The highest honor that the Humanities and Communication Department bestows each year is the Outstanding Senior award. Presented at the culmination of her many accomplishments at Trine, this year’s award goes to Amanda Higbee.
Ask any student in HAC, and they’ll surely tell you that Amanda is an amazing student. She’s almost always at the top of the class grade wise. She joins into class discussion with interesting insights. She is a solid group member for presentations and projects.
However, what makes Higbee special goes beyond the classroom. For two years, Ali Falls and she worked for the department, writing articles for this website and helping to organize events. They were the HAC Media Team before it existed. The two completely organized and put on the HAC Book Night event in the spring for two years. It saw tremendous growth under their stewardship.
Academically, Higbee graduates with a communication degree, but also with a minor in humanities. Last year, her work in those humanities courses earned her the Needler-McGregor Excellence in English Award. It’s no small accomplishment to be recognized with such high praise for something you’re merely minoring in.
Outside of the department, Higbee was very involved with other organizations. Her sophomore year she earned the American Degree at the national convention of FFA. She was also very committed to the Multicultural Student Organization (MSO), even serving as an officer. It was as part of this club that Higbee’s passion for working with different cultures really grew. It led to an internship in Coldwater, MI working with primarily Arabic speakers, and eventually her decision to join the Peace Corps after college. She also spent last summer studying in China.
Higbee graduated this past December and had already committed to a two-year stint in the Peace Corps. She will be spending that time in Amenia teaching English. You can read about her adventure in the Peace Corps here.
HAC Chair Justin Young served as Higbee’s academic advisor for four years, and her supervisor while she worked for the department. “Every student grows while in college, but certainly you see it more with some,” Young said. “The shy little kid she was in my freshman class resembles very little the confident, strong woman who graduated our program.” Young laughed before adding, “I think we’d all love to take credit for Amanda, but the truth is she’s just super bright and open to the world—Amanda grew herself.”