For Jess Delahanty ’12, the dream of coming to AU became a reality when she was offered a scholarship. Hailing from New York, she was eager to leave one big city for another, excited to explore the endless opportunities on campus and off.
Delahanty didn’t waste time in taking advantage of the top-notch academics at AU. The double major in international service and public communications believes learning should go beyond the borders of a particular major. “I have more than one passion, and the dual-degree program allows me to pursue all of my academic interests. I think there’s a trend among American undergraduates to have more than one major. It’s not only because of increased job opportunities, but because the students are willing to work extra hours when they are learning the subjects they care about.”
As a freshman, Delahanty was a team leader in a cross-cultural communications pilot project between students at the University of Bahrain and AU, enabling her to conduct research with students half a world away. “This project brought classroom concepts to life. We worked at all hours to accommodate time differences, we debated and compromised, we learned to communicate using new technology - all to get the job done,” she describes. “But, most importantly, we learned about each other and our respective cultures. I came out of the project not only with a wealth of experience and knowledge, but with lifelong friends from across the planet.”
Outside of the classroom, Delahanty tries to take advantage of everything campus life has to offer. She writes prayers for AU’s Catholic Community, and she likes to hear guest speakers. Her favorite speaker so far was the Dalai Lama, and she is excited to hear from the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet.
Delahanty’s most memorable off-campus experiences include attending several protests on the National Mall and trick-or-treating at the embassies. “Only at American can you spend Halloween with friends who are dressed as Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, and the Stock Market Crash, and get Snickers from international diplomats,” she laughs.
The scholarship that Delahanty received made such an impression that it spurred her to get involved on campus in ways she might not have otherwise. She tutors for CLASE – a student-run organization that helps campus employees learn English. She enjoys being able to see firsthand the progress the employees are making.
“My experiences both in and out of the classroom have never failed to inspire and teach me,” says the grateful scholarship recipient. “Without annual giving, none of this would have been possible, so I continue to do my part to support the university.”