As her academic career at Hempfield High School wound down, Erika Otthofer knew she wanted to stay close to home while having the independence of college life.

Ship was it.

“The international studies and political science programs drew me in based on the ability to tailor student experiences and courses to their academic interests with caring professors to mentor them,” Otthofer said.

Otthofer is a member of Ship’s class of 2020 with majors in both political science and international studies. And she has professors motivating her to pursue plenty of unique experiences.

“My majors are preparing me for success through the various courses I have taken and my out-of-classroom engagement,” Otthofer said. “The ability to focus on a world region that I am interested in has allowed me to expand my Spanish language skills and my knowledge of Latin American history, politics and culture that I can apply to a future career. Particularly in the political science major, I have had the opportunity to participate in the Washington Model of American States to gain diplomatic and resolution building skills while learning about Latin American affairs.”

Otthofer is a Wood Honors College student, which has allowed her to strengthen her leadership skills and grow as a scholar. She is also a member of the Shippensburg University Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers and serves as an international studies student ambassador. Her involvement in the choir provided the unique opportunity to travel abroad to sing in Ireland. Additionally, Otthofer is an English 113 writing fellow.

“Every student at Shippensburg should feel welcomed and equipped to succeed due to the efforts of the faculty and staff to make Ship a place of learning, building relationships and personal and professional growth.”

Read more stories from the Class of 2020.