Penn State Brandywine’s Student Spotlight highlights the remarkable work being done by students in leadership, academics, service, athletics and more.
- Francis Linus
- Major: Political Science
- Year: Second
- Involvement: Secretary of Brandywine Student Government Association (SGA); member of Student Initiated Fee Committee; member of Brandywine Leagues and Tournaments (BLT); Residence Hall Association 1st Floor Representative; intern at the Center for Social Impact
Brandywine: Why did you choose Penn State Brandywine?
Linus: I had the opportunity to tour Brandywine when I was a senior in high school. I loved it because of all the green space and the hiking trails behind Orchard Hall. I also really liked how new and fresh the residence hall was since it was built just three years before I got here. It’s really nice.
Brandywine: How did you pick your major?
Linus: I originally came to Brandywine as a software engineering major because of how lucrative and in demand the field is. I realized quickly that software engineering wasn’t for me, and my real passions lied in politics and history, so I chose to become a political science major.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested in government, politics and history. Social studies was one of my favorite subjects in school. In fifth grade, I designed a mock election ballot for the 2012 election with the help of my social studies teacher. We ended up using those ballots for a school-wide mock election.
Brandywine: What challenges have you faced at Brandywine, if any?
Linus: I faced a lot of mental health struggles during my first year. I still deal with some struggles, but I’ve gotten a lot better at managing them. A large part of why was because of my previous major. I wasn’t understanding or patient with myself, and I got really frustrated because I wasn’t good at software engineering.
Despite many hurdles I faced during my first year during the pandemic, I wanted to try to stay on track with school because it was one of the only normal and secure things going on in my life.
Brandywine: How has Penn State Brandywine supported you, and who at Brandywine has supported you most?
Linus: I would definitely be remiss to not thank Jessica Gore (president of SGA), Ny’Keh Saunders (vice president of SGA), Blake Martin (treasurer of SGA) and the entirety of SGA in general. I also want to thank Don Brennan (associate director of student affairs), Gary Miller (senior associate director of student affairs), Colin Hiller (manager of housing and food services), and the rest of the staff in Student Affairs and Residence Life. Also, I want to thank some of my professors like Associate Professor of History and American Studies Julie Gallagher, Vippy Yee (former Rosenberg director of the Center for Social Impact) and Christine Brown, the Rosenberg Director of the Center for Social Impact, as well as Ed Dixon, as they've all been instrumental in supporting me and helping me through some of my darker parts of my experience here, and definitely helped me come out stronger.
Brandywine: What made you interested in becoming secretary of Brandywine SGA?
Linus: I was appointed to be secretary by Jessica Gore, but it was definitely because of my interest in politics and government. That made me want to use the opportunity to help. Because I worked in the Blue Apple Cafe, I wanted to try to increase the number of student workers in clubs on campus. I had the opinion that a lot of the time student workers would often not get as many opportunities to be involved in the campus community because they're working. It's obviously a hard issue to solve, but what I tried to do is create a student worker affairs chair to try to reach out to some of the workers and create a committee to just gather ideas on how to solve this issue.
Brandywine: With the extracurricular activities you’re involved with on campus, how have they impacted your time on campus?
Linus: They definitely strengthened my experience here on campus by teaching me how to do things that I haven't really been able to do before outside the classroom. My time management skills have gotten so much better because of these extracurriculars. Before I got involved, I'd be unable to tell you what I was doing at 7 p.m. on a Thursday. Now, I know that I have a BLT meeting at that time. I have my Outlook calendar up to date, and these were just things I wasn't doing before, that I'm now doing. Since I’m in these clubs, I'm liable to myself and other people to have my stuff together.
Brandywine: What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at Brandywine?
Linus: Definitely time management. Delegating my time between myself, work, extracurriculars and interpersonal relationships. It's all about time delegation. That is one of the most important skills that I've learned here.