The Pforzheimer Honors College was a big reason why Noelle Howard ’19 was initially drawn to Pace. It was a unique environment that acted as “a home away from home,” she said, which makes sense. She grew up quite a distance from the NYC Campus—all the way up in Northern New York at the border of Canada along the St. Lawrence River.
Howard’s had her eye on moving to the Big Apple for a while, though, and the Honors College provided just what she was looking for. “Their individualized advising provides such a great support system,” Howard said. “You’re paired with someone who knows you and the things you are interested in and will recommend programs based on those interests.”
Originally, she chose to major in finance—and people made a ton of incorrect assumptions when they heard. “I would always get asked if I wanted to work in investment banking. My response was: definitely not!” It took signing up for Mathematical Economics (taught by Lecturer Sam Baruch) to get Howard thinking about what major she might like to switch to. “I really enjoyed getting a more well-rounded understanding of how the economy works. I have been able to use this in my finance courses to deepen my understanding of the topics we are taught.”
Beyond the classroom, Howard has been an active member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, Kappa Delta, and Beta Alpha Psi, whose completion team won second place in the nation last year. “Those experiences made me realize how much I enjoyed learning outside of the classroom, so I began looking at what other opportunities Pace offered. That’s when I found the Model United Nations.”
There, she nabbed an Outstanding Position Paper award for her research at the 2017 Conference. “The experience changed me in multiple ways,” she told us. “I learned a lot about different countries, I honed my writing and presentation skills, and I learned a lot about the different functions of the UN.” In particular, Howard said that meeting fellow students from other universities helped make the conference enjoyable.
Her desire to make the world a better place doesn’t stop there. She also interned for an immigration law firm last year, which was a job that left a huge impact on her. “When families would come into the office and they [were] told their paperwork for citizenship was accepted, their reactions were truly amazing. I felt very fortunate to be able to witness it.”
It’s that empathy and desire for human connection that has woven its way throughout Howard’s life, beginning, perhaps, with her competitive ballet dancing. (Yes, really.) “I’ve greatly missed ballet while I’ve been at school,” she told us. “It had a very large impact on my life. I loved dance because it was an escape; during rehearsals, you would be so focused on what you were doing that you couldn’t possibly think of anything else [in that] moment.”
She went on to explain that ballet became a way for her to relieve stress, and that moving an audience through dance was why she continued coming back to it again and again. “The impact performances [can] have is truly amazing. Some people are brought to tears because of the story [being] conveyed. That’s what inspires me most about dance.”