Name: Leigh Durphey
Major: English and secondary education
Anticipated Year of Graduation: 2018
Hometown: Shelbyville, Ind.
Campus and Community Involvement: Executive editor of The Franklin; treasurer of Sigma Tau Delta; Write Place proctor
What about Franklin College was most appealing to you when you were making your college choice?
“When choosing to come to Franklin, I was really drawn in by the engagement of the professors in student lives. When I took campus visits, the professors already knew my name and expressed interest in me attending Franklin. Their openness and enthusiasm made me feel like I would have the ability to stand out at the college.”
What has been your most rewarding experience at Franklin?
“Although I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities so far, my most rewarding experience has been being involved in The Franklin. I joined the staff and got involved right away, and I earned a leadership role as a freshman. Ever since then, I’ve been in positions of leadership that have allowed me to develop crucial skills that I couldn’t have gained anywhere else. Being involved in—and now the executive editor of—something concrete that the entire campus and community sees gives me a sense of ownership and pride in my work.”
Do you believe your Franklin College education has set you apart from students attending other colleges?
“Undoubtedly, I will have an edge over others in my field after graduation. The Franklin education department places students in the classroom almost immediately, and it has helped me become more comfortable and confident in my abilities. Not only do my education experiences give me an edge, but the ability to explore things outside of my major, like journalism, ultimately will see me apart from other graduates. I’ve gained interpersonal, design, leadership, writing and analytical skills all through my two majors and minor, and I don’t think many other college students can say the same.”
Have you been able to complete an internship related to your career field of choice?
“I’ve had three internships in a classroom so far and will have three more in the next year and a half. Graduating from college with six different experiences in the classroom as a teacher is really outstanding. I’ve gotten to experience different types of classrooms, students, and teaching styles, allowing me to develop my own styles based on what I learn. Overall, my internships have been fundamental to my growth as a future educator.”
What additional engaged learning opportunities have your professors provided?
“The English department is extremely committed to providing students with engaged learning opportunities. Professors encourage us to attend campus events, develop professionally and simply try new experiences. The department gives us many opportunities to share our work, both creatively and academically, through readings, panels, and class discussions. By doing these real-world, engaging activities, I believe most English students feel more connected to and passionate about the work they’re doing as undergraduates.”
Describe your favorite characteristic of the Franklin College community.
“My favorite characteristic of the Franklin community is the relationships I’ve formed with my peers. Because the class sizes are small, students can really get to know everyone. I’ve met so many of my friends just through classes we’ve taken together. The close-knit feel of campus helps students form personal connections with almost everyone.”
What at Franklin has surprised you the most?
“The things that surprised me most about Franklin is just how many opportunities there are for students. When thinking about a small college, it’s easy to think that there won’t be anything to do, or you won’t be interested in any of the extracurricular activities, but there really is something for everyone. Whether it’s an organization, a campus event or late night snack on Thursday nights, you have so many opportunities to just do things and enjoy your college experience.”
Why did you choose to major in English and secondary education?
“I originally entered college as a multimedia journalism major, but I switched to English and secondary education because of my passion for helping people. I love to teach, and I love the moment of realization others have when I explain something in a way that makes sense to them. Teaching is something that I’ve always wanted to do, and Franklin is one of the best schools in the state to achieve that goal.”
What is your favorite Franklin College memory?
“My favorite memories are the late nights the other editors and I spend in the newsroom putting together the paper. It’s ridiculously late and stressful, but we still mess with each other and have a lot of fun—even when it’s 2 a.m. We have a great balance of hard work and fun, and Wednesday nights in the newsroom are always one of my favorite nights of the week.”
Do you look up to someone specific on campus?
“I have had many influential professors, but one of my all-time favorites is Dr. Susan Crisafulli. She is really the heart of the English department. She’s one of the most caring individuals I’ve met in my life. Her classes are some of the most challenging but also the most rewarding. I truly value her opinions, and she has great expectations for her students.”
For more information about what a degree from Franklin College can do for you, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.