Class of 2019: Atticus Rice

McDaniel College senior Atticus Rice
April 23, 2019

Atticus Rice, from Portland, Oregon, is a Communication and Political Science and International Studies major with a specialization in American Politics and Law

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: I’d like to think that I’m leaving an enhanced culture of service. Through great work with Alpha Phi Omega National Co-Ed Service Fraternity I’ve been able to meet new people and make connections on campus and in our community all through doing service with and for one another. Giving back has always meant a lot to me and I think I’ve been able to share that value with many others on the Hill.

As a senior, I served as co-editor-in-chief of the McDaniel Free Press and worked with an incredible team to increase our number of print issues and overhaul our organizational policies and structure to help us better achieve our goals of delivering the news the McDaniel community deserves to know. Perhaps most notable with my work for the Free Press was learning the ways in which information spreads around campus and having the privilege of being one of the first people to find out about things through one-on-one interviews with the president, administrative officials, and many other interesting people.

My footprints and handprints (I helped with construction!) are also in and around the new Green Terror Greenhouse that’s going live in its first stage this spring. I’m humbled to be a part of a great team that’s been able to secure the financial, faculty, administrational and student support for such a great initiative and hope that it will remain as a sign of what people can do when they come together.

Best class ever: New Media Writing with English professor Paul Muhlhauser. I took this class as part of my minor in journalism and new media as an eager sophomore. Dr. Muhlhauser day after day proved to be one of the most energetic, exciting and caring people and educators whom I have ever had the luck to learn from and get to know. That class was incredible because we were able to learn the latest cutting-edge ideas and technologies for writing and publishing all from unique angles that were of individual interest.

Took me totally by surprise: How natural it felt to be at McDaniel. Of course, I picked McDaniel because I knew it was the school for me and was able to feel that from my admissions process, but I still had my reservations about travelling across the country away from what I knew to come to a completely new environment. But ever since my first week on the Hill things have just worked out. Whether it’s the great community and support systems that magically come together or the awesome programs and events happening all around me or the amazing opportunities I’ve had to learn and grow, it’s always felt natural to be a Green Terror and that’s not something I was expecting to be so pervasive.

My favorite spot on campus: The McDaniel Free Press Office. Despite being on the first floor by the entrance of Hill Hall, arguably one of the most trafficked buildings on campus, the office is still rather hidden, giving it a unique position in the center of campus. The office became my favorite both because it’s central yet isolated, but also because it became an extension of my investment in the paper; it physically represented my work on staff for four years and was something to be proud of. It also has a couch for midday naps.

Real world experiences: I studied abroad in the Peruvian Amazon for my January Term course in 2018 with The Forest Online class. This class focuses on story telling through the importance of the Amazon Rainforest to the people who live there, people who live elsewhere and the world’s entire ecosystem. I worked as a research assistant for English professor Daniel Schafer on compiling an anthology of foundational fictional texts about the game of baseball from 1900-1925.

As far as internships go, I’ve put myself into as many different types of situations as possible, including being a peer mentor for the Honors Program, a First Look Facilitator and again as a peer mentor in Art professor Chloe Irla’s Art on the Edge First Year Seminar. I’ve interned with the College’s Annual Giving team and worked in the student phone center since a month after arriving on campus. I made some wonderful connections with key player in local politics during my internship with Emily Shank’s campaign for state delegate and worked on web and social media copy and design with Advantage Internet Marketing based in Westminster, Md.

I leveraged a connection through my journalism courses with a senior editor at Baltimore magazine and had the opportunity as an editorial intern to put together the magazine, gain experience in fact-checking and research and helping to write some small sections. Between getting to experience and explore Baltimore and being able to work with respected industry professionals, it was a grand time. 

My capstones: Political Science and International Studies: “American Exceptionalism on the Campaign Trail” and for Communication: “Personal Identity in Crucial Conversations”

What it’s about: PSI examines the development of American exceptionalism — the idea that America is somehow intrinsically better than other countries — and its importance and role in elections. In the research, I dive into Republican and Democratic National Convention acceptance speeches in each Presidential Election since 2000 through a qualitative content analysis of themes central to the makeup of American exceptionalism. I look into how rhetoric around American exceptionalism has evolved in the last 20 years compared to at its inception in pre-Constitutional America.

In my Communication capstone, I look at the role that personal identity plays in conversations that deal with identity and social justice. Through qualitative interviews I examine what identity means to people and how one’s identity can lend itself to validity and supremacy of opinion in these conversations. The research places an emphasis on meaning created by each participant in the project, allowing for fluidity and personality in the findings.

What it’s really about: My Political Science capstone is really about how talking about America being great has changed and the role that talking about it plays in presidential elections. For Communication it’s about who has a right to an opinion in conversations about identity and social justice depending on their identity and experiences under that identity.

What’s next: I’m looking at 1-2 year programs in environmental policy, community engagement, marketing, and nonprofit work before continuing my education at the graduate level. I ultimately see myself obtaining a master’s in public policy — or something similar — within the next five years before returning back to the workforce.

 
 
© 2019 McDaniel College