Emily Hornung: A Scholar, A Traveler

Studying and working in another country, being on the dean’s list numerous times and winning excellence awards are just some of the accomplishments of Elizabethtown College senior Emily Hornung. The social work major and Spanish minor flourishes in the classroom and works hard to maintain top marks in her departments.

Currently, Hornung is studying abroad in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, at the University of Veracruz, taking courses in sociology, social work and Spanish. Along with rigorous classwork, Hornung also is completing 200 internship hours in Mexico.

Because she is a Spanish minor, Hornung’s Spanish classes are intensive, and she is fully submerged in the language living in Mexico, she said. Language, as a matter of fact, was the first cultural difference she recognized when she arrived. “There was definitely a language shock when I first got here,” she said.

Another cultural difference is the social warmth, she said. “If you are meeting someone for the first time, when they say goodbye to you, they give you a hug [and] a kiss on the cheek; a week later they will see you on the street and yell ‘HELLO’ and invite you to go on adventures,” said Hornung. The area of Mexico in which currently lives is abundantly friendly, and having thoughtful and kind conversation with strangers is not uncommon, she said.

At Elizabethtown, Hornung is involved with Circle K and the local chapter of Elizabethtown Kiwanis organization, which both are organizations that promote service through fellowship and leadership. She also is a member of the social Phi Alpha Honor Society and has worked with the Social Work Student Association. One of her biggest accomplishments at E-town, she said, is being on the dean’s list every semester since spring 2013. This endeavor has earned her the College’s Social Work Academic Excellence Award her sophomore and junior years. Additionally, she received the Distinguished Student Award her junior year.

Hornung came to E-town by chance. Though she grew up in the area, she had plans to go to college far away. But, after spending a semester at another college, she transferred to Elizabethtown. “I loved the region, the small-town atmosphere of Elizabethtown and the college campus community,” she said. “It felt like home.”

Hornung said she wishes she could have been more involved with on-campus activities such as Wheel of Fortune night and dorm development activities, but she commutes and works off-campus jobs, which limits her time. But, she has made great strides at E-town and is ready for whatever the future has in store.

Hornung is fond of the area where she is currently studying abroad and plans to return after graduation. Often, graduation plans for seniors are “pretty flimsy at best,” she said, but Hornung hopes to become a licensed social worker and return to Mexico to work directly with Matraca A.C, where she is completing her social work internship. Matraca A.C. a nonprofit nongovernmental organization that respects and defends the rights of children, especially children workers and the homeless.

Please note: Staff writer, Cory Caudell, originally wrote this article for E-town NOW published on November 23, 2015. E-town NOW is Elizabethtown College’s online newsroom. Click here to view the original article.

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