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Performing in the Lab and on the Stage
Jacob Brittingham '14

Jacob Brittingham '14

Jacob Brittingham '14 previously taught biology for grades 6-11 and ran the drama club at New Life Christian School. Today, he is pursuing a doctorate degree in molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences at Penn State. He is also involved with the State College Community Theatre.

When I first started looking at colleges I didn't plan to double major. I knew I wanted to attend a school with an open theatre program, where non-majors got to audition for productions, but my plan was to focus on biology. So when I arrived at Susquehanna, I entered with one major—biology.

In fact, I didn't plan to do any shows right away, while I was getting plugged in to my major. By chance, a friend encouraged me to audition for The Full Monty my freshman year, and I got a role. I had such an amazing experience that I realized I had to study theatre while at Susquehanna.

My professors were very supportive of me pursuing a double major. Once I got to know them and we talked about how I enjoyed both disciplines, we worked together to map out a plan for my coursework. Classes and rehearsals and research kept me incredibly busy, but I thrived on performing well in those varied roles.

A liberal arts education introduces you to a lot of new and diverse ideas. For me, combining theatre and science offered a duality that fused together to form a great thing. My biggest reward in studying such contrasting majors was the people I met. Everyone offered something new, and everyone had their own story. That experience helps when trying to figure out a new way to do things. The more things you learn, the more you can look at things from a different point of view.

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