How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?
A liberal arts education helped me to realize the possibility of combining seemingly disparate interests into a career. The ability to explore a variety of disciplines at Bowdoin is unique, and not only expanded my mind, but also helped me to bridge the gaps across my specific interests in law, criminal justice, and mental health. Additionally, internship opportunities that I had during summers at Bowdoin laid foundation for the work I am engaged in now. The opportunity to intern in an adult treatment program of a county jail, at a juvenile justice legal aid clinic, and at a women’s prison NGO in Argentina all provided me with early hands-on experience to help inform my work today.
Has studying Psychology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?
Studying Psychology impacts how I perceive and interact with my world everyday. I believe that my greater understanding of how humans process information and emotions helps me to interact with more empathy and tolerance. Not only is this helpful when working with patients, but it is also important when collaborating on a team of coworkers with contrasting personalities, or in every day life with people who are meaningful to me. Studying Psychology has also taught me the importance of evidence-based work. I have come to appreciate the narratives that numbers can construct, and how theses stories can impact individuals and broader systems. My first taste of research was during my time at Bowdoin through lab classes, research methods/data analysis, and my honors thesis, and these experiences inspired me to pursue my current professional path.
What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?
The experience that stands out to me was completing an honors thesis my senior year with Professor Slowiaczek. The ability to work so closely with a mentor and develop original, self-motivated research at Bowdoin is a truly rare undergraduate opportunity, and one that I continue to feel so grateful to have had. My honors thesis helped to inform many of the choices I made after graduating from Bowdoin and directed me toward the research I now wish to pursue in graduate school. The process of completing an honors thesis pushed me to think critically in innovative ways. Professor Slowiaczek provided me with the support and confidence to explore my interests through multiple lenses, making it an invaluable (and fun) experience!
Do you have any advice for current students at Bowdoin?
If you have a burning interest or passion, run with it! Sometimes our curiosities seem to come from inexplicable places that don’t seem worth acting upon, but I would really encourage the opposite. If you are motivated by a topic or a problem, then don’t stop asking questions. Explore it from various angles – academically, professionally, personally. I have found that most success seems to come from genuine passion. You do not need to have the perfect GPA, highest GRE scores, or greatest number of publications to be successful – the momentum of your commitment and fervor to your cause will take you much further.