February 2015, Smithie of the Month – Lindsey Allen

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Name:  Lindsey Allen

Class Year:  2008

How long have you lived in Philadelphia?

I have lived in Philly for 6 ½ years. I moved here for graduate school right after Smith and immediately loved the city.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

This questions is a very difficult one to answer… I usually prefer to try something new whenever I eat out. My favorites include the small taco joints in the Italian Market – and when I’m feeling fancy, it’s Zahav or Han Dynasty.

What are you up to now?

I am a Senior Architectural Historian for Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (an engineering and design firm in Philly), where I work with federal agencies and engineers to identify and protect historic and cultural resources that may be affected by proposed infrastructure projects. I also volunteer with the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance, the Community Design Collaborative, and am treasurer for the Smith College Club of Philadelphia.

What house did you live in on campus and what was your favorite thing about it?

I lived in Jordan House and absolutely loved the fierce loyalty of the friends I made while I was there; my closest friends still today are the ones I lived with in JoHo. Also, we had some pretty epic parties.

Why did you choose Smith?

A number of reasons factored into my decision to attend Smith, including the study abroad opportunities, the fantastic academic reputation, the extensive and supportive alumnae network, and of course the beautiful campus. It was easy to love and it quickly became, and remained, my top choice for college. The trigger, however, was their financial aid support. I knew I would attend the school who offered my family the most affordable option and I was THRILLED it was Smith.

What is your favorite Smith tradition and why?

My favorite Smith tradition has to be the overall housing (not dorm!) system. The combination of class years, majors and personalities within and among the houses was one of my favorite aspects of Smith. I was involved all my years there – from academic advisor my sophomore year to house president my senior year.

Do you have a defining/favorite/most memorable/transformative Smith moment?

I think my most transformative Smith moment occurred after I graduated. While I was there, I was often convinced that I got in by mistake – I did not feel up to snuff academically and had to work very hard to keep up. These feelings stayed with me, even when I was accepted to UPenn for a graduate degree in Historic Preservation. It wasn’t until I started graduate school that I realized that all the work I put in to keeping up with the rigorous Smith academic program had in fact pushed me ahead of the curve when I left. And I am incredibly grateful for that.

How did your Smith experience shape your life?

So many ways. Personally, I built confidence in myself both in the classroom and among my peers. My closest relationships were built at Smith and I met so many diverse people who continue to influence my life.  I became a more critical thinker and a better leader, which has helped me succeed in graduate school and in my professional career.

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