The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Spring transfers take on Grinnell

Naomi Worob ’18, Ashlin Berthelsen ’17, Shannon Young ’17 and Polly Carr ’18 all transferred to Grinnell this semester. Photo by Leina'ala Voss
Naomi Worob ’18, Ashlin Berthelsen ’17, Shannon Young ’17 and Polly Carr ’18 all transferred to Grinnell this semester. Photo by Leina’ala Voss

Not all students begin their Grinnell experience at the start of an academic year. Each spring semester is usually marked by the addition of at least a few new students who chose to transfer to Grinnell mid-year. This semester, we welcome four new Grinnellians to our ranks.

Ashlin Berthelsen ’17, Polly Ancona Carr ’18, Naomi Worob ’18 and Shannon Young ’17 come from a diverse array of academic backgrounds.

Berthelsen, hailing from Des Moines, previously earned her associates degree in liberal arts at the Des Moines Area Community College.

Carr, originally from New York City, attended Springfield College in Massachusetts.

Worob, from Arizona, attended an extremely large research university in her home state—Arizona State University—before transferring to Grinnell.

Young, originally from Colorado, went to another liberal arts school—Colgate University in upstate New York—before making the switch.

The group offered a variety of reasons for transferring. From academics to atmosphere, their rationale matched the diversity in their academic backgrounds.

Berthelsen had always intended to transfer to a four-year college after getting her associates degree, and Grinnell’s close-knit campus piqued her interest.

“Definitely one of the things that … drew me to this school in particular was the size,” Berthelsen said. “I wanted to be in a smaller classroom where you could get more one-on-one time with the teacher.”

For Carr, transferring presented more academic opportunities.

“I realized after the first year, just kind of looking back over what I’d done … I hadn’t really learned anything,” Carr said. She felt that Grinnell could offer her stronger academics and more diversity.

Worob decided to transfer after realizing she wanted a different college experience than her first school could offer.

“I think if I would have stayed there … the experiences that would have been meaningful wouldn’t have been, necessarily … the academic ones,” she said. “ASU is kind of a giant place and it seemed like … just a different set of people and a different feel.”

Young chose to transfer in part because she prefers the Midwest vibe to that of the Northeast, and was impressed by the confidence and comfort of the student body.

“[Grinnell students] embrace who they are a lot more, and … embrace all the things that make them diverse … and [don’t] obsess with fitting in and conforming,” she said. 

Several of the girls were attracted to Grinnell’s commitment to learning and the student body’s interest in taking part in academic discussions.

“[Grinnell emphasizes] really know[ing] how to learn and how to think,” Young said.

“People are definitely here to learn,” Berthelsen added.

Although Grinnell has proven to be a good fit for the transfer students, they have still found it difficult to make friends mid-year.

“People are just going about their daily routines and we’ve just kind of appeared … people don’t necessarily know that we’re transfers,” Carr said.

The group feels that they may need something special to distinguish themselves from other students. Worob and Carr have considered announcing their presence on campus by donning t-shirts labeled “transfer.”

Instead, the students have integrated themselves into campus culture by getting involved in a variety of extracurricular activities.

Carr joined the soccer team and Young runs track. Worob has begun taking flute lessons, and Berthelsen hopes to get involved in the arts and community service.

Overall, all four girls are satisfied with their choice, and have had a smooth transition into their new environment.

“It’s been great so far … everyone here is super nice and helpful,” Berthelsen said.

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