What is your name, where are you from, and what year are you attending at Franklin? 

My full name is Alexandra-Elena Mitu, but everyone calls me Aly. I am from Bucharest, Romania, and I am currently a junior at Franklin.

How did you learn about Franklin?

I initially was thinking about applying to universities in the United States, but then I saw an advertisement about Franklin on social media and I decided to apply here, thinking that it would be a better option for me to have the same opportunities I would get in the US, but closer to home. I knew that an American University would offer me the possibility of exploring multiple potential academic areas without restricting my options. 

What is your favorite thing about Franklin?

Definitely the people, so international and unique. There is such high diversity in our small community, and I absolutely love getting to know new people and finding out more about their background and their past experiences.

What are you majoring in and why did you choose this major?

I am double majoring in Psychology and Environmental Studies with an Emphasis in Science. I have always loved Psychology because I find the human mind fascinating. I wasn’t planning on choosing Environmental Studies in the beginning, but I took one class last year out of curiosity and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to double major in the end. 

As of now, my dream career would be working as a crime analyst, but I have always been a big advocate for environmental protection (hence the double major) and I would love to work towards mitigating the current issues. You can never know what the future holds, so I don't exclude the possibility of ending up working in this field either.

What is one of your all-time favorite courses?

PSY 205: Criminology and Psychopathology (now replaced by PSY: 206 Criminology and Criminal Psychology) was definitely one of the most interesting courses I have taken. I loved it so much that I decided to take a Criminology internship this summer with Professor Travaini, who also taught the class. The coolest thing that the Criminology and Psychopathology class brought me was, actually, the opportunity to work at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, in the Psychiatry department. 

The internship was split into two main parts, Clinical Psychology and Criminology. In the morning we would do rounds along with the residents and check on the patients, after which we would spend the afternoon with Professor Travaini, analyzing some of the cases he worked on, through criminological interviews and psychological autopsies. It was a great way for us to get further clarifications regarding which parts of the Psychology or Criminology fields attract us the most and what would bring us closer to professional fulfillment in the future. I definitely recommend this internship to anyone who has an interest in either of these fields, regardless of their declared major(s). 

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?

I believe that the present is the best period of time to live in, given all the recent technological advances, as well as our society's constant striving for inclusiveness and acceptance of diversity. I would, however, not be opposed to experiencing a night at a party in the Roaring Twenties :).

If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be and why?

I would probably say a quokka, because I am usually a very bubbly, optimistic person, and I love to spread smiles around. 

What is one thing you will never do again?

What I like to believe is that I will never again pass on an opportunity because of my fear of being uncomfortable in a new setting. Coming to Franklin, I was a very shy person, so I used to avoid getting myself involved into certain clubs or activities. However, as time passed, I got the chance to see just how friendly and welcoming people are here, so I, gradually, started getting more and more involved in the community. Today I am extremely proud and excited to be joining the Green Office this upcoming Fall as the FUS GO Scholar for External Affairs and Projects.

How many languages do you speak?

Three: English, Romanian, and Italian. I studied French for a while, but my skills are unfortunately limited to ordering croissants et pains au chocolat.

What other interests or hobbies do you have outside of Franklin?

I have been singing my whole life. I took more than 10 years of singing lessons when I was younger, and I still occasionally sing with my dad’s band whenever I am back home for one of their concerts – take a look at one of my recent singing performances in the video below. Apart from this, I enjoy reading, traveling to new places, and taking pictures of pretty much everything.