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Double major Colin Rydell has a passion for history

Colin Rydell

“There are so many options and things to get involved in. I see things that interest me and have a hard time saying no,” Colin Rydell says of life at DU. Photo: MIchael Richmond

For senior history and political science major Colin Rydell, there’s more to studying history and politics than memorizing dates and facts. Rather, he strives to apply his lessons to the world around him.

“History is my passion,” explains Rydell, who prefers European history. “I’ve always loved it. Growing up, I’d watch the History Channel instead of MTV.”

“He has an amazing sense of intellectual curiosity,” notes history Prof. Ingrid Tague, Rydell’s adviser. “He always goes above and beyond what is assigned. He thinks about how to use what he learns in the classroom and how it relates to the outside world.”

Rydell has found plenty of opportunities to apply his academic lessons to the real world. He’s been a member of DU’s Amnesty International chapter and the DU Young Democrats since his freshman year, and he currently serves as treasurer for both. For the past two years, the Littleton, Colo., native has volunteered for Project Citizen, a program that trains middle school students to solve community problems. Last year, Rydell interned at Colorado Legal Services, which provides assistance to low-income Coloradans seeking civil legal information. He liked the experience so much that he now volunteers for the organization once a week. He’s also an editor for the Disclaimer, an alternative student newspaper on campus, is studying to take the LSAT and has even found time to work as a faculty research assistant.

Despite his hectic schedule and the strain of maintaining a 3.97 grade point average, Rydell still manages to find time for fun. He plays two DU club sports: racquetball and Ultimate Frisbee. And he loves watching football, hockey and lacrosse games.

“The university lifestyle lends itself to my lifestyle,” Rydell says. “There are so many options and things to get involved in. I see things that interest me and have a hard time saying no.”

With graduation just around the corner, Rydell is planning his next steps. He caught the travel bug as a Cherrington Scholar studying in England his junior year, so he’s considering a stint with the Peace Corps. But, he also plans to head to law school at some point.

“I would love to become a lawyer for the ACLU or some comparable progressive organization,” Rydell says. “My long-term goals would be a possible judgeship or legal advocacy for the poor or disenfranchised.”


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