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Class of 2022: Bethany Rippon

Bethany Rippon’s favorite McDaniel experience was a Jan Term course in San Salvador, Bahamas, where she snorkeled in coral reefs. An Environmental Studies major, Bethany believes everyone should step out of their comfort zone and get involved in new things, as she did with the track team, student yearbook, Green Life, and joining the Jewish Student Union. Learning about Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay inspired Bethany’s scholarship in her very first year at McDaniel and continues to be a focus in her research.

Bethany Rippon poses while kneeling with a dog.

Bethany Rippon is an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in Biology from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: An 18-year-old that had no idea what was next with a major in undecided.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: A woman who has found herself through trials and triumphs through her four years on the Hill.

Real world experiences: I studied abroad in San Salvador, Bahamas, for Jan Term my senior year and I loved it. We got to be immersed in the culture and snorkel around reefs and other areas.

My aha moment: I learned that I am able to do things on my own and actually be successful. In high school, I was always nervous and felt that I needed someone else to walk me through tasks, but McDaniel has helped me grow to become a more independent person.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: I want to leave behind the legacy of trying new scary things. I recently joined the track team as a senior for fun, and I am so glad I did it, and I think everyone should step outside their comfort zone and do something that they never would have pictured themselves doing.

Faculty or staff member who most influenced who I have become: Dr. Elly Engle really has helped me through the past few semesters, and I strongly believe she helped me become the independent person I am and helped me realize that there is more to life than tests and textbooks.

Best class ever: The best class I have taken at McDaniel is Society and Natural Resources because it was a different way of thinking, and I felt that it opened my eyes to understanding the world from many different perspectives.

Took me totally by surprise: The community within McDaniel College. Not just the students, but the faculty, staff, alumni, and even just local Westminster residents.

My favorite spot on campus: My favorite spot on campus is probably Harvey Stone Pavilion because my dad brought me there growing up, and I have made many memories there before and during college.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: Learning about Tangier Island my freshman year of college. I had never heard of it before and was instantly drawn toward learning more and have since written several papers on it and continue to research it.

My capstone title: “Environmental Science Education within High Schools.”

What it’s about in plain talk: The best way to teach Environmental Science to high schoolers and find out if there are any struggles that teachers face in trying to teach their lessons.

Tell us a little about your activities, including sports, during your years at McDaniel: I originally came to play basketball at McDaniel but decided it was not the right fit for me, so I then went on a journey of trying new things to be involved with. After four years I finally feel like I found my niche within Yearbook, Green Life, Track & Field, and Jewish Student Union. I have built friendships through these things that I can only hope will last a lifetime.

What’s next: I am planning to travel for the next year, either to Europe or just on a cross-country trip during which I’ll stop at as many national parks as possible.

How will you stay connected to McDaniel? I plan to stay connected by visiting and keeping in touch with any of the current students.

Family legacy: My father went to Western Maryland College and graduated in 1992. He is the main reason I came to McDaniel, and I love when he comes on campus and we swap memories and stories as we walk around. I know a few alumni through my dad, and since coming here I have grown closer with them and been able to reach out for advice. I even got a job offer from an alum.

About Bethany

Name: Bethany Rippon

Major: Environmental Studies major with a specialization in Biology

Class of 2022

"My favorite spot on campus is probably Harvey Stone Pavilion because my dad brought me there growing up, and I have made many memories there before and during college."