- Faculty come to Grinnell because they want to teach. They’re scholars too, but they love teaching, says Valerie Benoist, professor of Spanish.
- Grinnell attracts excellent students and the faculty help them “become even stronger thinkers, stronger in research, stronger speakers, global citizens,” Benoist says.
- “We also provide them the tools they need to adapt to this new stage in their life,” she says. Like financial support for summer internships, support for underrepresented students, support for students to study abroad.
- This support also extends to the connections students make—to each other and to faculty members—that endure for decades.
Faculty Provide the Tools
I think that Grinnell College has many strengths. One of them is the academic rigor of Grinnell College, I think we are good, very good at helping students who are already excellent students who come to Grinnell become even stronger thinkers, stronger in research, stronger speakers, global citizens, I also think that we have a strong support network for students to come to win out and to be successful. It's not sufficient to have really strong students coming to Grinnell. We also provide them with the tools to be able to adapt to this new stage in their life, because it's a new stage, to adapt them to making, and learning how to use all the tools around them. One of the mission statements is to help our students become the best global citizens that can possibly be in the areas that interest them, interest them the most. It could be that it is to help Latino students, it can be that it's to help socio economically underprivileged groups, a can be in many, many forms. We have many internships during the summer, also paid by Grinnell, where students are going to go and do those kinds of things for eight to 10 weeks. In very different fields. It's one of the mission statement. That's very important. And I think we support them, the students well, and I think our students are very committed. Another thing that I would say about Grinnell along the way, students are going to make a lot of meaningful connections, they create friendships, they create support from other students that goes decades and continues way after they graduated. That connection that they're making with their peer is is truly amazing. The most surprising element in my 21 years at Grinnell now, what has been the connections I've made with some of the students. I knew I love teaching before coming here. But because Grinnell is such a tight community, and because the advising and the mentorship is so individualized because the students are such amazing people. It's created, for me this element of surprise of really creating and continuing this kind of connections that I don't think if you had asked me 21 years ago, are you going to have students in the next four years who have become friends in the long run? I would have said yes. And this has happened. We're scholars, we're good scholars, but we chose to come here because we love teaching. We're really passionate about that. And we want to make a meaningful impact on our students. I love that about Grinnell College.
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