Elizabeth Franks-North ’16

Elizabeth Franks-North '16
Elizabeth Franks-North '16

Elizabeth was an English and education double major from Greensboro, N.C. who graduated in 2016. She was the editor of The Record, a member of Hymn Club and a co-leader of the Ultimate Frisbee Club during her time at GC.

What do you like most about Goshen and why?

My favorite part of Goshen College is the intimate community. It’s wonderful to be able to recognize most people on campus and have friendly conversations with friends and acquaintances anywhere on campus. It creates a familiar atmosphere between students, faculty and staff, which allows me to connect with people outside of my peer group.

Why did you choose to come to Goshen College?

When I came to visit GC, I met with Professor Kevin Gary, a former education professor. Kevin told me that the education department focuses on service to the community, early exposure to students and schools, and creating well-rounded teachers. These aims showed me how serious the department was and how I would be both challenged and supported throughout my time at Goshen College.

How has Goshen College influenced your faith or worldview?

GC has shown me that faith comes in many different forms and can be expressed in an infinite amount of ways. People from different faith backgrounds are always sharing their forms of worship, expression and belief. GC has allowed me to experiment with and question faith openly. It has also given me comfort in knowing that love moves us through the world peacefully and gives us more opportunities and joy in everything we do.

What do you hope to do with your degree?

I hope to become a high school English teacher. I’d love to teach abroad, but I ultimately want to end up in a diverse school system that challenges me as a person and fulfills me as a teacher.

What advice would you give to a prospective student?

The largest influence in my decision to come to GC was having a good weekend visit to the GC campus. Stay overnight, ask questions and talk to professors so you can feel some familiarity with GC and its people. Overnight visits will help you narrow down your college choices and feel more confident in your college decision.

What was an influential experience you’ve had outside the classroom?

I was incredibly lucky to be able to go to Spain and Morocco with Dean Rhodes, associate professor of Spanish. I took a history and religion May term course that focused on the connected history between the Spain and Morocco, the trifecta of religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and modern day issues in Islam. We had host families almost everywhere we stayed and spoke to college students from Moroccan universities. I learned so much about culture, issues and daily life from these simple conversations with international peers and elders. These connections made me reevaluate my biases, judgments and reservations about a people I had not previously known. It wasn’t a long trip—only 3 weeks—but it was one I’ll never forget.