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Lilly Goldberg: Following the Path with Passion

Lilly Goldberg came to Keene State College knowing exactly what she wanted to do. Drawn to KSC “because of its outstanding reputation as a teaching school,” she would study to become an elementary school teacher with a focus on English and reading comprehension.

But then she shadowed a first grade teacher. The experience taught her “that the structure of a classroom was not the best fit for me.”

And it was back to the drawing board.

Then she took a course that altered her trajectory—Art History 101, taught by Dr. Henry Freedman.

“The arts and the visual arts were always of central import throughout my childhood. And there stood Doc orating at the front of the class with his thick Boston accent. I was transfixed. He was hilarious and feisty, whip smart, no-nonsense, and a riot of a storyteller. He was the only art history professor at the school, so with each new course offering, lecture or small group seminar, it was Doc who taught. I enrolled in almost every course. When it came time to declare my major during sophomore year, I knew there was no other choice—I was going to major in art history, merge it with an English literature component, and minor in writing.”

It was only after she created her new individualized major and had it approved by the school that she got on the phone to tell her parents.

“It was a scary moment but I think that Doc, along with professors Dr. Jan Youga, Dr. Mark Long, and Dr. Bill Stroup in the English department provided an incredible system of encouragement and support. If worse came to worse, I could have potentially passed the phone to one of them to smooth things over with the ’rents. Luckily, it didn’t come to that.”

Lilly’s never looked back. She now works as the Leadership Alliances Coordinator at Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

“It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers at the outset. College is a time to take risks, discover what makes you happy, and grow.”