[Y HMC?] with Althea Hansel

As Althea is wrapping up her time at Mudd, we asked her to think back on the time when Harvey Mudd wasn’t yet her school. She shares with us that her dad was the first to tell her about Mudd her freshman year of high school. He had seen promotional materials about HMC when he was applying for schools and recommended that she look into it as her interest in math and science was budding. Althea visited Mudd’s website and remembers that, “back then [it] was really funny and had lots of inside jokes and puns.” She was hooked and visited Mudd that summer, deciding that Mudd could definitely be the place for her.

Althea Hansel

Althea Hansel, class of 2019

When it came time to decide, Althea was choosing between Mudd and an 8-year BS/MD program. By that time, she had been wanting to go to Mudd for a while, but she wanted to be a doctor for as long as she could remember. The non-Mudd option was enticing because it provided a direct path to medical school, but made for a hard decision because she liked so many aspects of Mudd. Although now she is a chemistry major, back then she wasn’t sure which flavor of science she wanted to pursue which made Mudd’s core an appealing deal. She also liked the collaborative work environment and was attracted to how HSA was incorporated into the curriculum.

Althea visited for the Admitted Students Program and met some wonderful people, including her best friend of the past four years. She recalls that “the school really felt like the right place” for her. After coming home from ASP, Althea committed to Mudd a few days later. She remembers thinking, “if I got into medical school once, I could do it again.” She did and next year will be an MD-PhD student at the University of California, San Diego.

Althea insists that the people of Mudd are hands down the best part of the school, including the students, faculty and staff. She says that she has “made some amazing, life-long friends here” and is “continually amazed by how kind, collaborative, and caring” the people here are. Althea adds that the amazing faculty not only have taught her an incredible amount but also “care deeply about the students, including our personal success and well-being”. Althea credits her support system for her success here and brings up the challenges that Mudd can entail.

She advises prospective students that when choosing a school, “it is really important to choose the school that is the right fit for you and your interests.” For Althea, Mudd was the right fit and she was able to do well here. She notes that your time at Mudd may be far less enjoyable if it isn’t the right fit, for instance, if you do not want to take courses in the humanities, social sciences, and arts. She recommends putting a lot of thought into which is the right fit, in the same spirit that she did four years ago.