Grace Alto

A Supportive Community

Grace Alto '26

"I have found support in a lot of different places. Students in my major- specific classes really helped shape my experience."

Q: Where have you found support and mentorship at Lehigh? How has it shaped your experience?

A: I have found support in a lot of different places. Students in my major- specific classes really helped shape my experience. The theatre classes are very open and social, so it was easy to make friends. A lot of the classes weren’t limited to first-years so I was able to meet a lot of upperclass students. It was the first time I ever felt like I was around like-minded people who really shared a common interest with me and we were able to bond over that. I also found a lot of guidance from my professors who helped me in class, see what career I wanted to pursue in the future and pick which classes to take in my following semesters.

Q: What is one thing you would want a prospective student to know about Lehigh?

A: There are so many great opportunities at Lehigh to take advantage of, from academic resources, jobs, and even fun activities! Lehigh has a very lively campus, something is always happening on or around campus. It’s always easy to find something to do or participate in!

Q: How has Lehigh prepared you to take on tomorrow’s challenges?

A: I’ve met people from all over the world, which was really cool since I hadn’t ever really met people from other countries before. I loved learning about different cultures, and there is a community for everybody on campus. Preparing me for my future career, most of the professors are either currently working in the industry, or used to work in so they have a lot of real world experience that they teach to the students to prepare for their future jobs.

Q: What is a classroom or extracurricular activity at Lehigh that helped you determine (or solidified) what you want to pursue in the future?

A: My first year class, Media & Society with Dr. Vilanova. Before coming to Lehigh, I knew I wanted to study something related to communications, but Dr. Vilanova helped me realize that this was an industry I really wanted to enter. He taught us about the importance of properly communicating, and the lack of representation in how much I wanted to make an impact on the world through media. In his class, we looked at different examples of media, and what effect they had on the world. That class really showed me the lack of representation in media, and made me want to help be a part of the change that needs to be prevalent in today’s media world. This class also led to my TikTok internship with the Office of Admissions because my TA told our class about the position.

Q: You currently have two internship positions while also pursuing a double major in the College of Arts and Sciences. How do you balance academics and work?

A: I think that I have been able to balance everything by really prioritizing myself first and making sure that I am happy, because when I am, it is easier to get my work done. So I’ll usually set a schedule everyday to focus on my work, but also have some fun. I try to set time aside every day to do something that I want to do. In the fall semester I got back into sewing, and started a couple of projects in my dorm. I also enjoy writing, and spending time with friends, so by making sure I have time to do that, I am able to really focus on my classes and work to be able to balance everything I need to do.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Lehigh?

A: Campus really is so beautiful to walk around both in between classes and on my days off to get some fresh air, especially in the spring when all of the flowers are blooming but campus really is just stunning. I also love that most of my classes don't have more than 25 kids which has definitely helped me meet new people and have a more interactive learning experience. Because the classes are small, it also helps students because professors are able to devote more time to teaching and helping them if they need it.

Q: Where is your study spot of choice on campus?

A: I think I spend the most time at Williams Hall. Almost every day in the spring semester I went to the Global CafĂ©, got a pink breakfast smoothie between class and work, and sat in the Torcivia Greenhouse to get work done. I love the natural light that comes through the glass, it is energizing and super comfortable too. I try to go to Linderman Library too, as it was one of the places I was looking forward to the most before coming to Lehigh. I love sitting underneath the rotunda, or at the long tables. It’s really easy to focus there, and just get in the zone to do whatever work you need to get done.

 

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The Intersection Between Health and Technology

Major: Population Health
Hometown: Westborough, MA