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Kaleigh Mentzer ’18

 

1. Name:

Kaleigh Mentzer '18

2. Current Location

Palo Alto, CA

3. What have you been up to after graduation?

I'm currently pursuing a PhD in Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford. My current research focuses on market design and allocation mechanisms. I also got the chance to fence for the Stanford NCAA Varsity Fencing program for a year after Dartmouth. As far as I've been told, I'm the only fencer to go from competing at a club program to qualifying for NCAA National Championships, so it's been an incredible ride on top of the wonderful time I had with Dartmouth Fencing.

4. What weapon did you fence in college?
Saber
5. How did being on the fencing team contribute to your Dartmouth experience?
Dartmouth Fencing was one of the largest contributors to my personal growth at Dartmouth. I found friends and mentors that shaped my college experience. I learned to compete as an individual and as a team. I found enormous opportunities to learn about leadership on and off the strip. The team challenged me greatly, and I couldn't be more satisfied with my experience as a whole.

6. Favorite Dartmouth Fencing memories:

My favorite Dartmouth Fencing memory was at USACFC Club Nationals my senior year. I was watching the Men's Epee squad fencing in the gold medal match. The match was as tight as it could get, 4-4 in the 9th bout. When Frank Sapienza '21 scored the winning touch, everyone exploded out of their seats and just started screaming. It was undeniably overwhelming. I was so happy that both my co-captain, Raphael Hviding '18, and I got to take home the squad gold medal, and that squad win was crucial to us clinching the overall team title. These victories felt like incredible validation of all the work we put in to the team that year, and it was a perfect way to cap off a Dartmouth Fencing career.

7. Advice to current fencers:
Dartmouth Fencing offers you so many opportunities, many of which extend far beyond fencing - take advantage of the opportunities! Learn how you can contribute to practice, no matter what your skill level. Go to team dinner and get to know your teammates. Engage with the community of alumni that are eager to watch you succeed. You get out what you put in when it comes to a team like ours.