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I Am Elon with Ben Bridges ’17

As an anthropology major minoring in Latin American studies and art, the rising junior appreciates the versatility that comes with his chosen fields of study.

Rising junior Ben Bridges grew up unafraid to challenge the traditional. He quit baseball in sixth grade to begin ballet lessons. Instead of a formal Elon campus tour, he and his father crafted their own, pulling aside random students to ask about their experiences.

Now an anthropology major minoring in Latin American studies and art, Ben appreciates the variety that comes with his chosen fields. “As a student of anthropology, I’m also a student of geography, political science, biology, sociology and psychology,” he says. “It’s so fascinating to be in a field of study that can go in any direction you want to take it.”

He’ll be following his interests to Peru in the fall to work on his Lumen Scholar and Honors Fellow research project, investigating the combination of mythology and globalization in the indigenous Quechua communities. The semester follows his first study abroad experience in Turkey with his Honors Fellows cohort in 2014. “The great thing about Turkey was that we were there not as tourists but as scholars, which helps you appreciate what you’re seeing at a deeper level,” he says.

Ben didn’t opt for a typical summer, either. He worked with the Alamance Youth Leadership Academy on campus before spending two weeks in West Virginia mentoring incoming first-year students as part of Adventures in Leadership, an outdoor program that teaches skills such as leadership and self-development. “A.I.L. sparks my passion for the outdoors and applies it to tangible developmental experiences,” he says. “Doing something that I love, while positively impacting many incoming students, is incredibly fun and fulfilling.”

“I Am Elon” is a multimedia series by The Magazine of Elon featuring Elon students in their own words.

By Kim Walker

Keren Rivas,
Staff
8/3/2015 8:35 AM