Karoline Park ’15

“Franklin gave me a chance to try my hand at many things. I wouldn’t have had the same experience at a large university.”

Karoline Park ’15 is keenly interested in perspective. A self-described “people person,” Park nurtures people with different backgrounds as a resident hall coordinator while obtaining a graduate degree in student affairs and higher education. Passionate about cultivating the university experience for all kinds of people, Park is on her way to fulfill a career goal to be a dean of students.

Park exudes enthusiasm. She likes many things and everyone. For her, the Franklin experience opened up the world and she wants to provide this opportunity for students in her care. “There are diverse ways to look at things. Being engaged with people and ideas shows you the breadth of answers. They helped me see the importance of differences.”

While a student at Franklin, Park was truly engaged. The small liberal arts environment at Franklin allowed her to be an athlete, an honors scholar with a double major of history and political science, and a leader. “I was able to pursue so much as a result of the small, supportive community at Franklin.”Karoline Park

Active in high school sports, she continued into college by playing women’s softball and being on the women’s golf team for four years. Park cites her dedication to athletics as more than simply a personal interest. “With Title IX growing in significance, someday I might be able to combine my interest in civil rights and athletics.”

Park began her college career as a history major but soon added a political science major. “The environment at Franklin makes it easy for students to explore a variety of academic and personal interests. I was taking political science classes that pertained to my history topics and picked up the major when I learned how smooth the transition would be to a double major.” Park challenged herself in both majors, obtaining honors and participating wherever she could.

“Franklin professors set the example of integrity and hard work. I learned how to communicate with people and think critically in the face of varying opinions.”

Park says the liberal arts curriculum permitted her to learn beyond her expectations. She explored World War II history, world governments, and world religions. “Franklin professors taught me to look at inter-workings, to see beyond surface relationships and assumptions. My classes gave me a full experience – from lecture to media but even more, my professors were always there to discuss topics with me. The support system was there for my questions.”

Faculty helped steer Park to her career, even when her interests spanned broadly. “I was feeling lost determining my path and faculty helped me brainstorm career options that would be well-suited for my skillset, assisting me across majors.”

The liberal arts college experience at Franklin also enabled Park to stretch her leadership skills. She participated in philanthropy, fundraising, recruitment, programming, and education in her sorority. Service is integral to the Franklin community and Park volunteered for Girls Inc., Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity, in addition to being an academic mentor and her sorority’s events. “Franklin gave me a chance to try my hand at many things. I wouldn’t have had the same experience at a large university.”

Franklin’s liberal arts focus prepared Park for graduate school. “My smaller classes at Franklin were a help, not a hindrance, pushing me to engage more with faculty and classmates. I was certainly held accountable in a way I would not have been at a large university!” Finding resources and learning to write well are other skills she solidified before starting her masters. “I did mock trial and Model UN as part of my political science major, with both teaching me about cultures and leadership. This was invaluable before starting grad school.”

Park recommends that Franklin students take the classes for which they have interests – and then some. “Even though I am weak in math, professor Angie Walls helped me feel comfortable in class and strengthened my abilities.” Park also recommends that students take the leadership classes Franklin offers. “PDP 200 helps prepare individuals for life after college. I learned so much from writing my resume and thinking strategically about my future.”

For Park, the advantage of Franklin College is the community atmosphere. “My undergraduate years gave me a solid academic foundation but even more, they prepared me for a full life after college. My grad school friends say they didn’t get much one-on-one help. My time at Franklin was different – faculty and students became my friends. I did not go through the motions of college but with the care and support I received, was able to grow professionally and personally. Franklin College was a family to me.”