do believe I could’ve been happy at another school as well. It all does work out.

To those 18′s that have their decision made for them…we look forward to welcoming you to the family next September. You are coming to a school that has faced a lot of bad publicity in the past few years and I challenge all of you to help keep on improving this school. We have a campus full of passionate and driven young people with the potential to change the world. If our school wasn’t being constantly challenged to be better, I’d be worried our student body was becoming too apathetic. Don’t sit by and let the four years pass you by. Come help and make the school, so many of us love, a better place. That’s why you were chosen.

Happy Holidays from the Green!

Happy Holidays from the Green!

Oct 142013

Today is the Monday after my last homecoming. It was bittersweet watching the ’17′s run around the bonfire, something I had done three years prior. But, surrounded by all my friends, I realized that I also would not change a thing. Homecoming is an amazing time to see all the people that graduated in years past, and when a lot of people on off terms come back up.

This year I listened to the speeches, now given by my classmates, at Dartmouth Hall. I stood next to my best friend’s parents and teammates of my Uncle’s, who graduated in 1975. In moments like that, it is so easy to realize how the bonds you make with people at Dartmouth are strong. No matter how much time goes on between the last time you are on campus, it always feels like home and friends pick up without missing a beat.

As daunting as being an alum is, homecoming is an event that is reassuring the future will be fine.

The Rockapellas with our board that was later added to the bonfire.

The Rockapellas with our board that was later added to the bonfire.

At the bonfire with my best friends! It was Carissa's first bonfire - since she has been away sailing the past three years!!

At the bonfire with my best friends! It was Carissa’s first bonfire – since she has been away sailing the past three years!!

Sep 272013

So, just when I thought I had the hang of Dartmouth, I realized, yet again that no term is ever like another. I added commitments, dropped some, and I am applying for jobs already!

Something that is really nice about being at such a great school is the connections. In just our second week back to school, all the seniors have had two opportunities to go to a “Seniors Only” help session on everything from resumés to cover letters to looking for a job. Not only that, but right after, we also had the privilege to attend two career fairs. Companies from all over the country came out – mostly companies with Dartmouth Alumni – to recruit Dartmouth students. We have the opportunity to do a “resume drop” and interview with them as soon as next week. It is a pretty incredible opportunity…as well as being a bit stressful for all the ’14′s. It puts some pressure on us to start thinking about the real world three terms before graduation (probably a good thing).

As for fun things, we did a cappella auditions yet again this year and took 5 new members! I am super excited to get to know them, as our group is a family, and we spend a ton of time together. Post-grad, these girls all still keep in touch and get together at least annually. This coming year is the Rockapellas 25th anniversary! I also got to hike the Gile Fire Tower yesterday, which is a super easy hike, close to campus. It is a great place to go leaf peeping, or watch sunrise/set. And lastly, I have made it a goal to get to every single home girl’s soccer games this term to support my best friend Kelly. I have gotten really into their stats and watching the team have some great success…like three goals in 35 minutes last night!

That’s all for now!

Watching the girl's soccer team beat UMass Lowell 3-0 at Burnham field!

Watching the girl’s soccer team beat UMass Lowell 3-0 at Burnham field!

The top of the Gile Fire Tower!

The top of the Gile Fire Tower!

Senior Year

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Aug 282013

So, as you may have noticed, the blog went a little quiet the past term. That was because I was employed by Overland Summers, a company that recruits at Dartmouth and other liberal arts institutions for summer leaders. This program allowed me to travel to St. Croix, USVI to lead high schoolers on service trips for 6 weeks. With one co-leader, we were in charge of 12 teenagers for 2 week intervals. While it was not your traditional job post-junior year, it taught me a lot about life and how to deal with real life situations. Like being stuck on a beach when all of your stuff has been stolen, including your eyeglasses and car keys, while 12 hungry kids wait on the beach. Invaluable! But anyways, the other programs biked across America, learned Spanish in Spain, and hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, just to name a few.

St. Croix

In St. Croix, we worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Frederiksted!


Now I am back at Dartmouth and ready to start senior year…WHAT!? They tell you time flies in college, but really, it flies. I am gearing up to run a cappella auditions with my best friend in the Dartmouth Cords, and we have truly come full circle. Time to find some ’17s to bring into the Rockapella family before graduation. And tomorrow I leave on my final DOC (Dartmouth Outing Club) trip. In the past I have gone on/led the same trip…harder hiking. This year I am leading Rock Climbing which is going to be interesting with my fear of heights (I will keep you posted on that one…). It is so amazing seeing everyone back on campus, super spirited, and ready to welcome another class to our campus!

So, here goes…hope to meet some awesome ’17s soon!


This was the boys soccer scrimmage on August 28th against McGill!

Apr 282013

If you looked out at the Green today, I don’t think you’d believe me that we had snow about two weeks earlier. When Spring starts, it really starts. Everyone has been embracing the weather and spending time running and eating on the  Green. And I think the mood, in general, is so much happier in the Spring!

This term has been hectic, as I have taken on a four class load rather than the average three classes per term. I am currently working on two theater projects as well. My friend, Talene is a senior fellow, which means that instead of taking classes for her senior year, she has been working on a project. As she is a theater major, she has been working on an original piece called “All in Good Fun,” which addresses the ups and downs of the Dartmouth social scene. The piece is all interview based and gives a very raw look at all Dartmouth is in the eyes of the students. The second is an original musical, written by my friends Danny and Maia. This is also interesting as it is probably the first original musical to be done in one term. It is called “Child of the World,” and has been coming together in an amazingly short period of time.

Since it is the 40th year of the Arts, I feel like the majority of my year has been spent doing things in the Hopkins Center. Whether it is listening to professional artists talk about their lives or watching incredible performers, it has been an awesome year to be involved. I am hoping that we continue this trend throughout the next few years and don’t lose momentum. Students have really taken initiative as well. There has been funding for student projects for Year of the Arts and many inspiring projects have been launched. Last week there was a concert outside of the Visual Arts Center featuring music from the ’90′s. Not only was it beautiful outside, but so many people came out to hear our friends sing anything from Beyonce to Christina Aguilera.

I am excited for the next half of the term and hopeful that it won’t fly by as fast as the first part…

Four of the performers outside of the Visual Arts Center!

Apr 082013

This weekend was a very special weekend at Dartmouth. It was the 40th celebration of Co-Education event, called Greenways. We are one of the last colleges to have gone co-ed in 1972 and therefore we have an incredibly strong alumni presence. This weekend hundreds of women alums formed panels and came to a breakfast, lunch, and cocktail reception.

The breakfast was lead by the President of the WNBA, Laurel Richie ’81. Laurel joked about how her eight year old niece had grown up watching women’s basketball, and that when she finally saw an NBA game she was confused as to why men played basketball. The luncheon was focused around another incredible keynote speaker, Rachel Dratch ’88. Dratch has been an incredible presence on campus this past year as one of the more famous alums in the arts world, famous for her four-year stint on SNL. Naturally, her speech had the audience laughing throughout the lunch. In between each meal were panels on things such as education, medicine, business, and theater. Each panel was stacked with accomplished alums willing to impart their wisdom.

Laurel Richie ’81, President of the WNBA at the opening address

At the reception at the end of the night, I performed with the Rockapellas. We sang an original piece by Beth Blatt ’79. She wrote a song entitled “One Woman” for the United Nations, which we had the honor of performing with some talented alumni. The piece should be on YouTube soon!

Other really incredible things this week included a lecture by Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of the article “Why Women Can’t Have it All.” The lecture hall was so filled that some people had to stand in the hallways to try and hear her speech.

This week was an incredible time to see how far Dartmouth has come as a co-educational institution. The women that have graduated are so accomplished and strong, and this weekend re-affirmed how lucky I am to be at Dartmouth College.

Anne-Marie Slaughter at a Voices in Higher Education lecture.

Mar 302013

I wanted to personally extend my congratulations to the future members of the class of 2017 on your acceptance to Dartmouth. All of my past blog posts have been evidence of my undying love for this place and I would encourage you to check them out if you are wondering about things like the Theater Department, women’s issues on campus, off terms, and much more. If there was one thing that I could pick out that swayed my decision to come to Dartmouth, it was the community. Never have I ever felt that I have fit into a place more than at Dartmouth. Immediately on campus I felt at ease and found a family in my a cappella group from the start. This level of comfort has allowed me to go so far beyond my comfort zone, taking a religion class (that doesn’t involve the brain), helping to form a Women’s Leadership Program for sophomore summer, and going all the way to Nepal to sing and hike. Every day presents a new opportunity to do something incredible and I have yet to be bored. With that being said, no school is perfect. Getting in to Dartmouth is just one step. You worked hard to get here and you will have to continue to work hard once you come. Just sitting around will only allow Dartmouth to pass you by when I am sure you would rather take it by storm. So, congratulations, and welcome to our family.

This is my favorite picture I have taken of the Green and Baker Berry Library. There is nothing like Fall in Hanover.

Jan 302013

As you probably already know, Dartmouth has a system called the D-Plan which enables everyone on campus to take one or more “off-terms” in exchange for summer terms. Since I went abroad to Lyon, France on the Language Study abroad last winter, and was on campus this summer, this term, it was time to take a term off. So, I am living at home and working for an education publishing company – Educators for Social Responsibility in Cambridge, MA. Many companies are waiting for college kids to come knocking mid-winter because everyone else is back at school. So, I am the only student intern in the entire company right now. This makes for some incredible opportunities!

Another cool job I picked up was the Intern for Social Media at a start up company called Sharitive. The company was started by a Dartmouth ’08 and just by word of mouth, the two of us connected over blitz! Now, I maintain a Twitter and Facebook page for this new nonprofit organization. It is really impressive how much opportunity comes your way.

Something I was really worried about at Dartmouth was this mentality that, “I am on campus one term, off another.” And, “for goodness sakes please make sure my best friend has the same D-Plan as me.” As someone who was off two winters in a row…I can tell you one thing, we definitely do not all have the same D-Plan. But, it is so much better than I ever could’ve imagined. People ask how the plan works out and I will be the first to tell you it keeps things interesting. It also helps to show you who your true friends are very quickly. As I went off my sophomore winter, I realized who I went to blitz first and who continuously was checking in to make sure I was okay.

A member of “Tasty Tuesdays” in front of Leo’s Diner in Harvard Square!

Not only that, but it is awesome how tight we all stay even when we aren’t in the same place. In the Boston area we have started a group called “Tasty Tuesday” as a break from our work week to try one of the many delicious places Boston has to offer. This past week I flew to California to visit one of my best friends at Dartmouth while she was recovering from foot surgery. It was an awesome vacation and it was so cool to see the state from the eyes of a local, something you can’t do on vacation with your family. Many of my friends are flying in for Winter Carnival, a time when most people who are close by will come back to Dartmouth, even on off terms.

Visiting Carissa in CA…quite the change in weather!

So, that ten week off term probably looks a lot shorter and less lonely than anticipated at this point. And Winter Carnival is only two weeks away!

Dec 102012

I just got back from the Dartmouth Rockapellas first ever international tour to Nepal! Each year, around winter break, all the a cappella groups go on tour, usually to places like New England or the West Coast. However, one of our members proposed the idea of doing a benefit tour about two years ago. The past few years have been spent raising money in order to send our entire group to Nepal in support of the Nepal Foundation!

The school children heard us singing from the bus and ran up to Meredith’s window!

We left right after Thanksgiving and arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 27th! From then on we had a jam packed schedule. We met the Nepali Scouts, a group of about eight high school and college age students who dance. At each of our performances around Kathmandu, they came with us to perform. We started out at a private school and ended our week at an old folks home (Pashupati) and  an orphanage. Each concert was nothing like any other concert the Rocks have done before. The people were warm and welcoming and most groups thanked us with necklaces of marigolds, thank you notes, and bead necklaces. It was one of the first times I have experienced the universal power of music. The students and adults alike were thrilled to experience a little bit of American culture and the beautiful sounds we produced. One of the highlights of the week was playing a game of “I catch the ball” with the Nepali Scouts (a Nepalese game in English) and us teaching them the “Salty Dog Rag” (a dance we learn on First Year Trips).

This is me with one of the Nepalese Scouts (dancers) at our final concert!

After the week was up, we packed all of our gear into one backpack and started on a five day trek in the Himalayas! This was when our Dartmouth Outing Club skills were put to the test. We did a path on Annapurna called the Poon Hill trek. This was described as the “easiest trek, for beginners.” Ummmm yeah right. Because we started at the altitude of the highest peak in New England, we described our trek as quite the “strugglebus.” Although we all finishedand had some of the most spectacular views we have ever seen. We thought the Appalachian Mountains were beautiful…the Himalayas are without comparison.

Me with two of the other ’14′s in front of some beautiful peaks!

This years tour was the adventure of a lifetime and I am so grateful to have done it with my closest friends at Dartmouth! I think that this is probably my most memorable tour to date and I can’t wait to be back performing with them again in the Spring!

When we woke up the first morning, this was our view. Unbelievable!