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Alex Emmanuele 12F: Challenging the Status Quo

“It’s exciting to see the way Hampshire works with community involvement,” says Alex Emmanuele.

“It’s exciting to see the way Hampshire works with community involvement,” says Alex Emmanuele 12F. 

Emmanuele, a third-year student, is collaborating with the admissions office to improve the way prospective students apply to Hampshire. He was inspired by the College’s decision to become “test blind,” with SAT and ACT scores no longer considered in admissions and financial aid decisions. While that was an important step, Emmanuele says, he thinks the College’s admissions department would benefit from an application more personalized than the Common Application currently used.

“Hampshire is setting itself apart from other schools,” he says, “so prospective students need a way to show who they are, what they’ve done, and why they want to be here.”

This past August, Emmanuele made a video proposing his ideas for a new application and sent it to his Division II committee chair, Assistant Professor of Human Biology Megan Dobro. She directed him to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Meredith Twombly.

“She was receptive and excited,” says Emmanuele, “and took the video to share with Hampshire's board of trustees.”

After hearing Emmanuele explain his goals and motivations for the project, Twombly says, she was thrilled to work with him.

“Admissions is always looking for ways to innovate and challenge the status quo, and it’s amazing to have a student like Alex just show up and offer really inspiring and creative ideas,” she says. “It's a wonderful illustration of how students really do drive the College forward.”

Another community-based project Emmanuele is working on ties into his involvement with Hampshire’s basketball team. Through the course Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, he and a group of classmates are spending the semester trying to increase attendance at Outdoor Program/Recreational Athletics (OPRA) games and activities. This builds on the success of an advertising campaign he developed last year to boost attendance at home basketball games.

“We had ten to fifteen people at games in our first year. By the second year, we had two hundred to three hundred people filling the bleachers and up at the Bridge Café looking over the courts and screaming,” he says.

One way his group will share OPRA activities is by live-streaming games on the OPRA web page. They intend to have the system in place by mid-season, which he hopes will get even more students involved in Hampshire's athletic community.

“It's cool meeting people that I wouldn't normally run into,” Emmanuele says. “My teammates come from different backgrounds, but we’re all able to connect through sports.”

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