Ellen Inggrid Dengah

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Jakarta, Indonesia

Scholarships I Received

  • DC Honors Scholarship
  • Theatre Arts Activity Scholarship
  • Journalism Activity Scholarship
  • Nick Verbrugge Internaional Student Scholarship
  • Herbert & Bernace Korthuis Communication/Digital Media Scholarship
  • International Student Tuition Grant

Favorite Spot On Campus

Theatre Pod

Favorite Class

Film Criticism, Directing, Origins, and Modern Art History

A Concept That Blew My Mind

Not a concept, but I was blown away when I found out the actual size of the human amygdala, the primal part of the brain that is associated with our experience of fear (among other things, like emotions and memory). I took a Biology class to fulfill the Advanced Reformed Thought core requirement; naturally, the professor offered me to see the human brain after I geeked out about evolutionary psychology. I took Biopsychology my sophomore year but Dordt did not have a cadaver lab back then, which is why I was taken aback by the actual size of the amygdala I saw not on a book.

The amygdala was so small. Even though this particular amygdala belonged to a woman, and women tend to have smaller amygdalas, the tip of my pointy finger was still bigger than the amygdala. I could easily put it between my fingers and destroy it in less than a second--I guess that’s why we have our skull.

I made the connection about how actors put emotion and memory as the most important part of our job, but the part of our brain that is associated with regulating emotion and memory is pretty insignificant in size. I was pretty blown away by that.

Cool Things I Did At Dordt

I filmed a documentary in Lesotho and South Africa with four other students, a Dordt alumn, and a professor. It was pretty cool.

Obstacles I've Overcome

I have somewhat overcome the language barrier. I am still not an expert on grammar; at the very least, I wrote a lot of research papers, two literary analyses, a short film screenplay and a one-act play in English. I still make mistakes when I talk in English, but I directed actors and took on the main role in a stage-play.

Who I Was When I Came To Dordt

I was naive. I was also so full of energy and urgency to learn. I wouldn't think twice about questioning my professors in a class; I would visit their office if I had more questions about the materials or about life, faith, etc. My Indonesian accent was more prominent. I couldn't understand almost half of the conversations going on around me. I would almost always stay up all night finishing papers.

How Dordt Impacted Me

The fact that I stayed at Dordt for most of my four years in the States has had an impact on who I've become. I think am more assertive and skeptical than I was before. For someone who was as timid as I was four years ago, an environment where everybody talks nicely helps me gain confidence in myself.

What's Next For Me

I'm still looking for a paid job in the states to make use of my OPT. I want to direct my own feature film someday, but the average age for that is 32 years old so I still have some more ground to cover during that 10 years.

where i am now

I have a video internship at Ascent Community Church in Louisville, Colorado.  (Updated 2/25/2019)

What I Would Tell Prospective Students

Know what you want from a college education. Life is never static and you have so much ahead of you.

How Dordt Helped Me Do More

I did so much at Dordt and I had a blast. If I were to go to college in Indonesia, there is no way I could be as involved in theatre, digital media, and the international community, and at the same time, learn about history, writing, and science. I also gained more confidence in what I have to offer, thanks to my mentors and friends and Dordt.