John Meskan ’24, one of the newest members of the Hobart and William Smith community, likes a challenge. Having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania, he is prepared to chase new heights. With the other members of the Classes of 2024, Meskan is ready to enroll in classes, as well meet new people who will enhance his worldview.
Having studied economics at the Advanced Placement level, Meskan says he is considering the discipline as his major. An influential high school teacher and the opportunity to consider the “real world applications” of the field further catalyzed his decision. At HWS, he discovered an interdisciplinary program that allows economics majors to consider a wide-breadth of policy-related topics, ranging from energy and the environment, to poverty and welfare.
He will join a cohort of students who have received the Centennial Center Scholarship, a designation awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and growth through their experiences in high school and home communities. A volunteer at his local hospital, Meskan is also the co-founder of his high school’s outdoor club and a tri-athlete on the ice hockey, soccer and track and field teams. During his junior and senior years, Meskan served as the captain of the track and field team. As for hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, Meskan says it was “unbelievably cool and something I’ll never forget.”
Another attraction to Hobart and William Smith and the Upstate New York region, he says was the ability to join a lakeside community. A native of Minnesota, also known as the land of 10,000 lakes, Meskan has worked as an invasive species inspector. At HWS, Meskan and his peers will have access to the cutting-edge research and sustainability efforts of the Colleges’ Finger Lakes Institute. Their initiatives include the FLI Watercraft Steward Program, an education and outreach program working to inform the public about the best practices for preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.