For Sneha Shrestha '10, a passion for public service and the arts were key components to her liberal arts experience. And her experiences inside and outside the classroom - studying art and working with others - made a big impact on her.
"Gettysburg College gave me the chance to explore my diverse interests, said Shrestha, a native of Nepal and a dual major in globalization studies and studio art.
Following her first year at Gettysburg, Shrestha was one of 11 students chosen to be a part of the Center for Public Service's Heston Summer Program, which enabled her to complete an internship for the Adams County Literary Council. A year later she received a summer research Mellon Grant to study poverty, gender, and international conservation research in Nepal.
Last summer Shrestha and a fellow student received a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant, which followed up on the Mellon Grant and allowed them to implement a reading and reflection project in Nepal. The two established a sustainable library for Pacha Kanya Secondary School in Kathmandu and facilitated a children's book writing workshop.
Shrestha focused her globalization studies major on Southeast Asia, spending the fall 2009 semester in Bali, Indonesia. She also found a way to combine her globalization studies major with her art major, letting her time abroad inspire her senior art project.
"Most of the people in Bali believe in Hinduism, and they believe there is both good and evil in people and that you balance both," Shrestha said. Her senior project was a painting representing Hinduism ideology, with the colors blue and yellow symbolizing good and evil and the varying sized black squares representing people who choose to confine themselves into certain beliefs. She also created a video to promote her painting, which played on a screen next to her piece.
Shrestha's painting differed from other artwork in that it was intended for physical exploration. Observers could walk on the work and discover it from different perspectives - an idea that came after she saw the Mona Lisa. "When I visited the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, we could not see it up close because we had to stand behind a rope," she said. "I wanted to make art more down to earth, even if that literally meant making art more down to earth."
Heston Summer Program
Made possible by a generous gift from James Heston '70, the Heston Summer Program aims to further Gettysburg College's vision for active engagement in local and global contexts by providing a summer experience to students. Through domestic and international immersion, students have an extraordinary opportunity to engage in the work of community action.
Participating students focus on daily community development, sharpening their understanding of the complexity of social issues. By placing students in local and international contexts, the program offers rich opportunities for learning and action, allowing students to develop strong friendships and learn what its like to tackle some of the world's most challenging problems.
Summer Research Mellon Grants
Gettysburg College received a four-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities for students. The grant supports research throughout the year by covering research expenses for individual students or classes, as well as the cost of students presenting their research at regional and national conferences.
The grant also supports faculty development related to mentoring students in research and developing curricula for research methodology courses. While the grant provides funding for projects in all academic programs, it is targeted toward students studying humanities, arts, and social sciences.