Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Elizabeth Hockensmith

Elizabeth Hockensmith holds a Mickey Mouse-shaped churro and smiles at the camera

Hometown: Elko, MN

Major: Eastern European History

Activities you are involved in: Student Veterans Association, Volunteer at the Veterans Affairs Hospital

What is your favorite college memory?

Transfer night my first year at the U! I brought my parents with me. It was so great to see how proud they were that I was going to school at the U!

Did you participate in any student organizations, Learning Abroad programs, research or internship opportunities, or other related experiences? How have you learned from them?

I was a cabinet officer in the Student Veterans Association. During my time in office and as a member, I really found a sense of pride in my school work. Much like my time in the military, I found a new passion to focus my energy into, and with that, I was able to build a wonderful structure to help me graduate.

What is your favorite class that you took in CLA? Is there a professor that you particularly enjoyed working with? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

I have so many favorite classes, but one in particular was Eastern European History with Professor Tchoukarine. He really opened my mind to diving into forgotten countries in Eastern Europe and he always made class interesting and compelling. 

How would you describe your time in your major?

Confusing at first! I had no real plan when I got to the U, I just knew I wanted to get here. I didn't really have a plan for how my major would pan out or how I would transform this degree into a career, so I bounced around from subject to subject. History has always been a love of mine. No matter what you think you know about it, there is always something new that will shock and surprise you. That made me want to pursue a degree in it.

Why is a liberal arts education important to you?

I think that no matter what you study in school you need to be passionate about it. I think that CLA and liberal arts students in general have a wide variety of classes to choose from and our field is so broad, possibilities are endless for us. 

What have you learned about yourself during your time in CLA?

I have learned a great deal about my willpower, study techniques, work ethic, and drive. I am a first generation student and a military veteran, so I already put high expectations for my studies, grades, and diploma completion on myself before anyone else did. But no matter if I failed a test, failed a class, or cried from stress, I always kept pushing to achieve my goal because the only person stopping me was me. 

What is your favorite study spot on campus?

Wilson Library 3rd floor with a view of downtown Minneapolis!

If you had the world's attention for 30 seconds, what would you say?

Don't give up on yourself. Invest the time and effort to be a diligent student. It doesn't matter if you fail a test or a class, but if you fail yourself, then you will never know your full potential in this life. 

If you could be any member on a TV show, who would you be?

Captain Olivia Benson of the Special Victims Unit on Law & Order. Queen of the clap back!

Is there an app you hate but use anyways?

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. 

What's next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?

Studying for the DAT exams and applying to dental school.

Share on: