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Profiles

Valerie Bardhi

Class of 2015
Major/Minor: International Studies Peace and Conflict Studies African Studies

The best class I ever took at Washington College was Dr. Wade’s Human Rights and Social Justice class. We learned about the philosophical and practical applications of human rights and worked in groups to lead a human rights awareness campaign on campus.

How has your liberal arts education influenced you? How do you apply your LAE in your current career?

The ability to think creatively and critically about global issues was something that I hoped to gain from a liberal arts degree in International studies. As an IS major, I was able to take courses across many disciplines and I believe that I use the skills I developed in those classes everyday in my work for Washington College now. Fundraising is a mix between art and science; whether it is using data, emotional appeals, or presentation skills, I find that my liberal arts degree is tremendously helpful to my work. Despite the fact that I live and work in Chestertown, I find that I use my IS degree every day in that I learned the value of intercultural communication. Communication is a skill every fundraiser should have as they go out and make meaningful connections with donors.

Who was your favorite faculty/staff member? Story?

It is very difficult to pick a favorite member of the Washington College faculty and staff as so many people helped me to get where I am today. But I will say that Marc Dykeman in the Advancement Office was one of my favorite staff members to work for and that I owe a lot of my success to him. This ties to my favorite memory, but Marc didn’t miss a beat when I wore a bra on the outside of my shirt to raise awareness about human trafficking to the office. He saw my potential as a student worker and gave me meaningful projects that inspired me to apply for jobs in institutional advancement. It’s a perk that I get to chat with him every morning when I grab my coffee.

What is your favorite Washington College memory?

The best class I ever took at Washington College was Dr. Wade’s Human Rights and Social Justice class. We learned about the philosophical and practical applications of human rights and worked in groups to lead a human rights awareness campaign on campus. I worked with Ellie Hilton ’14, Dominic Lathos ’15, and Emily Blackner ’13, all superstars by the way, to design a campaign to raise awareness on human trafficking. We happened to get lots of press for it, and it was a really rewarding experience that confirmed for me that I wanted to work in nonprofit organizational management.

Did your Senior Capstone Experience have a major influence on your future career or your personal growth? If so, please explain what your SCE entailed and how it influenced who or where you are today.

My thesis taught me to be accountable for my progress and ask for help when I need it. I wrote about United Nations Peacekeepers, utilizing Mozambique as a historical case study of a success and presented my findings with a poster presentation.
Current students: use the resources that the Miller Library has to offer, including our amazing staff!
Prospective students: WC is one of those few undergraduate institutions that supports a thesis, one of the reasons why it is special.

Campus Involvement

Q&A

Hometown: Pocono Summit, PA

High School: Pocono Mountain West High School

What so far has been your favorite tradition or memory at WC? Birthday Ball. The décor is amazing and I love seeing alumni, faculty, staff and students all at one event. 

What should every student do before he or she graduates? Go to a club meeting or an event organized by a club or organization you are not a part of to open up your worldview!