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New Buffalo, Michigan
Major in Psychology, Minors in Philosophy and Social Service
Becca Gadiel recently was chosen as Knox College's 2021-22 Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, an honor that recognizes the state's outstanding college seniors. She also is a new member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's most prestigious academic honors society. Most members are inducted as seniors, but a select few, including Becca, are inducted at the end of their junior year.
Did you come to Knox knowing you wanted to major in psychology?
I came in knowing that I wanted to major in psychology. However, my minors are philosophy and social service, which I did not come in knowing.
What activities are you involved in at Knox?
I am in the sorority Pi Beta Phi, current president of Knox Jewish Club, Dare to Care Peer Educator, Counseling Center Peer Educator, and a KnoxCorps associate.
What internships and other professional opportunities have you had at Knox?
I have participated in the KnoxCorps program since my sophomore year. This is a program that places Knox students at local community organizations. I spent one year working for the YMCA, and am entering my second year with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of West Central Illinois. I have also been a research assistant in two psychology labs.
What are you hoping to do after graduation?
I want to be a social worker, so I want to get my Master of Social Work (MSW). Right now I’m torn between if I’m going to go straight to graduate school or work for a few years and then go back to school, but eventually, the plan is to get my MSW and probably do some kind of crisis work or work in a community center, which would be ideal.
Tell us about Pi Beta Phi.
I’ve been in it since my freshman year; I joined in winter. I’ve been the vice president of recruitment, and right now I’m the vice president of member experience. I feel like as I’ve gotten older and grown in my time at Knox it’s become more important to me, so that’s definitely been a big part of my Knox experience as well.
What brought you to Knox?
To be very candid, I initially did not want to go to Knox. I was offered an extremely generous scholarship, and it made the most sense location-wise and financially, but I still had a kind of internal resistance to it. However, throughout my time here, I have come to appreciate my Knox experience very deeply and feel confident it was the right decision. I enjoy the tight-knit community, the willingness to engage in dialogue and conversation, students’ passion, and am very thankful for all the opportunities I have received.
Do you have any advice for someone who's interested in going to Knox?
I would say that Knox really is what you make it. There are so many opportunities available, but you have to take initiative and go out and find them yourself. I think the same thing academically, extracurricularly, and socially—it’s all there for you.