Spotlighted Student: Darby Festa '17
Economics major Darby Festa ’17 learned about Haverford College during her Junior year of high school when basketball coach Bobbi Morgan recruited her. Once Darby visited the campus and did an overnight with the basketball team, she was sure Haverford was where she belonged.
Darby knew she would get a superior education with the small class sizes, and the one-on-one contact with professors. She wasn’t set on what she would major in until she took Introduction to Economics with Professor Saleha Jilani and found that she enjoyed reading the text book and working through problem sets. Favorite classes include Economic Development and Transformation: India versus China taught by Professor Jilani, Junior Research Seminar: The Federal Reserve with Professor Carola Binder and Law and Economics with Professor Kontorovich.
The course with Professor Kontorovich piqued her interest in law. She took the LSAT’s and will apply to law school with aspirations of a career in sports as a sports attorney or as an athletics administrator at the college or professional level.
Darby’s thesis will focus on testing the efficacy of certain government interventions in eradicating malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Interventions include insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy. Comparison of interventions across different sub-Saharan regions would allow for an informed policy proposal on how best to continue efforts toward the eradication of the global burden of malaria.
Darby puts a lot of energy into charity work. Through the basketball team, where she plays small forward, she participates in clinics such as the annual Hoops from the Heart Clinic on Martin Luther King Day, and the Special Olympics Hoop Night. She also serves on the Joe Schwartz ’83 Memorial 3-K walk/run committee. Additional campus activities include being a teaching assistant for Professor Jilani’s Introduction to Economics class, and working at several campus athletic events.
Enriching her education with summer jobs has been important to Darby. The summer following her freshman year Darby was employed by Examkrackers, Inc., a company that “provides preparation for standardized exams through books, internet forums, live and online classes”. She worked as a writer and editor on the 10th Edition MCAT preparatory book. This was her first experience working very independently with critical deadlines, which gave her insight into time management skills.
After her sophomore year she spent the summer in Florence, Italy studying art history through a Georgetown University program. As part of the class curriculum she went sight-seeing and visited museums. During non-class time she travelled to surrounding areas that included Venice, Rome, Siena and Pisa.
This past summer she worked for PA House of Representative Brian Sims where she provided services to constituents. In addition to her hands-on work with the people of Philadelphia, she was also able to learn about ongoing policy within the state and authored a final policy paper on abortion controversies in Pennsylvania.