Timothy Diethrich ’17

Why did you choose Hood College?

I chose Hood College for three main reasons. First, I heard great things about the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Hood College. I know multiple graduates who shared their wonderful experiences regarding the faculty, summer research, and courses that the Chemistry program offered. Secondly, I wanted to attend a small school. I value getting to know professors and classmates throughout the duration of my classes, especially directly in my major. The fact that Hood is so small makes everything seem warm and friendly every day on campus. Lastly, I wanted to stay close to home. Even though I was nervous about missing out on campus activities as a commuter, Hood made me feel just as welcome.

Have you participated in an internship or leadership opportunity in the local area or on campus?

Yes, I participated in two separate internships through Hood. I worked as an intern for the National Cancer Institute for the Protein Engineering Section of the Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory.

If so, what did you can from that experience?

As a scientist, it is crucial to gain real-world research experience. Lab sections in course work are extremely helpful and important but do not entail everything that a research laboratory involves. I learned how to independently design my own experiments, present my work via poster and power point presentation, write scientific articles, and much more. My first internship was just one semester but then it turned into a year long departmental honors project for my senior year. This has allowed me to take my project even further, building my research experience and learning more and more every day in the lab.

What was your most rewarding class or academic experience at Hood? Why?

My internships and departmental honors projects (see above).

What do you value most about your relationships with your professors?

I value the fact that my professors care about me and my future. Every single professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics has given their time, thoughts, and many emails back and forth to help me succeed here at Hood and to prepare me for future graduate schooling and professional careers. My professors are kind, honest, and extremely intelligent when it comes to preparing my classmates and I for the future in science.

What is your favorite campus event?

My favorite campus event is May Madness. There is so much going on and everyone on campus seems to be extra happy with big smiles on their faces. Between the amazing crab feast, outdoor games, and other fun activities, it turns into a great time.

How has the honors program benefitted you?

The Honors Program has expanded my knowledge on topics that I would have never thought about in depth. As a scientist, I tend to focus on how things work, what the earth is made out of, and more nerdy chemistry stuff. I remember taking Philosophy of Music where we dove deep into the philosophical meanings behind certain musical terms, positions taken by various composers, and a brief history of music. I consider myself passionate about music but I had never thought that hard and deep about the philosophy of music before. This and other classes made sure that I was not limiting myself to science, especially during the last few semesters.

How do you think the program will benefit you in the future?

Not only has this program forced me to think about topics not related to my major at a level that I would not normally think about, the Honors Program has improved my group discussion skills. Each honors class requires a significant amount of group discussion and some type of group presentation. This significantly increased my ability to work well with others and learn how to effectively lead and/or participate in a group discussion. These skills will no doubt benefit me in the future due to the amount of discussions that occur in almost every job type out there.

What special academic, co-curricular, social and enrichment opportunities does the Honors Program provide (perhaps that you might not have otherwise)?

I have had the ability to participate in many community service, social, and academic opportunities that I would not have been able to participate in if I was not a part of this program. I have helped with multiple stream cleanups at a local river, picking up thousands of pounds of trash from the stream. The honors social events are always lots of fun as well. The food is amazing and being around classmates and friends is always a good time. From community service, to offering donuts and coffee on Monday mornings, to broadway shows, the Honors Program makes you feel welcome.

What’s your advice to future Honors Program students?

Do it! It’s worth it. It may seem like a lot of work and the foreign language requirement aren’t always easy classes for some people but it is most definitley worth it. I have made so many friends and memories through this program. I also advise you to ask questions and get to know your professors and classmates. Lastly, take it seriously. You will make life so much easier on yourself if you actually work hard in the classes and learn the material, don’t try and get by with a minimum amount of work. Overall, if you are going back and forth, the Honors Program and Hood College in general are wonderful choices for your undergraduate college experience.