Anthropology and Sociology
Hometown: Madison, Connecticut
Major: Anthropology and Sociology
Minor: Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Study Away/Abroad: The Philadelphia Center, Philadelphia, PA, and ISDSI, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia
Best Adjective to Describe You: Tenacious
In 10 words or less, why should someone want to be a part of this department?
AnSo is easily applicable across many disciplines.
When did you know you wanted to study this area? What pathway led you to this department?
I came to Kalamazoo College expecting to major in History or Political Science or something like that. I took Introduction to Sociology Winter Quarter of my first year and never looked back. I am interested in people, and while many disciplines study aspects of people like personality or behavior, AnSo attempts to study the amorphous concept that is humanity as a whole, to explain the roots of why things happen rather than the actions themselves.
What is the best way to get (and stay) connected to this department?
Don't be afraid to have conversations with your professors. If something interests you, if you need some clarification, if you don't understand a concept, or even if you disagree with an article you read, have a conversation with your professor. Because so many of the AnSo classes are topic based, it is very likely that a professor is teaching a certain class because they are passionate about the subject, and love talking about it. Showing interest builds relationship with professors, to show them that you are passionate about a certain subject.
What would you miss the most if you were no longer a part of this department?
The conversations, both in and out of class. The unique perspectives that come out in AnSo classes have forced me to look critically at the world around me, to deconstruct issues and problems into their constituent parts, and to look for causes. As part of that, I have, on several occasions, been forced to reconsider my own opinions regarding my various privileged identities, and have become a more self-aware person because of it.
What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
In the immediate future, I would love to move back to Philadelphia to, if possible, work for a non-profit, potentially a Refugee Resettlement Agency. Long-term, I want to be able to work for UNITE-HERE, an international labor union that organizes hotel staff, restaurant employees, and other service sector workers.
What has been the biggest surprise you have encountered at K?
Every time I walk to the third floor of Dewing, the last flight of stairs surprises me. After three years, one would think that I would remember that the stairs start in the basement, not on the first floor.
How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I have not taken a class at K that has not, in some way, connected to AnSo. Many areas of study seek to remove themselves from society. By viewing those classes through an AnSo lens, one can begin to understand how the complex systems of economics, history, politics, and many others come together to shape our world and the people that exist within it.
What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
Race and Racism. Of all the classes I have taken at K, R&R changed me the most. I will carry with me what I learned in that class for the rest of my life. I may forget specific facts, concepts, and thoughts, but I will never forget the broad message of the class or the classmates who delivered it.
What is your SIP?
I am doing a study of the role that race has in labor unions. Historically, unions were bastions of white male privilege. However, in the contemporary labor movement, the most successful unions are the ones that strive for not only racial diversity, but racial acceptance and inclusion. I am conducting interviews with union officials and workers involved in a 1996 strike at Yale University. I hope to plot this point on the historical arc of unionism in the United States to illustrate a moment of progress.