Conor Hall ’13 is spending the final semester of his college career abroad, spending time in Vietnam, Morocco and Bolivia, as well as California.
Although the Austin, Texas, native walked in May’s graduation ceremonies with his twin brother Patrick, and sister Maura, he’s completing his final credits through this study overseas. Though thankfully now in remission, a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the beginning of his junior year required Hall taking time off from coursework for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Hall will be part of the School of International Training’s International Honors Program. The topic of his study abroad, “The Politics of Food, Energy and Water” will be a global comparative look at how different countries are dealing with the mitigation and adaptation of climate change.
Such a topic is a natural segue for the politics major, who has enjoyed exploring a variety of subjects while a student at Earlham, including psychology and human development/social relations. He has a wide array of interests and appreciates how the liberal arts emphasis at Earlham has enabled him to pursue topics that pique his curiosity.
Earlham has been a valuable training ground for Hall. While visiting prospective colleges, Hall found himself attracted to the strong sense of community that he witnessed at Earlham. As a student, he immersed himself in it and has emerged as a leader. Active in student government, he has held numerous offices and was instrumental in restructuring the organization to help it run more effectively. He has served on multiple campus committees and has represented Earlham at various conferences.
He credits the “compassionate and brilliant” faculty and staff for much of his success while a student. Although he is quick to say that influential faculty and staff names are too numerous to mention, a short list includes Vince Punzo (psychology), Thor Hogan (politics), Nelson Bingham (provost/psychology), Avis Stewart (community relations), Bonita Washington-Lacey and staff (registrar), Rich Dornberger (student activities) and the staffs of health services and dining services.
This summer, he had the opportunity to intern for Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, which proved to be both an enjoyable and advantageous experience. He developed a strong relationship with Hickenlooper, which in turn has enabled him to become connected with other globally engaged organizations, such as Global Livingston Institute and Orbis Institute. Service minded, Hall hopes to continue traveling and volunteering in Central and South America after his term abroad ends. Longer-term plans may include law school or graduate school in environmental policy, public policy, diplomacy or another area yet to be discerned. No matter what, the future looks bright for Hall, and the people whose lives he will impact.