What has been one highlight of your time at Drury?
How would you describe life at Drury?
How did Drury prepare you for life after college?
Dylan Rinker felt nervous when he came to Drury University. Academically, he believed his education was not up to par with other students in his classes. However, he learned shortly after that coming to Drury means that everyone begins on the same level and your background doesn’t determine your success.
"I came to Drury not feeling extremely confident in my education that I had received before and there were students who had received excellent educations from excellent high schools," Dylan explains. "But once you come to Drury, you’re on an even playing field with everybody, no matter what your background is or educational background, your cultural background. Everybody’s equal here and everybody has an equal opportunity to succeed, and the only thing that can really get in the way of that is you and your own inhibitions, I suppose."
When Dylan chose his major, he knew specifically that he wanted to study French; however, he knew nothing about the language. But after four years at Drury, Dylan now possesses near-native fluency in French.
"Before Drury, I never had any French courses, so everything I’ve been able to do in French, that’s all been done within the four-year period that I’ve been at Drury," Dylan explains. "I think that goes to show that you can come to Drury with no experience. You can come here and in four years you can leave fluent in a language. There’s nothing stopping you to do that."
Dylan’s time with the French department has been one of the most memorable experiences of his undergraduate career. While attending Drury, he has been able to gain a better understanding of French through studying abroad.
"I’ve actually had two study abroad experiences at Drury in my French studies," Dylan clarifies. With the help of fellowships from the C.W. Titus Foundation, "one took me to France in the study abroad program and the other was at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec where I got the opportunity to go through a professor at Drury to study Quebec Studies at McGill."
Visiting other countries not only aided Dylan in his French studies, but the experiences allowed him to gain some global knowledge and experience.
In the department, Dylan also helped revive the French Club, where he served as president for two years, and he is a member of Pi Delta Phi, the French honor society.
Dylan knew early on while at Drury that he wanted to further his education. His goal is to receive a doctorate degree, and he says his professors have shown a personal interest in his professional ambitions.
"My professors have been really involved and invested in my life after Drury, so they’ve been helping me from the very beginning, telling me what I need to know for graduate school, telling me the things I’ll need to go ahead and prepare for," he says. "It’s been mainly through courses, I think, and through their guidance for the whole four years that I’ve been here for that after-Drury experience and education."
Recently, Dylan received an offer from Indiana University – Bloomington to join its Ph.D. program for French, but he won’t forget about the journey it took him to get there.
"Life at Drury is what you make it. I know that’s probably the most cliché thing anybody could possibly respond, but I do think it is what you make it," he says. "Your professors will help you get there. All you really have to do is try and really put forth that effort, and if they see that, they’ll do anything that they can. It is what you make it."
Note from the Humanities' Department:
Congratulations to the Society for the Humanities' own Dylan Rinker, who has accepted an offer from Indiana University Bloomington to complete a Ph.D. in French Literature. His generous funding offer is comprised of two fellowships worth $20,000 total plus a four year contract as Associate Instructor of French! Très bien fait, Dylan!