Top 18 Stories of 2018

The Rollins stories you loved most this year—one more time.

From the Costa Rican field study that gave first-year students a lesson in global citizenship before they ever step foot in a Rollins classroom to signature Rollins experiences brought to life through the eyes of our students, explore the most-viewed Rollins stories of 2018.

1. 21 Reasons We Can’t Wait for the New Mills

Earlier this summer, Rollins broke ground on an ambitious building project that will breathe new life into a campus icon, Mills Memorial Hall. When it’s finished next fall, the new Mills will serve as the beating heart of Rollins’ mission to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership. Here’s a sneak peek at just how much Mills will mean for current and future Tars.

2. Summer, Shared

As students departed campus this past spring, we asked them to keep us in the loop on all their summer adventures via social media. Dozens obliged our request, and we were consistently amazed by the stories shared through our Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. From rescuing sea turtles off Florida’s Gulf Coast to conducting professional orchestras in one of the cradles of classical music to helping design the future of space launches at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, explore some of our favorite student stories from summer 2018.

3. Up & Away

This past year’s crop of winter field studies took our students on backyard and global adventures, studying everything from the horse-racing business in the Aquitaine region of France to the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades. Go behind the scenes of four of the most memorable experiences and take a look at what field studies are on tap for next summer.

4. What It’s Like ... to Have a Famous Writer Read Your Story

Katie Pearce ’19 came to Rollins for her chance to participate in Rollins’ renowned annual literary festival, Winter With the Writers. After working alongside lauded contemporary authors Elliot Ackerman and Lisa Ko, Pearce is surer than ever that she wants to become a writer. Here’s what she learned in her own words.

5. Groundwork for Greatness

Rollins provides students access to some of the world’s most robust and competitive internships, and this past summer was no exception. From NASCAR to Snap! Space, explore how each of these students’ on-the-ground experience is setting them up for success by setting them apart.

6. Proving Grounds

Orlando ranks in the top 10 in the country for internships per capita, so while Rollins students have secured internships around the world, some of the best are right here in our backyard. From interning in the communications department at the Orlando Ballet to managing game days for Orlando City Soccer Club, see how this past spring four standout students gained hands-on experience that will prepare them for the real world.

7. Allies in Inquiry

From building a microscope that could aid in earlier disease detection to curating an art exhibition for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, our professors and students partnered on more than 30 original research projects. Explore three of this past summer’s most innovative collaborations.

8. What It’s Like ... to Debate a Movement That’s Changing the World

Each year since 2007, Rollins’ national champion debate team has invited collegiate debate teams from around the world to campus for the Great Debate. This past February, the first-ever all-female group of debaters, including teams from Jamaica and China, took to the podium to debate the resolution, This House Would Respond to the #MeToo Movement. Double major in philosophy and sociology Whitney Elliott ’21 shares a firsthand account.

9. Cool Class: Archaeological Field School

During Maymester, seven students teamed up with archaeologists from Rollins, the University of Central Florida, and the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research to investigate 5,000-year-old Native American sites just 20 miles east of campus. See what they discovered amid the layers of time and earth.

10. A Rollins Year in Photos

Experience a year at Rollins through photographer Scott Cook’s most memorable images from the 2017-18 academic year. From SPARC Day to Fox Day, and Immersions to field studies, get a glimpse of all the signature experiences here at Rollins.

11. What It’s Like ... Your First Week at Rollins

Donayja Gates ’22 is one of three first-year students to earn the inaugural Rosen Scholarship at Rollins. Funded by Central Florida hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen, the full-ride scholarship allows students from the Tangelo Park and Parramore neighborhoods to attain their dreams of achieving a college education debt-free. See how Gates settled into dorm life and fared on her first day of class.

12. Liberal Arts in Action

During Intersession, the week before the start of the spring semester, students have a chance to engage with a topic not typically covered in the primary curriculum. Explore how experiences like working with migrant farmworkers just 40 minutes from campus and examining the truth about fake news create global citizens who think critically and act responsibly in the face of today’s biggest challenges.

13. Sustainable Roots

Environmental studies professor Barry Allen has been leading field studies to Costa Rica for more than two decades, each year preparing his students to become the next leaders in conservation. Explore how this first-year field study—where the students travel to Costa Rica before ever stepping foot on campus—changed the course of now environmental studies major Mikayla Panariello ’21.

14. Cool Class: Systems & Design Thinking for Social Change

This new social entrepreneurship course takes aim at finding lasting solutions to enduring social problems through role play and games in the classroom as well as partnership with a community partner on a real-world project. See how students come away from this community engagement course with the skills to analyze complex social challenges and the know-how to build possible solutions to those issues.

15. Calculating Impact

The opportunity to forge one’s own path is a hallmark of a Rollins education, and perhaps no Tar has seized it more deliberately than Arden Baxter ’18. Find out how majoring in math and computer science, minoring in Spanish, and devoting herself to community service has prepared Baxter to take on the world.

16. Cool Class: Physics for Future Presidents

Why is the sky blue? What is a black hole? What’s the difference between a nuclear reactor and a nuclear bomb? This Rollins College Conference (RCC) course is aimed at explaining the science behind the headlines. See how first-year students are learning to interpret and question the onslaught of news they’re hearing every day.

17. The Matriarch

From zombie runs to visiting Medieval Times, English professor Jana Mathews brings the liberal arts to life in some of Rollins’ most popular courses—all the while truly devoting herself to the overall well-being of her students and creating meaningful relationships that promote self-confidence in the classroom and beyond.

18. The Fantastic Dr. Fuse

Physics professor Chris Fuse’s love of science was inspired by watching the cult classic Back to the Future as a kid, and now he uses his fascination with the fantastical to inspire his students. From Superman to supernovas, a class with Doc Fuse is always otherworldly.