In what’s become an annual ritual for Mitchell Scholars at Bowdoin, members of the 2023 cohort gathered this fall to strengthen their fellowship over cones and cups at Gelato Fiasco in downtown Brunswick.
Organized this year by Lilly Curtis, the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Boothbay Region High School and sophomore Biology major, and Edie Salzig, the 2020 Mitchell Scholar from Ellsworth High School and senior Physics major (the two at far right in the photo above), the informal gathering proved once again to be a chance for first-year Mitchell Scholars to get the scoop from their elders on all things Bowdoin as well as how to make the most of the Mitchell Institute’s programs and opportunities.
For Salzig, who organized last year’s outing at Gelato Fiasco with Hunter Steele, a 2019 Scholar from Lewiston High School who graduated from Bowdoin last May with a degree in Religion and Economics, the desire to keep the tradition alive stems from her first-year experience, “deep into the pandemic.”
“That first semester, Bowdoin had mostly just freshmen on campus, so everyone could have their own room,” Salzig said. “For so many reasons, including a feeling of isolation, that time was incredibly difficult for me.”
Fortunately for Salzig, an older Mitchell Scholar at Bowdoin kindled some connection during that dark time.
“I found community and friends at a Mitchell Scholar game night put on by Lilly Tedford, the Scholar ambassador at that time,” Salizg said. “I serve as an ambassador because it is a chance for me to bring people together, especially freshmen, so they can find community among other Mitchell Scholars as I did my first year.”
For Curtis, accepting the offer to co-lead this year’s gathering was a chance to pay forward what Salzig and Steele did for her last year.
“The Mitchell Institute is really incredible and provides some amazing opportunities for students. Being a Mitchell Scholar allows me to have a bigger platform in sharing those opportunities with other Scholars,” Curtis said. “It’s also really fun and encouraging to arrange outings as groups so everyone can get to know each other better and to make sure they know there’s a supportive community within the Mitchell Institute.”
As Salzig said there was “never a lull in discussion, and everyone contributed to the conversation,” she got the feeling that “everyone was eager to make new connections.” That’s why this likely won’t be a one-and-done year for her and Curtis as campus ambassadors.
“It’s often difficult to gather Scholars together for campus activities because we’re all so busy,” Salzig said. “But when I asked the group what events they might enjoy in the future, they mentioned that pizza is always appreciated, as are movies and game nights. I am hopeful that Lilly and I will be able to put together another gathering soon.”
If you are a campus ambassador seeking advice and support on how to host activities that create connection and community among Mitchell Scholars at your school, please be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo ID’s left to right: Lydia Branson, 2023 Mitchell Scholar from Cape Elizabeth High School and first-year Pre-Law major at Bowdoin; Jack Smart, the 2023 Mitchell Scholar from South Portland High School and first-year Government and Legal Studies major at Bowdoin; Joseph Lemieux, the 2023 Mitchell Scholar from Maine School of Science and Mathematics and first-year Computer Science major at Bowdoin; Ayanna Hatton, the 2020 Mitchell Scholar from Freeport High School and senior Biochemistry major at Bowdoin; Curtis; and Salzig.