Lucy Langan: Forging a Future by Creating Connections

Lucy Langan: Forging a Future by Creating Connections

Even though senior Lucy Langan grew up in nearby Cazenovia, NY, she never really felt connected to Colgate University – until she actually arrived on campus, that is. Throughout her four years in Hamilton, Langan has left an indelible mark on the University through the interpersonal connections she has developed with people from all over campus.

When Langan looks back at her college experience, she is most proud of her work in helping her peers and the connections that have resulted from this.

“I think the people I met made it worth it, for sure,” Langan said. “I feel like it’s the way that I’ve connected with most people and been able to support people on campus in the most real, on-the-ground way.”

One of Langan’s lasting impacts in this regard comes from her work at Colgate’s Writing and Speaking Center. As a peer consultant since her junior year, Langan spends between eight and twelve hours per week working one-on-one with other students. While her tasks involve editing and providing suggestions for the papers and projects of her peers, Langan ultimately seeks to make the experience valuable for students in the long run by instilling lasting skills and bolstering her clients’ confidence in their writing abilities.

“I work on helping students strengthen their writing skills long-term, so not just editing papers, but also finding trends and patterns in their writing and talking about ways to improve those for going forward,” Langan said.

While her clients certainly benefit from her work, Langan also reaps rewards from it. Many of the students she has worked with are not just clients anymore but have become genuine friends. 

“It’s my favorite thing I do on campus; it’s really fun. I’ve met so many people through it,” Langan mused. “I feel like most of my random friendships on campus are from that. I have a lot of repeat clients who I love, so I’m going to be sad about leaving that.”

But leave she will, and not just Colgate, but the country. After Langan graduates, her next role will be as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant for IE University in Madrid, Spain. Langan expects her skills in effectively communicating constructive criticism and analyzing long texts honed through hours working at the Writing and Speaking Center to be crucial in her new position.

“I’ll work at an international university editing papers from different students who speak different languages […] People will be coming from all over and then writing their papers in English,” Langan explained. “It’ll be really cool to be able to do the same work I do here but [in] a more culturally diverse place.”

While the Fulbright application process is notoriously difficult, Langan found that the connections she had with Colgate’s Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships (ONFS) provided her with invaluable support along the way. Langan initially had no intention of applying to be a Fulbright teaching assistant, until ONFS personnel introduced her to the program and personally encouraged her to apply.

After she made the decision to go for it, Langan worked with ONFS to repeatedly polish her resume, respond to a series of questions, prepare several essays and participate in extensive interviews.

“They were so supportive and had all the insights into what to say, what to highlight about my life and my experiences, so that was really helpful,” Langan said. 

In addition to her dedicated commitment to her work at the Writing and Speaking Center, Langan has been a member of Link Staff since she was a sophomore, helping orient incoming students to Colgate. In this capacity she has been a welcoming face for several classes of Colgate students, providing them with a familiar and comforting presence for not only the transition to college but also beyond.

“I’m still very connected to my Linksters from all three years, so it’s really fun knowing 15 to 20 people in each class here and being able to kind of watch them progress. They’ll still come say ‘hi’ to me or come have lunch with me,” Langan said.

It is in this way that Langan leaves behind a tradition of connection, inspiring future generations of Colgate students to extend a hand and engage with each other the way she did.

“I feel like that’s how I’ve impacted the school the most,” Langan said. “I think the stuff that I’ve done that has let me reach the most people is what I’m most proud of, and [what] I feel like I’ve left the most legacy surrounding.”