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Brooke Loughrin

Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Year: Sophomore
School: College of Arts & Sciences
Major: Islamic Civilizations and Societies, Political Science

I conducted research on the history of the women’s movement in Turkey. In the mornings I went to an immersive language class, then in the afternoons to the Women’s Library and Information Center to work on my research project.
 
I loved my experience in Istanbul, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without funding from an Advanced Study Grant. These summer grants are designed primarily for freshmen and sophomores, with the idea that an early research experience will help students later, when they apply for prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes or the Fulbright.
 
Professor Kathleen Bailey in the political science department was instrumental in connecting me with people who could help me in Turkey. She’s also been very supportive of me and the other editors of "Al-Noor," Boston College’s journal of Islamic studies. Professor James Morris in the theology department was also instrumental in providing me with all my contacts in Turkey.
 
Next summer, I’ll travel to Tajikistan to study Persian on a U.S. Department of State Language Scholarship for intensive foreign language study abroad. 

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Favorite place on campus: The "Al-Noor" office is a nice space where we can meet as a group to copy edit the magazine, talk about language learning opportunities, or help freshmen with Advanced Study Grant opportunities.
 
Biggest surprise about BC: When I came to BC, I could see that service is something the students here take very seriously. There’s a sense that there’s no separation between doing service and deciding what your career will be. It means a lot to me that other students are as engaged in the process of discernment as I am.
 
A class that changed my life: Rise and Rule of Islamic States with Professor Kathleen Bailey
 
My favorite BC tradition: Every March, all the dance clubs and culture clubs on campus compete at the ALC Showdown. Each group has 10 minutes to do a dance performance in front of 1,000 students.
 
Favorite place in Boston: I really like walking along the Charles. You can take the B line to the river and walk along the Emerald Necklace trail all the way to downtown Boston.
 
Number of BC clothing items in my closet: Two (my dad is hoarding all the Boston College gear—he has five BC T-shirts, and he wears them to work for casual Fridays)

To read about other Boston College students and learn more about the University, view the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Bulletin here.