That Guy: Dawson Lindauere
September 1, 2009
__Dawson Lindauere has a long family history in Pennsylvania, having attended the same high school as both his parents and his grandparents near the town of Economy, Penn. Deep roots haven’t kept this member of the College of William and Mary community from branching out; he visited Brazil as a teen and both India and Africa on recent trips. Around campus Dawson has a notable presence as a tour guide, Student Exchange employee and AMP executive. He has also been involved in Pep Band, the Admissions Office, Honor Council and has been a part of Residence Life for three years. His shaggy blonde hair and unique beaded hemp necklace pair well with his casual and friendly nature, and it’s a pleasure to chat with this senior about interning at the Wildlife Institute of India, what he drinks from his Late Night mug and how the flip of a coin played a part in him coming to the College.__
*Along with Government you are also majoring in Environmental Policy. Do you consider yourself an environmentalist or an advocate for environmental issues?*
I’m interested in studying it, and in things I’m involved in, I do my best to keep green, if you will. I recycle a lot, cut down on paper, do e-mails instead of paper stuff, and conserve water. I’m mindful, I don’t do too much of the protesting and stuff but I do bring environmental awareness to things I’m involved in.
What is your AMP Late Night mug filled with usually?
*I either drink Diet Coke, water, skim milk or orange juice. If I put a mixed drink in there it would be Long Island Iced Tea because it’s my favorite mixed drink.*
*How did you end up coming to the College from out of state?*
First, I wanted some distance and wanted to be in a completely different area just to experience a different place. The summer between junior and senior year of high school I was talking to my mom’s best friend’s stepdaughter who went here during the ’80s, and she said she went to William and Mary and that it was a great place and I should check it out. So I was looking at William and Mary and another school to visit [Lehigh University] that were both about six or seven hours away, so I flipped a coin, and it landed on the William and Mary side — so I came and visited here. We drove seven hours down and took a tour, had a meal at Season’s and drove all the way home that same day. I liked it a lot and decided to apply Early Decision last minute; I think I turned in my application the day it was due, so I had to put in all these special requests to my teachers for my high school recommendation.
*So you said you flipped a coin about which College to visit. Do you think you tend to live your life like that?*
I mean, most of the things I’ve done have been pretty spur-of-the-moment. The summer between sophomore and junior year I decided pretty haphazardly to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa for the summer, and I had been thinking about doing the Ireland program; but I saw the picture of Cape Town and without looking at the courses that were offered, I just decided I wanted to go.
*Have you had a memorable professor or class at the College?*
Just because it was freshman year first semester, my most memorable professor was definitely Professor [George] Grayson in the Government department. It was Intro to American Politics, and the first day of class he was like, “You need to spit out that gum, this is collegiate class.” He had everyone pass their hand over a candle and swear to be good members of class. He was kind of joking, but it was pretty intense. I made a lot of good friends in that class; people that I’m still friends with now. My one friend who I met in that class who was a year above me ended up having me as her plant during tours, so she would always see me after class with her tour group, and I would say something, usually about the weather because she would always catch me off guard. She also hosted poker parties at her house that I would go to. Various other good friends came out of that class, and it was also the class that made me want to be a government major.
*You’re wearing a hemp necklace and several woven bracelets and anklets. Do they have a story?*
I’ve been wearing the hemp necklace since junior high. Not the same one because [the necklaces] break, but I’ve actually recycled the beads every time they’ve broken and put the old beads on a new necklace I’d make — but this summer I lost my necklace, so this is a new one. This bracelet is from one of my friends who studied abroad in Chile; they’re lucky beads. The anklet is a friendship bracelet from summer camp this summer; there were three of us, and we each made each other friendship bracelets. The other one is from a friend who went to Guatemala over spring break.
*What are you hoping to do in the future?*
I want to work abroad as an American, whether it’s for some division of the government or for a company. I’m really pretty open, but I do like environmental things — it’s just an interesting and ever-growing field. This summer I interned at the Wildlife Institute of India doing internal research for them with another student. It was great but really hot. The internship went really well, and we used their data and made a report using a lot of GIS analysis. I also got to travel every weekend and got to visit two friends from here, one who did an exchange program last fall here and one who’s just a full-time student. I was six hours northeast of Delhi; one friend lived in Delhi, and the other in Mumbai.
*You’ve traveled a good deal. What has that been like, and how has travel been significant to you?*
Actually, everywhere I’ve been has been a developing country except for Canada. I did the Honduras spring break trip, and I’d been to Brazil in junior high, and then South Africa and India. It’s not so much traveling; I don’t even like to call it traveling. I like living there, experiencing the culture, using public transportation and not just running around taking pictures.
*What do you think is one of the defining aspects of the College?*
It’s just kind of like a big home. I’m saying that in the sense that I’d feel comfortable wearing my pajamas anywhere on campus except maybe the new business school.
__Just before our conversation comes to a close, I find that Dawson received an award for the best RA in the commonwealth of Virginia, meaning he has topped the state’s charts at keeping his residents at the College happy, developing successful community building and carefully handling some tough residence-life situations. Walking out the door for the next segment of a full day, Dawson heads off to begin AMP setup for this weekend’s activities.__