Although she is a Communication and Media Studies major, it was an English class her freshman year that helped inspire and steer Lily Dubuc ’19 in another direction. Next stop: the University of Oxford.
Lily is in England attending Oxford during the spring 2019 semester, as part of the Dominican Scholars at Oxford program. She was nominated by Dominican faculty to participate in the unique program offered by Dominican and St. Catherine’s College, one of Oxford’s 44 autonomous colleges and permanent private halls.
At Oxford, Lily is taking courses in Shakespeare Literature and Linguistic Anthropology. She credits Dr. Chase Clow, assistant professor and chair of the Department of the Humanities and Cultural Studies, for helping guide her academic path by supporting and encouraging her to take classes in multiple disciplines.
Their relationship started the first semester of Lily’s Dominican experience when she signed-up for Dr. Clow’s advanced writing and research course. Lily wrote a paper about the concept of Singularity: transporting human consciousness into a single, robotic intelligence based off the research of Ray Kurzweil.
“In four years at Dominican that is still my favorite class. Before that I was a decent writer, but I wrote a paper to get an A. I didn’t write a paper to become an editor,” Lily says. “Chase was the one who encouraged my writing to reach another level. She said, `If you don’t like the paper, don’t turn it in.’ I spent more time on that paper than I ever had on another assignment and I loved it. And that was the paper I turned in for my Oxford application.”
For Lily, it’s an ideal ending to her journey through Dominican. It started at the age of 16 when she attended a soccer evaluation camp on campus. Lily, who hails from North Tahoe High School and the small town of Tahoma, commuted to club soccer practices and games in Sacramento for 10 years where she played for Placer United. The next step was college soccer and, despite interest from Boston College, USF, and San Francisco State, Dominican’s campus size and opportunities were too appealing.
“Going from Tahoma to San Francisco I felt was too big of a step at age 16. San Rafael was the perfect size and Dominican had a great communications program,” Lily says, “Perfect soccer opportunity. Perfect educational opportunity. The decision was easy. So I gave my commitment at 16.”
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Lily led the Dominican women’s soccer team in goals scored and points her freshman year and was second on the Penguins in scoring her senior season. During her time as a Penguin, she received athletic awards such as Newcomer of the Year, Freshman of the Week, Player of the Week, All-Conference Honors, and All-Western Region Honors. This year she was named Female Scholar Athlete of the Year at Dominican.
But it was the availability and flexibility of classes in between that shaped her Dominican career and helped her become a three-time member of the Pacific West Conference All-Academic Team.
“Being able to hand pick my Dominican experience was phenomenal,” Lily says. “That’s something I couldn’t have gotten at a state school or a UC school. I would have been a cog in the system. At Dominican it’s more personal, you can see your professors in the grocery store and know them.”
Lily was so proficient at Dominican that she was on schedule to complete her degree by the end of her junior year. But, because she wanted to play soccer one more year for the Penguins, Lily decided to pursue a minor in English in the School of Liberal Arts and Education. That allowed her to, among other fun things, debate the use of semicolons with Dr. Thomas Burke, assistant professor of English. Her career goals have changed from wanting to work in sports marketing and advertising to improve the plight and recognition of female athletes at home to now wanting to become a publishing editor in Europe.
Since she was 14, Lily has traveled to Denmark and Sweden to play and coach soccer. She has made connections and is counting on networking to provide her with work and soccer playing opportunities.
Having Oxford on her resume, she believes, can only enhance that. Visits with Chase Clow and conversations with previous Dominican Scholars and fellow student-athletes Sophia Stetson ‘19, Jake Quast ’19, and Brad Johnson ’18 prepared her for her Oxford experience. She delayed her trip to England until the spring in order to play soccer in the fall and complete a marketing internship with Innovative Match LLC in Marin County. Now English, her minor, has become her main focus.
“Most people don’t do their study abroad their last semester of college,” Lily says. “After talking to all my professors and advisors they recommended I complete my electives at Oxford.”
Joining Lily as a Global Education study abroad student for the spring semester are business majors Tiffany Allen (United Kingdom), Kate Anderson (Belgium), and Cyril Carlos (Canada), chemistry major Muna Lambu (South Korea), psychology majors Sujata Mapchan (South Korea) and Yennae Bekele (Greece), political science major Maria Fernandez (Greece), and pre-occupational therapy majors Jenna Lazo (Greece), Jocelyn Salazar (South Korea), Heidi Francis (Spain) and Sienna Guzman (Netherlands).
Monica Barry '20, a double major in English and History who attended Oxford during the fall semester, is one of 19 study abroad students returning to Dominican for the spring semester. The others are Melanie Barillas (Spain), Terise Camasura (South Korea), Alicia Daniels (South Korea), Yesica Diaz-Gomez (Austria), Josefina Estrada (Greece), Maria Fernandez (Greece), Tressa Furry (Italy), Emily Ginn (UK), Sydney Kushida (France), Lillian Ludwig (Australia), Natalia Padilla (Spain), Pawlak Hailey (UK), Spencer Ramer (Japan), Nikalaus Rivera (France), James Schultz (Sweden), Jindan Xu (France) and twin brothers Alessandro and Sebastiano Schiavone (Italy).