Senior Becca Eastwood held her breath as she watched the coin somersault in the air, one of the biggest decisions of her life dependent upon the head or tail outcome. If it was heads she would commit to Knox University in Galesburg, Illinois but on tails, she would commit to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. As the coin teetered on the table after making its descent, Becca nervously looked down to see the face of George Washington staring back at her.
“I flipped the coin, and it landed on Knox and that’s when I realized it just didn’t feel right,” Becca said. “I decided that I couldn’t go to Knox because I belonged at Gustavus.”
Four years later, Becca has shaped a distinct niche for herself in the Gustavus community. In her time at Gustavus Becca has participated in many organizations. She was the co-chair of the Diversity Leadership Council, student advisor for Building Bridges, a member of I Am We Are, played bass in the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and worked in the Diversity Center as a liaison for other diversity organizations.
“Becca has shown so much initiative in making change happen on this campus. From being a dedicated member of I Am We Are to the co-chair of one of the most memorable Building Bridges conferences of my life,” Senior Tristan Liam said. “She works hard to make a difference,and is an example that anyone should be happy to follow.”
Entering Gustavus as a freshman, Becca knew that she wanted to work in the social justice and social services sector.
“I’ve always known that I want to create social change. My parents are both social workers, which has helped shape my passion for activism,” Becca said. “I’ve had such a great life and grown up with so many resources that I feel this responsibility to the world and people who haven’t grown up with the same opportunities.”
However, it took a long talk with Alisa Rosenthal and the necessity of having a declared major to study abroad for Becca to decide on pursuing a degree in political science.
“The first time I met Becca was when she made an appointment to ask me to be her academic advisor,” Professor Alisa Rosenthal said. “I was impressed by the initiative she was showing and her commitment to learning more about justice and equity.”
In her free time, Becca loves to play the question game with people, where she’s able to ask them anything she wants in order to learn what makes them passionate.
“Becca is very caring and passionate about not only everything she does, but everyone she meets,” Senior Constance Brevell said. “To see someone like that lets me know that there’s still good people in the world.”
Becca hopes to give back to the community through participating in the Presidential Search Committee and Building Bridges Conference during her last year at Gustavus.
“I want to leave something behind, not necessarily something tangible but I want to leave part of me here,” Becca said. “I haven’t quite figured out what that’s going to look like, but throughout my work with my organizations, I want to give back to Gustavus in the same way that it’s helped me grow.”
While Becca is still trying to figure out how to give back to the community, those who know her believe she already has.
“She’s been an incredible advocate for social justice on campus. Some of that happens through her work in the Diversity Center and Building Bridges but much of it also happens simply through her mode of being in the classroom and the community,” Rosenthal said. “She asks the hard questions, of herself and others, and is eager to look beneath the surface of tradition, convention, and consensus to find what is right.”