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Page link printed 07/18/2018

Affiliation: Master’s Student

Program: MS, Human Development

Education: BA, Hamilton College (Sociology)

Background: Assistant Director of Alcohol and Other Drug Programs, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Retention Recruitment Coordinator, Home Instead Senior Care in Boston
Sarah Entenmann


Sarah Entenmann

As an undergraduate volunteering with the Hamilton College Emergency Medical Service, Sarah Entenmann assisted a freshman having asthma problems and an allergic reaction. Soon after, the freshman walked up to her at a campus event, thanked her for her help, turned around and walked away into the crowd.

She didn’t get the chance to answer. But in that moment, as she felt a wave of relief that her work had been validated, Entenmann realized she needed to spend her career helping others.

“It was just a moment and that was it,” she says. “That was all I needed. I was sitting with a friend and she said, ‘Who was that?’ and I said, ‘It was...’ I couldn’t even finish my sentence. It was over before it began.”

Entenmann, a master’s student in human development, recalls learning compassion at an early age. Holding the door open for a stranger at the supermarket. Picking up something another person had dropped. Offering a greeting when she passed by someone. This last one, she noticed growing up, was a seasonal show of civility for most residents of her tourist-trap town of East Hampton, Long Island.

“From Memorial Day to Labor Day, nobody said hello to each other,” she explains. “All the other months they said hello to everybody. My mom said hello no matter what time of year it was and no matter who they were.”

Putting that compassion into practice, Entenmann worked with the elderly, some of whom suffered from dementia, before taking a job educating students at Hobart and William Smith Colleges about drug and alcohol risks and behaviors. In January, she switches posts to work as an assistant director at the Campus’ Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, where she will help students find their own ways to help others.

Her studies at Warner help guide her daily interactions with people both on a personal and professional level.

“A lot of the stuff I’m learning in the classroom is unfolding right before my eyes, and vice versa,” she says. I know for a fact that higher education is not where I’ll be for the rest of my life, but my understanding of human development will only bring something to the table no matter where I decide to move to next. And if at the end of the day one person says ‘Thank you,’ that means I’ve made a difference.”

(Published December 2008)

Tags: human development