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Amanda Preston ’11

Amanda Preston talking with studentsDirector of Music Production and Promotion

Why did you apply to be an adviser?
Having recently graduated from Davidson, I vividly remember how daunting it seemed to start a new life at college. As a student here, I received so much support from faculty, staff and classmates, so I very much wanted to be a part of this welcoming network for first-year students.

How have your personal and professional experiences prepared you for your role as an adviser?
Entering Davidson, I wasn't sure what I wanted my major to be, let alone my career! I put my faith in the liberal arts curriculum and found myself enjoying a wide variety of courses from different academic departments. During my time as a student, I also studied abroad in London, played viola in the symphony orchestra and joined student service organizations. After graduating in 2011, I started working for the music department and have remained committed to Davidson's mission for academic and artistic excellence ever since.

What was your favorite campus event last year, and why?
The phenomenal jazz singer and trombonist Aubrey Logan came to Davidson last April for a three-day residency and culminating performance. Her gig with the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo at the end of the week took my breath away. We are really lucky to get such high-caliber artists to come to Davidson and not just to perform a concert, but to work closely with our students and develop a real bond with them. It's something that made this particular performance all the more electrifying and fun!

Tell us about a mentor/someone who was important to your success when you were a student.
Associate Professor of History Patricia Tilburg was instrumental in my success at Davidson. Her courses in modern European history never failed to be fascinating, challenging, and incredibly rewarding. My senior year, she was the second reader on my honors thesis, so we worked even more closely together on that project. Her valuable insight, creative thinking, ceaseless encouragement and good humor helped me to become the scholar I hoped to be.

What advice would you give yourself as a college first-year student?
Don't try to take on too much too fast! Even if you were able to juggle seven AP classes and leadership roles in three clubs in high school doesn't mean you have to do the same thing in college. Take the time you need to adjust to a new environment, make friends, study hard and participate in the organizations that make you feel good. This place has so much to offer, but taking care of yourself is important too.