Emily Hoyle ’14 had never visited Washington College until the week before her freshman year began and she arrived for the volleyball pre-season. That’s because it’s about 8,000 miles as the goose flies to Chestertown, Md., from Guam, where she attended high school.
“When I first came I was a little wary of how isolated it was,” Hoyle says. “Driving through all those cornfields the first time made me think, what did I do? But it ended up really well, and I probably wouldn’t be going where I’m going and doing what I’m doing if I hadn’t come here.”
Where the double major in political science and philosophy is going next is George Washington University Law School, on a full scholarship. Hoyle says the active engagement in her classes, “that dynamic of not just being talked to but having open discussions,” and the way in which she learned to think critically and analytically prepared her extremely well for the LSAT. “It’s also a big part of law, analyzing everything, and it’s also why I’m confident about pursuing that route. It’s something I know I can be good at.”
This wasn’t always the case, she says. The experiences she gained at Washington College, including internships with 1st District congressional candidate John LaFerla and a legislative internship with state Sen. Nancy King, helped hone her ambition to study law.
“Here, with so many opportunities thrown at me, I have become a lot more focused. I never thought I would go to law school when I was in high school, because I didn’t feel like I was cut out for it. But here I realized that I could do it, and I wanted to, and I have much more concrete goals.”
So how did Hoyle end up spending her teen years on a 200-square-mile island in the middle of the world’s biggest ocean? Stationed in Guam, her father serves as a criminal investigator for the Coast Guard, working cases including environmental violations and human trafficking. His career has provoked her interest in the law, and it also funded her education at WC through his veteran’s benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Program.
“I know I never would have been able to come here if I hadn’t had it,” Hoyle says. “You don’t make a lot of money being in the military, so I’m really thankful. And I think he’s really happy, because he never really got an education other than what he’s doing now, studying for his bachelor’s degree online, so he’s really happy to see me have more opportunities.”