Human Dogsled Race

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Feb 092015

 As part of the festivities of Winter Carnival this past weekend, the college held its annual human dogsled race. The snow storms in the northeast the past few weeks made it all the more appealing to me. The requirement to wear flare (wacky costumes of your choice) helped seal the deal.

I enlisted the help of 3 of my fraternity brothers to pull us to victory.

IMG_0640Face down, ready for the cold journey ahead.

IMG_0641 Momentum builds.

IMG_0642The turn is critical. The sled flips but I hold on for dear life. Recovery is made.

IMG_0643The homestretch. (Also I can’t breathe nor see from the snow)


Feb 072015

Here at Dartmouth College, Winter Carnival is a real holiday with cancelled classes and full days of programming. This weekend celebration can be a hectic time on campus with so many events to attend or traditions to partake in, so we’ll highlight some of the ones we think are pretty important.

1. 99-Cent Skiing! 

In 1957, the Dartmouth Skiway opened for business. With more than 30 trails and 100 ski-able acres spread out over two mountains, the Skiway has something from beginners to the most Olympian of skiers. It is customary for the Skiway to have a day when lift tickets cost only 99-cents in celebration of the weekend’s festivities! Take advantage of Dartmouth’s bus system that picks you up and drops you off in front of the HOP (Hopkins Center for the Arts). Busses run at 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, Noon, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Don’t know how to ski? No worries! We have the Snowsports School that is staffed with 35 instructors.

Take it from the staff over at the Skiway if you don’t believe us:  ”No matter what your skiing style, the Skiway has something fun for everyone: a 968-foot vertical drop, affordable ski tickets, a full-service day lodge, superb grooming, and exciting terrain features.”




2. Polar Bear Swim

*Warning: not for the easily frozen* Around midday every Friday of Winter Carnival, Occom Pond is utilized for those who want the excitement of jumping into a below freezing pool of water. Make sure to Brrr-ing a swimsuit, towel, and warm clothes. No one is allowed to do the swim after 1 pm, so come early for a spot online! Take the plunge and claim your spot amongst the thousands of Dartmouth students who have faced the cold over many decades! But really, the pictures are epic….
Just take a look!
prof jump Pond
This longstanding tradition takes place on the heart of campus: The Green. Sign up with your friends, put on some flair (wacky clothes) and unleash your spirit of friendly competition! With snacks and prizes, this is an UNMISSABLE tradition. I mean, look at how awesome this is:
Vox clamantis in desert.
A voice crying out in the wilderness.
Feb 052015

The access to opportunities that further your Dartmouth academic experience outside of the classroom are ever present and very attainable if you know where to look. I would say one of the most valuable things you can do at college is learning how to make connections with your professors and the other Dartmouth faculty in your life. Doing this helps you gain access to so many more opportunities and  build a network of support and guidance on campus. This support and guidance is necessary as you move through college and begin to build a future for yourself, not to mention you build lifelong friendships with some amazing people! I had the honor of participating in a research project over Fall term last year and had the honor of presenting my findings along with my group members at a Sociolinguistics conference in Chicago.

Our professor and presentation group having a celebratory dinner in Chicago after presentations.

Our professor and presentation group having a celebratory dinner in Chicago after presentations.

Our project centered around Native American dialects of english and the construction of Native American linguistic identities in North America. I learned so much through this experience and was able to do research that I really cared about as it made me feel like my experience as Native person is extremely relevant in a field that I love (Linguistics).This opportunity was facilitated and put into motion by my Sociolinguistics professor who saw potential in our project in class and took the time to meet with us and discuss how to further our classroom experience into some awesome, real-world experience. Communication and dedication are key in aligning a strong network of people to help you grow!!!

Presenting our findings!!

Presenting our findings!!

Feb 022015

Hi everybody!

One of the great parts of Dartmouth is the opportunities for research. Though Dartmouth is a small liberal arts college, students still have access to research resources in all different disciplines and different forms.  Whether it’s your first year or your last year, you can do research. Whether it’s working in an off-campus lab at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center or assisting a professor on their academic research or working closely with a faculty member to develop your own project, it is possible to do research throughout your time at Dartmouth. If you seek out the opportunities and want to get involved, you can!

Here are  two ways I’ve participated in research at Dartmouth.

1. WISP- Women in Science Project ( This program allows freshmen and sophomore women students interested in Math, Sciences, and Engineering to work on research projects as a paid internship for two quarters. At the end of the internship, students present at a symposium. The program also provides mentoring and additional academic resources to help students succeed in these fields. As a pre-engineering student freshmen year, this program was a dream. I worked at CRREL (Cold Regions Research Engineering Lab) on a snow modeling project in the Northeast. It allowed me to gain hands on experience and develop important academic skills. How many first year college students can say that they had a research opportunity?…Dartmouth students can.

2. Thesis Research- My love for research and more academic engagement in a specific topic area is culminating this year through my senior thesis in the Anthropology department. My project (Race and Socioeconomic Class in Dartmouth Off-Campus programs) allows me to work closely with a faculty advisor, Dartmouth administrators, alumni, and current students. I am loving my work and excited for completing my project this Spring. During my winter off-term exactly a year ago, I was collecting my thoughts and proposing ideas to my potential faculty advisor. After narrowing down my interest, I did an Independent Study (many students do an Independent Study to further engage in a topic of great interest to them) last Spring which allowed me to delve deeper into the subject and gain a better understanding of the thesis process. Since then, research has gone well and I’ve felt very well supported by department faculty members and external resources.

Other Resources you should be aware of:

Dartmouth Undergraduate Research- - For all things about research procedures, grants, and funding!

First Year Research In Engineering Program 

The John Sloan Dickey Center-

You Can do it

The Nelson Rockefeller Center for Public Policy- 

Here are some links to get your exploration started, but remember if you don’t know where to start ask a professor in the field you are interested in. If they don’t have any student opportunities in their research, they typically know somebody who does. Don’t be afraid to ask. For you, here at Dartmouth- Research is possible. 

Til next time,


Feb 022015

It’s currently snowing. Oh, snow, you….

Usually, I’m really put off by snow during the winter, but to my surprise I am extremely excited that we’re able to get a couple of inches right before Winter Carnival!

What’s that you ask? We have a carnival during the winters? Yeah, we do! 

Dartmouth has a big celebratory weekend every term (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer). It’s usually a time for joy and laughter and all the good wholesome festivities one can imagine.

One of my personal favorites is the Winter Carnival Snow Sculpture.

That’s right, current undergraduate students join together with engineering students at Thayer to construct a huge snow sculpture relating to each year’s different theme. The sculpture is not unveiled until the beginning of Winter Carnival, so I am anxiously awaiting its reveal as I type this.

Last year’s sculpture was Game of Thrones themed.



Dartmouth students get pretty creative with these sculptures. My freshman year, it was a cupcake. My favorite was created when I wasn’t here. It’s a CASTLE. That’s right, a castle.


Needless to say, the more snow falls, the bigger and better sculpture we have. With this year’s theme being “Superheroes and Villains”, I’m hoping for something big and awesome.


Jan 302015



I entered into college knowing I wanted to be an Econ major, but had no idea what area I wanted to specialize in or what exactly I wanted to do with it.

Economics is one of Dartmouth’s largest departments, graduating about 200 students a year (15% of each class). Surprisingly, however, Dartmouth Econ classes all have caps of 35 or less and are all taught by professors, not TAs.

Economics can be applied with many different disciplines and you’ll often see students modifying the major with another discipline that suits their interests. There are students who combine it with biology, computer science, and many other areas. For me, I am interested in behavioral economics and decided to be an Econ major with a Psychology minor.

The Economics department offers study abroad opportunities through exchange programs to Bocconi University in Milan, Italy and to Keble College, Oxford University in London.

While there are many students in the department, I never felt forgotten by the faculty. Every Econ professor I have had has taken their time to remember my name and are always a great source of information about opportunities to further my studies.


Jan 272015

I would say as an introvert-at-heart that has become surprisingly social while at college, the groups and organizations of people you choose to be involved with on-campus offer some of the most wonderful experiences you will have! The Native American community at Dartmouth has offered me a space to grow, laugh, and feel like even though life is still a big mystery and I have yet to choose a major (So many choices!!), that I am valid and headed in the right direction. Make sure to to be open-minded and excited about what you choose to involve yourself in on campus as it is your time to explore.

Everyone enjoying a traditional Potawatomi dinner cooked by Corinne Kasper '17

Everyone enjoying a traditional Potawatomi dinner cooked by Corinne Kasper ’17

Think about what YOUR ideal space is and where you naturally feel most comfortable. Having people to look up to who will help you explore your identity and navigate your college experience is something crucial to look for, but also something that is honestly not hard to find at all on campus! It sounds extremely cheesy but just be YOU, and you will come across a place that fits perfectly and makes you feel whole.

Some of our Dartmouth representatives at the Yale All-Ivy Native Council Conference.

Some of our Dartmouth representatives at the Yale All-Ivy Native Council Conference.

Aside from the presence of a safe space and great role models, some of my favorite memories as a member of Native Americans at Dartmouth have been through networking opportunities sponsored by the group that I would have otherwise never found by myself. This included interning for the College Horizons program over the summer and attending the All-Ivy Native Council at Yale University. Native Americans at Dartmouth has all around been a wonderful part of my college career and is helping me build the future I want for myself.
NAD representatives bonding at the All-Ivy Native Council last Fall.

NAD representatives bonding at the All-Ivy Native Council last Fall.

Jan 262015

It started in the 6th grade. My obsession with Grey’s Anatomy, that is. Since then, my childhood dreams and desires were to mirror those of Dr. Cristina Yang, future cardiothoracic surgeon, or even a neurosurgeon. Point is, I really wanted to be a doctor for a long time, mostly to help people and save lives, but also to rock a white lab coat all hours of the day and feel great while doing so. Since that moment, my entire academic trajectory changed. I lived, breathed, and ate medicine. I participated in as many science clubs I could (shout out to MESA), and even enrolled in a medical magnet high school, in which I found myself interning at a hospital my junior year.

Then I got to college.

Dartmouth opened my eyes to so many great areas of study that did not involve medicine or science. I began taking courses in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department, and the Geography department (the best in all the Ivies!). Slowly, I began to gain more interest in these two departments than anything else. The majority of my classes were centered around AMES and Geography. What was happening to me? I needed to strongly reflect on my future and decide whether or not I even wanted to be Cristina anymore.

I was scared. I invested so much of myself into pursuing medicine, that I was afraid of letting it go. What future would I hold now? It took about a year and a half of my college career to finally put my dream of being a doctor to rest. I realized that my reason as to why I wanted to become a doctor (ie helping people, creating access to health for people who lack it, etc) could be done without going to medical school. My heart lies in being of service to others, but there are so may paths available to do that. So I dropped it. I started taking more classes in Geography. I started learning more about social injustices and inequalities. I started becoming more and more inspired to address these disparities.

My point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to explore. Don’t be angry at yourself for changing your major once, or even three times. Some people enter knowing what they want to major in, and some don’t. Most change their mind more than once, and that’s okay. Honestly, just take classes that interest you, and everything will sort itself out!

Jan 192015

Hello there, incredible smart and talented applicants!


In just a short time, you will be starting your college career at what I believe will be a great institution for you, Dartmouth or otherwise.


Luckily, I found a great home at Dartmouth, but the application and admission process can be quite taxing. It causes you to constantly wonder whether or not you are “good enough”. Trust and believe that regardless of the decision, you and your application impressed the Admissions Officers at Dartmouth. The fact that you even chose to apply to Dartmouth showcases your bravery, drive, and determination. Here are 3 tips I recommend for dealing with a declined or rejected offer of admission. Best of luck!


Kevin Gillespie ‘15


  1. When one door closes many more can open


Remember that you are very smart and very talented. You have spent your entire life thus far proving exactly the aforementioned. Many colleges and universities will be impressed with what you offer to their community and their incoming class. If Dartmouth says “no”, just think of how many more schools now have the chance to say “yes”. Talk to your counselors, friends, family, mentors, etc. about where you should apply now. While Dartmouth hones incredible leaders and intellectuals, many institutions do the same. New doors are now wide open for you–now you have to dare to enter.


  1. Remember that you are more than your application

Though your application may be a summary of your hard work, it is certainly not the end all. Scores, grades, and accomplishments are only part of your story. When you begin the process of applying elsewhere, be sure to showcase as much about you as possible. I often find that the students who tend to be admitted do well at this. Treat your application as a story you want to tell. Something compelling, heartfelt, and colorful. Crafting such an application goes far beyond the paper form itself. Show your inner picasso or einstein. You are truly incredible. Now is your time to shine even brighter than before.

  1. Have fun



Remember that elementary school you? Yeah, the kid that didn’t think much about college,  jobs, research, or Model UN?  Remember to be this person. College is so much fun! You are about to have what may very well be the funnest time of your young life. Dartmouth may have been the platform for said fun, but even if it isn’t, all hope is not lost. College is more than a new start to the awesome resume you’ll build in the next four years–it’s the place where you’ll make new friends, interact with incredible professors, and build an incredible you! More so, don’t forget that you are finishing your last year of grade school. Create memories that will last a lifetime and remember that the college admissions process is only part of that.

Well, I hope these few tips help you to relax and recall how epic of a human being you are. The answer from Dartmouth may be “no”, but the fun, crazy, and overly engaging moments you hope to have are still straight ahead!

Jan 192015

Never having the privilege of exploring places outside of my hometown of Los Angeles left a hunger in me to explore the unknown. Right out of high school, that unknown was the small town of Hanover. Upon my admittance I couldn’t wait to explore all the things Dartmouth had to offer. However, I was left with this deep fear of the winter. How would I survive the below freezing climates?

I’ll never forget the day I first saw snow. I was in my freshman writing course and snowflakes began to fall from the sky. It seemed as if I wasn’t the only one who had never seen snow, because the professor let us go outside and touch it. In retrospect, I laugh at how excited I was to touch the few snowflakes that fell on my hand. Once the snow stopped falling (you could barely call it snow), fear struck me. How would I survive??

I immediately bought hundred dollar snow boots, invested in heavy sweaters and socks, and bought too many pairs of thermals that are now sitting in a box in storage. After living in 3 Northeastern winters, I think it’s safe to say I know how to maneuver my way around them. I’ll now be addressing some worries I had as a tropical-climate-loving person, and how I was able to stay warm and still enjoy Hanover winters.

1) I’ve heard it gets to -20F.

The short answer is yes, and sometimes it can be colder. Currently, it’s 26F and I praised the climate gods for giving us some warmth. Coming from a city where it’s always 70-80F, I never thought I’d be happy for weather in the high 20s. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t get scared! Although it’s cold, the buildings are heated pretty well, and the only time I ever spend outside is when I’m walking to class, for food, going to the gym, or participating in certain activities that require snow. So even though it’s -20F sometimes, it’s not like you’re reading on the Green in -20F (unless you’re into that sort of thing).

2) But -20F is still cold.

Yeah, I get it. Even if you are inside 90% of the time, there’s a high chance you’ll have to leave your room for food at some point. From my experience, average winter days are usually from 0-25F, increasing in heat towards the end of the term. It’s honestly not as bad as you think. Once you’re armed with the proper gear, you rarely ever feel the effects of it.

3) What do you mean “once I’m armed?”

Well, living in this season requires preparation. You don’t expect you’ll wear a light sweater and have that keep you warm, do you? I know I was never used to the thought of layers, and they felt uncomfortable when I first began layering my clothes. Now, I can only think in terms of layers, even in the Spring when I don’t have to layer ever. Thanks, Hanover.

To be completely serious though, if you properly layer, you’ll be fine. The key is to have many layers of warm clothing you can peel off as you get hot. As I mentioned earlier, the buildings are heated pretty well, and you’ll begin to sweat once you enter a classroom. Layers for me include an undershirt as a base, a sweater on top, and then my big heavy coat. Sometimes, I even wear leggings under my jeans if I deem it necessary. It really all depends on your tolerance but I find that two to three layers of clothing is right for me.

4) Help. I was only going to pack cardigans and Vans.

Worry not! Speaking from someone who invested hundreds of dollars into unused “heavy duty” winter clothing items, I’m here to suggest affordable, reliable, and durable essential items for the fall.

You will need boots. There’s no other way around it. I personally invested in LL Bean Boots*, which, if admitted, you’ll find that lots of students own here. They’re durable (I’ve only had one pair my entire time here), and have a lifetime warranty.

Any sort of heavy duty boots will do. I know people go as far as to invest in Sorel Snow Boots which are about $125, to $25 combat boots. As long as you have a pair of water-resistant boots, you’ll be fine because the next item will keep you warm.

*I am not being sponsored to say any of this but if LL Bean wants to sponsor me I would not not let them, you know?

Wool, to be specific. If you’re anything like me I didn’t even know this was a thing. Wool socks will keep your feet warm because they lock in heat. As long as you have wool socks, you should be fine with any pair of boots.

Gloves, Hats, Scarves
Optional, but better if you have them. Really any will do as long as you have some sort of protection on your hands. Hats can be a must if your jacket doesn’t have a hood. If you still feel a little wary (I wanted to buy a ski mask my freshman year before winter) I would suggest the rather-safe-than-sorry method of buying a hat. I  personally am more of a scarf person. I have dozens of scarves in my room ranging in thickness and material. I find that my thicker scarves keep my super warm when walking outside. Get some scarves, or if you’re like me, crochet and knit your own!

You only need one, really great jacket to keep you warm for the winter. Some people go as far as investing hundreds of dollars into theirs. I’ve realized it never has to be that expensive. For me, my favorite winter coat is a large down jacket. The feathers in a down jacket make sure to retain heat and is part of the reason why I feel comfortable enough wearing only 2 layers sometimes.


That’s about it. Really, I’m not joking. These are some essential items to keep you feeling nice and toasty. Toasty enough to even explore outside! The really great part of Winter at Dartmouth is the opportunity to partake in snow-filled activities. That’s honestly the best way to fully enjoy the winter. You can go ice-skating on Occom Pond, have a snowball fight between friends, or even go skiing. The possibilities are endless and you’ll find yourself wanting to participate in these activities more so than actually staying inside your room.