Grant Easterbrook '11

Grant Easterbrook

Grant Easterbrook '11

Major: Government and Legal Studies
Minor: History
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

Why did you choose to come to Bowdoin?
For me, it was all about the atmosphere at Bowdoin. The people were very friendly and easygoing compared to those at other colleges I visited and I really liked the small-school feel coming from a big high school. The academic environment also stood out in the sense that classes are extremely demanding, but students are not super competitive with each other.

Also, when I spoke with members of the coaching staff about playing football at Bowdoin, they were the only coaches I visited who seemed to genuinely care about students' experiences outside of the football program.

Why did you choose your major?
I originally planned to major in economics. However, I took a few classes and realized that while economics was interesting, I didn't want to spend four years doing math. By that time I had taken a few government classes and I found that was the major for me.

What has been a course you especially enjoyed at Bowdoin?
The American Presidency with Visiting Professor Cal Mackenzie in the government department; I've never learned so much in a single class. After taking his course, I realized how little I knew about the presidency and how it actually functions in government policy-making. Also, Cal told the best stories from when he was at Bowdoin (class of 1967), like when he had a hot dog with Martin Luther King Jr. in Moulton Union or how Coles Tower looked like a giant candle when it caught fire while under construction in the early '60s.

What professor or professors have especially inspired you during your time at Bowdoin?
My advisor, Professor Laura Henry of the government department, is incredible; I've taken several classes with her. I like her teaching method and her classes are always on interesting subjects. I've enjoyed every one of the classes I've taken with her.

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Grant dining with the University of Maryland's then-president Dan Mote at a Council function, during Grant's Career Summer Fellowship.

Which staff members have you connected with most?
It's tough to choose. Patty in the Moulton Dining Hall is the greatest. I've gotten to know Allen Delong, Christina Drasba, and Megan Brunmier in the Office of Student Activities pretty well, and their advice has been incredibly helpful. Dighton Spooner and Tim Diehl in Bowdoin Career Planning have been great resources in helping me figure out internships and job applications.

What extracurricular or work experiences have you had at Bowdoin?
I've tried to squeeze everything I could out of my time at Bowdoin. I'm president of the Class of 2011, play left tackle on the football team, the student co-leader of the Red Cross Blood Drives that occur on campus, and a leader in the Bowdoin Outing Club. I am also a member of BMASV (Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence) and the Bowdoin Haitian Alliance.

This fall, I started volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program at Longfellow Elementary School, which I'm excited about. As a first year, I was trained along with Brian Wu '11 at the Red Cross Mid Coast chapter to be on the local Red Cross Disaster Action Team. While with bad luck it never panned out like we hoped, I would still recommend getting involved with the local Red Cross chapter, which is only five minutes away from Bowdoin in Topsham.

Additionally, for three years I worked for the Department of Athletics as a cameraman for the men's and women's basketball teams, and as a ball boy for the women's lacrosse team. This year I'm working for Information Technology as a computer lab assistant.

Finally, intramural sports are a blast. I play intramural basketball and I picked up hockey (C-league, which is the least competitive—I can't skate that well) last year with old housemates whom I met while living in MacMillan House. We managed to win the C-league in hockey and the B-league in basketball, which didn't mean much besides free T-shirts, though we had a great time in the games.

What have you done during your summers?
The summer of 2009 was the internship experience of a lifetime. I was extremely fortunate to be awarded the Richard B. '62 and Sabra Ladd Government Internship from Bowdoin to work as an intern to the president at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness in Washington, D.C. I made briefing packets, drafted letters, and staffing meetings. By far the most worthwhile part of the internship was sitting in on high-level meetings with the council president, Deborah Wince-Smith. By observing these meetings, I gained an understanding of how senior government officials and corporate leaders conduct themselves, communicate, and negotiate. This ranged from getting to meet people like Mexican Secretary of Economy Gerardo Ruiz to the former CEO of DuPont, Charles O. Holliday.

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Grant (56, black jersey) and teammates Joe Smith (75), Lonnie Nunley (96), and Sean O'Malley (33) line up for a goal line play against Tufts University.

What is your favorite Bowdoin memory?
My favorite memories come from having had the opportunity to play football at Bowdoin.

Outside of football, I have some great memories of the Bowdoin Outing Club, particularly of leadership training. That spring the leadership training program featured whitewater canoeing, which after I got over my initial terror, turned out to be an amazing experience. The capstone to leadership training was a multiday canoeing trip down the Bonaventure River in Canada that I will always remember.

Probably the most rewarding experience I've had was helping plan the Bowdoin for Haiti Action Week last February. The setup was down to the wire and required many long hours, but in the end it was a tremendous success. I organized a charity bench press, a hockey game fundraiser, and a community skate during the week which ended up raising over $4,000.

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Grant whitewater canoeing with Gus Vergara '13 on the Bonaventure River in Canada as part of a Leadership Training expedition with the Bowdoin Outing Club.

What advice would you give to a prospective student or first year about the Bowdoin experience?
Give the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) a try, even if you're someone who thinks the outdoors isn't for you. Prior to junior year, I wasn't too keen on sleeping on the ground or eating granola bars for an entire weekend. But when I went on a few trips that year I realized what I was missing in the beautiful state of Maine, and ended up doing leadership training with the BOC which was an unbelievable experience.

What quirky or fun thing do you wish you had known before you came to Bowdoin?
The football team has big cookouts after our games. The food at Bowdoin is great, but the cookouts after every game are even better.

Story posted on November 09, 2010

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