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manda MacTarnaghan remembers holding sea

urchins and dissecting owl pellets at Lycoming

College. She remembers taking small steps

across what felt like an endless Lycoming

campus. For Amanda, it was a defining

moment, and it was just first grade.

“It’s so bizarre to look back and be able to put some of

the pieces together,” said Amanda of a first grade field trip

to Lycoming. “As I held that sea urchin and felt it tickling

my hand, I decided I wanted to come to Lycoming and be a

marine biologist. I’m guessing we spent the day in the biology

department. Looking back, we must have come from Heim and

gone to Wertz for lunch.”

Today, Amanda is a mathematics major at Lycoming and is

also pursuing secondary education certification. Her goal is to

graduate in Spring 2018. “My first semester started off a little

rough because I was homesick,” admitted Amanda. “But after a

few weeks I really began to enjoy my time at Lycoming. I went

from counting down the days until winter break to not believing

my first year was almost over.”

Ironically, Amanda was not the

only Lycoming freshman on that

same field trip twelve years ago. The

Hipple twins — Bethany and Kaitlyn

— were also in Amanda’s first-

grade class at Ashkar Elementary

School. Being from Hughesville,

Lycoming College is only about

25 minutes away from the girls’

hometown. Like Amanda, Kaitlyn

remembers the science building and getting to hold

a sea urchin. But this moment didn’t have the same impact as it

did for her twin sister, Bethany, or fellow Lycoming classmate,

Amanda. “I fell in love with Lycoming through the summer

program Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week,” said Kaitlyn. “I

was heading into my senior year and loved the atmosphere of

Lycoming. It was small and intimate and I found myself quickly

feeling at home.”

Bethany agreed. “The campus itself captivated me,” she said.

“The beautiful buildings and Lycoming’s heritage was

something that I wanted to become a part of. I can recall

going home that day and telling my parents that that’s

where I wanted to attend college.”

Like most twins, Kaitlyn and Bethany are best friends. “We

have been through everything together,” said Kaitlyn. “We’ve

had the same group of friends, worked at the same place, and

joined the same clubs. We did everything together ... naturally,

we decided to go to the same college.”

But it wasn’t until all three girls were enrolled at Lycoming

that they realized they’d been on that field trip together.

Bethany and Amanda are both math majors. “Somehow it came

up that she (Bethany) had gone to Ashkar in first grade,” said

Amanda. “Eventually, we realized we were on the trip together.”




Freshmen Trio

Discovered Lycoming

During First-Grade

Field Trip