Studying Cultures and Communication
“Central is good at reaching the individual person rather than the crowd.”
– Hillary Hamilton ’19
Hometown: Corydon, Iowa
Majors: Communication Studies
Service Learning: Many Hands for Haiti, Urban Bicycle Food Ministries, Christian Community Organization
Campus activities: Writing Tutor
Study Abroad: London
Scholarships: Presidential Scholarship, Journey Scholarship, Trustee Scholarship, Vande Voort Scholarship
Career Goal: Professor of Communications Studies
Hillary Hamilton ’19 chose Central College for what she calls its great community-oriented atmosphere. “I’m from a small town,” she says. “I value knowing people when I see them. The relationships between students and professors really stood out to me, and I appreciated the participation that students showed in a class I sat in on as a prospective student. It’s impossible for me to walk across campus without stopping to talk to a friend or a professor. Because of this, I’ve grown more confident, become more vocal and taken a more active role in my own education. Central is good at reaching the individual person rather than the crowd. It gives us the tools to be successful. Plus, Central offers a lot of financial support, so it really has been doable for me.”
The quality of the teaching at Central has impressed Hamilton. “All of my professors have been willing to personally help me with my coursework, whether that’s answering questions about an essay I’m working on or sitting down and talking through concepts with me,” she says. “I have never felt like I could not do the work because Central offers so much support ranging from tutors to professors. All of my professors try to use a mixture of teaching styles to engage all types of learners, and they all help students navigate internships, grad schools and finding jobs. Also, the small class sizes make it easier to learn.”
Her favorite class so far? Negotiating Organizational Cultures. “I’m interested in the subject,” she says, “and I’ve done internships and research with small nonprofits that are aimed at helping make their organizations more effective.”
Hamilton’s research project is titled “We’re a Unique Organization: Tailoring Communication for Efficient Nonprofit Board Interaction.” Hamilton worked on it with Professor of Communication Studies Linda Laine, who doubles as Hamilton’s academic advisor.
“She helped focus the project, set guidelines and goals for myself, reviewed my presentation and helped me make it more professional,” Hamilton says. “She’s one of my favorite professors. She puts a lot of time and effort into helping her students succeed, and she’s friendly and fun to talk to.”
Hamilton entered Central thinking she’d become a reporter. Now, thanks to her research and tutoring experience, she’s looking forward to attending graduate school in communications and eventually teaching the subject at a college or university.