Varied Interests Make Allegheny College a Good Fit for First-Year Student

She’s an avid gardener and spends her summers working in a plant nursery. She earned her Girl Scouts Gold Award in 2019 and is still involved in scouting. She plays the violin. As a junior at Bethel Park High School, her weighted GPA was 4.438. Her academic interests are in political science and environmental science. And she’s considering a career in law.

Claudia Huber
Claudia Huber

Claudia Huber, a first-year student at Allegheny College, is a young woman with many interests, and she says she has found the perfect place to explore them all.

“It wasn’t a matter of one thing in particular that made the choice of Allegheny so thought provoking, but rather having to find a place where I set up my next seven years,” Huber says. “I have been thinking about law school since freshman year of high school, and Allegheny’s ability to prepare me for law school was one of its qualities that I could not pass up. I truly felt a sense of belonging at Allegheny when I toured and met with faculty, and it was just all around the right choice for me.”

Huber says a hybrid learning environment has not slowed her academic and extracurricular progress at Allegheny. She spent the first month of the fall 2020 semester on campus, and then Huber and her family decided that for personal reasons she would finish the semester studying remotely from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. She plans to return to campus for the spring 2021 semester.

“I can’t even begin to explain how welcoming the entire community has been,” says Huber. “While the transition into college life is hard enough as it is, the stress of the pandemic has proven to add to some of the challenges. Comparably, Allegheny, I believe in regard to online learning, has surpassed the challenges for this semester. Due to personal reasons, I made the transition off campus back to my home to continue the semester remotely. My professors have been completely understanding and helpful while we all are charting this new territory. While I was able to experience the in-person environment for learning, I have been adjusting to being fully remote. The connection with my professors still remains and in some ways has increased.”

In orchestra, for instance, the class is recording its parts individually so that they can combine them all to make a finished project. In her psychology class, students have been taking advantage of smaller group discussions in Zoom breakout sessions, but also engage in discussions as a group. Her small-group first-year seminar is the most discussion based.

The Law and Policy Program as well as political science are Huber’s two main interests so far. “I am excited to move onto law school after Allegheny and enjoy being as educated as I can on all aspects of politics and government. Although I have not declared a major yet, I am passionate about environmental science, and I hope to incorporate it into my academic career at Allegheny,” she says.

Brian Harward, the Robert G. Seddig Chair in Political Science, says that in the short time Huber has been at Allegheny, she’s already contributed to the community in many meaningful ways. “Her curiosity, thoughtfulness, intellectual nimbleness, and willingness to engage others and their ideas enlivens our classes and reminds me how wonderful it is to teach at Allegheny,” says Harward.

“From the first time I met Claudia at her high school last fall, I knew she’d be an outstanding Gator,” says Linda Clune, senior associate director of admissions.

Huber’s goals as an Allegheny student are to achieve the best that she can academically. “I am still so new in this journey, but I am optimistic that in the next four years I will push myself to new academic limits, make connections that last a lifetime, and propel myself onto law school. I am passionate about giving back and making change. I know right now that I would like to stay located in my hometown when I consider a career, but I am open to wherever life and Allegheny take me,” she says.