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A fall sunset from the west side of Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Becca Gadiel

New Buffalo, Michigan

Major in Psychology, Minors in Philosophy and Social Service

Becca is Knox's 2021-22 Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and a recent Phi Beta Kappa inductee.

Becca Gadiel stands in front of Old Main

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. 

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Printed on Saturday, May 18, 2024