Anna DeWine ’14 ~ Immersion trips, the Italy Center, & Getting Involved

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:15am
image upload by lreese

On a whirlwind tour of more than a dozen universities, Anna DeWine took only moments to decide that Spring Hill College was the perfect fit for the next four years of her life.

“When my father and I drove onto campus, I knew instantly that there was something different, and special, about this place,” says DeWine. “Right away I thought, ‘This is it.’”

The youngest of eight children, DeWine become only the second of her siblings to leave Ohio for college, and the first to attend SHC.

A double major in English and writing, DeWine has taken advantage of Spring Hill’s many opportunities for learning, both on campus, and abroad. Most recently, DeWine was selected to participate in SHC’s International Service Immersion Program. During spring break this year, she and eight other students traveled to Managua, Nicaragua to build a home in for a family in need.

"I found a kind of peace in Nicaragua that I didn't know I was looking for until I found it," says DeWine. "I met people -- and heard stories -- that I don't think will ever leave me. It's easy to say, 'it was the greatest week of my life'."

DeWine also chose to study in Bologna at the Spring Hill College Italy Center, where she was able to live with Italian students, study the language, and experience life in one of Europe’s oldest college towns. DeWine and friends traveled to 13 countries, including Belgium, Switzerland, and Africa during the semester. 

“It definitely changed my life and helped me grow,” says DeWine. It helped me realize that I am part of a much bigger world. Just being immersed in a different culture—and then visiting other countries every weekend—was amazing and humbling.”

When she’s not traveling the world, DeWine participates in sports and clubs on the Spring Hill College campus. For the past four years, DeWine has been a member of SHC’s cross country team. She is also a distance runner on the school’s new track and field team. DeWine also belongs to Delta Gamma sorority and was part of the The SpringHillian staff last semester.

“Spring Hill offers a kind of community that doesn’t exist at many other schools,” says DeWine. “Here, you’re not just a number. You get to know your professors and classmates personally. SHC offers the chance for everyone to be a part of its community in big and small ways.”

Associate professor of philosophy Dr. Christopher Dodsworth, who shares DeWine’s home state of Ohio, immediately bonded his new student. “I remember liking Anna from the moment she walked into my classroom,” says Dr. Dodsworth. “She's been in two of my courses, and I've always found her to be quiet, talented, and very thoughtful.”

Dr. Michael Piafsky, associate professor of English and director of creative writing at SHC, echoes that same sentiment. “Anna is one of the finest student poets I've worked with at Spring Hill and watching her steady improvement from semester to semester has been very rewarding.”

After graduation, DeWine is considering attending graduate school for journalism. She’s also applied to many newspapers, hoping to land a position as a reporter. “I spent the past two summers interning at the Xenia Daily Gazette, the local newspaper a few miles from our countryside home,” says DeWine. “I did a little bit of everything—interviews, reporting, photography, and working in the newsroom.”

Whether she ends up working as a reporter, or traveling and taking photographs for a service or volunteer organization, DeWine is hoping to convince at least one of her 20 nieces and nephews to attend Spring Hill College.

“As a Jesuit liberal arts school, Spring Hill teaches people to think with an open mind, and encourages people to grow in a way that they haven’t before,” says DeWine. “We all seem to look out for each other, friends and strangers alike. I think Spring Hill makes good people better.”


Anna DeWine’s Advice for SHC Freshmen:

1. The first thing everyone always tells you is, “Get involved!” It’s true, though; you will be happier if you do. Staying busy at SHC is key.

2. Be open to change. Stray out of your comfort zone.

3.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. People, and life, surprise you, here at Spring Hill.

4.   Take advantage of all of the opportunities Spring Hill quietly offers you, like the International Service Immersion Program and the Italy Center!

5.   Don’t procrastinate. Study. And know when to ask for help.

6.   In some moments, be still. Listen and observe and soak it all in. And forget your phone.

7.   For me, there’s nothing more powerful and serene than sitting in beautiful St. Joseph’s chapel, listening or singing to the music, among my classmates. Find that for you. 

8.   Prioritize. Do the things you are passionate about.

9.    Remember you don’t need to know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. 

10. Smile — and enjoy little things in each day at Spring Hill. Before you know it, every day will be gone, and you’ll be standing on the Avenue of the Oaks in your cap and gown.