college of arts and sciences service center
I was born on St. Simons Island, Georgia and lived there until I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I attended high school at Providence Day School.
What attracted you to BC?
Determined to attend college outside of the South, what initially attracted me to Boston College was its sheer distance from my home; however, as I came to learn more about the school, I realized it offered just the right amount of “new and different” for me. I love that it’s a relatively small school, yet big enough for a diverse campus and a Division One football team. The weather is a harsh contrast to that of North Carolina, but the campus is still beautiful and green. Opposed to most southern schools, I found the lack of Greek life unfamiliar; however, a student body brought together through non-binding and service-oriented channels is refreshing and, in my opinion, fosters closer relationships.
What is your major and why did you choose it?
In May, I will graduate with a double major in Political Science and Islamic Civilizations and Societies. In an effort to complete my foreign language requirement, I began taking Arabic my sophomore year, not realizing it would completely change my interests. As my political science courses began to overlap with Middle Eastern studies, my interest in Arabic grew. Expressing this change of heart to my academic advisor, Kathleen Bailey, she encouraged me to look into Islamic Civilizations and Societies (ICS), an interdisciplinary major. The combination of Political Science and ICS has allowed me to gain fundamental knowledge in world politics and political theory, as well as the cultural, historical, and political aspects of a part of the world that is so relevant today.
How would you describe your experience working in the Web Services department?
My experience here has been both enjoyable and educational. I’ve been able to increase my knowledge of web design and source coding, a valuable skill in the job market. And while editing the College of Arts and Sciences’ department websites, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about their respective events, news, and faculty achievements. Students often don’t have the time to explore activities outside their majoring departments, so I feel lucky to have a wider breadth of knowledge regarding the work done in so many areas of study.
What are your aspirations after graduation?
After graduation I plan to take a year off before pursuing a master’s degree in Human Rights at the London School of Economics. Prior to graduate school, I would love to be able to live and work in the Middle East, whether it be teaching English or as part of a fellowship program, so that I can enhance my Arabic speaking skills and fully experience the culture.
In the long term, I hope to work for a human rights non-governmental organization, such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, specializing in the research and reporting of human rights violations in the Middle East/North Africa region.
I am currently writing my thesis on the debate over the legitimacy of universal human rights in the Muslim world, so I hope that the knowledge and experience I gain from this project will aid me in my future goals.
Thus far, what are your most memorable BC experiences?
I would say that studying abroad, living in the mods, and, oddly enough, the final exam in one of my courses, have been my most memorable, “BC”, experiences.
In the fall of my junior year, I studied political science abroad at University College London. Though not technically at BC, facing a new culture and traveling to new countries with other BC students fostered close friendships that could only come from this type of experience, and I still get excited when I see fellow “Londoners” on campus. And while I absolutely loved London, my experiences abroad made me appreciate BC that much more.
In stark contrast from my experience abroad, living in the mods is one of the most classic “BC” experiences. One of the greatest things about the mods is the bonding that occurs by living there, whether it was two years ago or 30. When alumni come back for football tailgates, they never forget which mod they lived in and what parties they threw. In fact, one of my roommate’s parents had their engagement party in the mod we now live in!
Finally, in terms of my most memorable classroom experience, I will never forget the final exam given in Kathleen Bailey’s course on Central Eurasia. Professor Bailey had us participate in a crisis simulation, in which the class was split into countries. Each group researched and studied the country’s foreign and domestic policies and was then presented with a simulated crisis, to which each “country” had to react in a United Nations-like forum. The end goal was to solve the crisis while staying true to the country’s real-life interests and capabilities, thus making the final exam practical, informative, and even fun.
What message would you like to convey to future BC undergrads?
The most important message is to take full advantage of the classes, opportunities, and services that BC has to offer. It sounds very generic, but I cannot stress enough the importance of making lasting relationships with faculty and not being afraid to try new things. Taking Arabic and majoring in Islamic Civilizations is a far cry from my plan freshman year, but taking that risk has enabled me to build close relationships with faculty who are extremely knowledgeable and passionate in their field, fueling my desire to learn more and to hopefully retain these relationships after graduation.