An Athlete and a Scholar


Matthew Strubinger is a student athlete at Elizabethtown College. He is part of the Track and Field team where he runs Hurdles and throws the Javelin. Matt has to balance his time between track and field and his studies. Matt is a Political Science Major with a minor in Communications. In order to get an idea for how Matt is able to keep his grades up as well as be part of a sports team, I interviewed him and asked him some questions.


Matt Strubinger was born on March 14, 1998 in Lehighton Pa. His parents’ names are Gerald and Carolyn and he has an older sister Katrina, who goes to college at Rider University. Matt grew an interest in sports as a young kid. He played football in high school and also ran indoor and outdoor track.  He was also a successful student and he strived to get the best grades he possibly could in high school. Matt had a job in high school as he worked for his local bridge crew.


    When asked how he is able to keep a high GPA as well as devote time to track and field, he answered, “You gotta work hard and play hard. You have to set goals for yourself and always put the work first. Sometimes I  study during weekends as well as on bus rides home from meets.”

In order to get a feel for what Matt’s favorite part about going to Elizabethtown College is, I went ahead and asked him. He answered “I really enjoy being a part of the team because I have met so many friends. My friends that I have made are truly my favorite part of being at Elizabethtown College. I love hanging out with them and playing kan jam with them.”

Teammates opinion

A fellow team member of Matt’s, Curtis Reynolds, was asked about Matt.  I asked Curtis how much of a good sport he thought Matt was and how he thought of him as a fellow athlete. “Matt is always very respectful, especially towards his competition. He always leaves everything out there on the track. He is also very respectful to the coaches and never talks back to them. I honestly think the guy is captain material for next year,” says Curtis.


I wanted to get a feel for what it is like for Matt when he is overwhelmed from school and track. I wanted to see whether or not Matt had trouble in school or if he had a tutor. “I have a tutor in Stats because it is my weakest subject. The tutor helps me get through class and  make sure that I have a good enough grade in the class.” Matt intends on keeping his grades up throughout his college career as best as he can to solidify a decent job in his field of study.


Matt is overall a hardworking individual who loves Elizabethtown College and competing in Track.  Matt is well respected by many people at Etown college. He loves his field of study and intends on keeping it for all four years of college.








Some kids worry about going off to college.  They are afraid they might not make friends or they may miss sleeping in their own bed everyday.  It is a huge adjustment all college students have to make. James Vernon not only made this transition at by come to Elizabethtown College.  Her has been making this transition all of his life


Around the World


James was born in Meyrin, Switzerland.  His father worked for the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).  With this kind of work, James’s family had to travel all around the world.  James spent the majority of his life in Switzerland, but at the age of five he had to move away to France.  He would find himself moving back to France and moving away again at the age of 17.


James never got the chance to have a normal childhood.  He moved away from all his friends and all the relations he had made as a kid.  Soon enough he would have to make that transition 4 more time. James also found himself in country’s such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the United States.  Every time he would settle down he would have to get right back up again.  Up until three years ago, he had only lived abroad.


True Values


Some kids would end up finding themselves into trouble with the same situations that James went through.  James said these issues he had to deal with made him a stronger person and made him really recognize the world around him.  James said that, “Growing up in many different countries has given me an appreciation and a deeper understanding for many different cultures.”  


My town growing up did not have a high school.  After spending nine years of my life in one school, I had to now start high school in a new school with kids I didn’t know.  It was a very terrifying experience. I was afraid of not fitting and being looked at as a uncool. James went through this type of situation three different times.  


Having to go to so many different schools was the worst thing about moving around James says.  He says that, “This was a nuisance and something that I hated about moving around.” He was forced to repeat a year of school because of a certain move.  Although these changes were difficult, he would not have changed a thing.


James reflected on his life while sitting on stage after graduating high school from Sanford School in Delaware.  He said that, “I realized that I would not have changed it because while I did go to three different schools. I have learned to open up more to new people and to be more outgoing.”


Life at Elizabethtown

Even with all these transitions, James says his move to Etown has been the easiest.  His father is an alumni of Etown and choosing to attend here was easy. The school is not far from his house so he is never too far from home.  When asked about living on his own, he said that, “Living here on my own at first was a pretty different but it has gotten easier.” He says he has lived on his own before but this is the longest he has gone without living with his parents.


After all of these transitions, James has finally found himself a home at Etown.  James is looking forward to the end of the semester and to wherever his travels will take him next.

Humans of Etown – Grace Gibson

Grace Gibson in her dorm room.

Grace Gibson, a first-year biology and English double major, knew she wanted to come to Elizabethtown College after attending an accepted students day at Villanova.

“It was between Villanova and here, and I didn’t want to go to Villanova,” she said.

She followed up with her first memory of the College: November 2016, at an open house event. After driving the two hours from her home in central New Jersey, her parents were convinced that they were going the wrong way because they claimed that there were too many farms.

But upon seeing Leffler Chapel, they knew they were in the right place; that did not stop them from exclaiming, “We’re in the middle of nowhere!”

After her first week here, Gibson was in the mindset of wanting to impress everyone and showing them that she was cool. She interjected that she was still obsessed with the Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 and was upset that it was closing. Her love of the musical was also shown by a poster for the musical hanging above her bed along with a beautifully detailed drawing of one of the actors, Grace McLean.

“I wanted to be the most impressive person my professors had ever seen, and I was excited about meeting new people, but I still wanted to focus on my schoolwork,” Gibson said, looking at the homework splayed across her desk.

She also said that while college is overwhelming, slightly terrifying at all times, and full of repressing all of her issues, it is mostly fun and she has many memories of good times, even in her first year.

“The most memorable moment so far has been Schlossmas, especially when we stole trays from the Marketplace and tried to go sledding before winter break,” Gibson said.

The name “Schlossmas” comes from a combination of the dorm she and her friends live in, Schlosser, and Christmas, since it was a celebration of winter break. She also recounted the movie night following snow-filled activities, like singing “Frosty, the Snowman” around a “sad and dirty” snowman wearing one of her friend’s hats and one stick arm.

“One day, my friend drove me and another friend to a pet store and one of my friends impulse-bought two small Fiddler crabs,” she said, followed by a few chuckles, when talking about funny moments at Etown.

Gibson also told the story of the not one, but two times her and three other friends stood in one of the very small service closets near the stairwell in Schlosser. They just hung out in the closet for at least 20 minutes, scaring half of the people walking by and receiving worried and confused looks from the other half.

“The second time we did it, we played music and one of my friends who was able to see into the stairwell kept making eye contact with the people walking down the stairs. I think we played the trap remix of the yodeling Walmart kid for most of the second time in the closet,” she said.

As I walked out of Gibson’s room, she turned back to her homework with a small sigh, resuming the never-ending studying for organic chemistry.

Humans of Etown: Nicole Blyth

“Mainly I just want to travel and explore the world while getting paid” first year student Nicole Blyth said when asked what her goal was at the end of the next three years. For the International Business student from Mars, no not the planet, but the town right outside Pittsburgh, coming to Elizabethtown College was almost a no brainer. The International Business program at Elizabethtown cannot be compared to other schools of the same size, so despite having to travel about four hours every time to go home, the program made the train ride well worth it.

Home in Mars includes a mom and dad, Patty and John, as well as brother Steven who is 22. He may be her only biological sibling, but as for “adoptive” ones, Nicole has another brother Daniel. Daniel is a sixteen year old foreign exchange student from China. After Nicole headed to college, her parents added him to their family for the school year and he has quickly made his way into everyone’s hearts. If you ask her to talk about her family and favorite people, Daniel is bound to come up.

Most days, Nicole can be found in the library after class, or working in the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, but her favorite place on campus is her bed; “Ummm I don’t know where I like the most, my bed i guess” she said with so much laughter that we both ended up tearing up. When she cannot be found studying hard or taking a nap, she can be found at Bible Study on Wednesdays with Campus Crusaders for Christ (Cru) or at large group with the organization on Thursdays. Besides being involved with Cru, Nicole is heavily involved with helping the local environment with the schools sustainability project. The project is composed of mostly business students who are looking for a way to make the college as a whole more sustainable. This includes information flyers and tables that give information to students about how they can easily recycle right on campus. Each of the organizations she is involved with shows her desire to help the community both locally and globally.

On nearly every Elizabethtown tour, students hear about the close and homey vibe of the school and Nicole would have to agree; “I think my favorite part of the school as a whole, besides the business program, would have to be how close I’ve gotten with professors” she said. Nicole described the school as truly being her second home because she can not just head home on weekends like some students. Not only has she created close bonds with her professors but has also formed bond with many Cru ladies and recalled her favorite memory so far as the woman’s weekend trip that took place a few weekends ago, in Ocean City, New Jersey. Nicole has seemed to settled in to her first year with grace, and has a bright future that will likely consist of traveling the world and getting paid, as well as making a difference wherever she lands.

Nicole near the Community and Civic Engagement Office

Humans of Etown-Zac Knapp


Can you tell me your name, major, and class?

“My name is Zac Knapp, I’m a business administration major entrepreneurship concentration and I’m a junior.”

What do you like to do here in your free time at Elizabethtown?

“I like to play the guitar.”

How long have you been playing?

“I’ve played guitar for about 11 years. I thought myself how to play. Yea I really enjoy it.”

Who are some of your favorite artists to play?

“I’m big into…I play the acoustic guitar, so I really like listening to Vance Joy, Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffet…those guys.

Do you go to any concerts like Firefly or Bonnaroo?

“I’ve been to Firefly once last summer was my first summer. I’m going to a Chainsmokers concert this summer. I’m pretty excited.”


Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Citizen Journalism