Jamie Lea Patton
Hometown: Kalkaska, MI
Concentration: Critical Theory
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Pistachio
Best Adjective to Describe You: Excited
In 10 words or less, why should someone want to be a part of this department?
Interesting classes, great professors, awesome discussions, cool t-shirts.
When did you know you wanted to study this area? What pathway led you to this department?
I knew I wanted to study in the Religion department after I took Introduction to Hindu Traditions with Dr. Gandhi fall quarter of my freshman year. It caught my interest in a way other classes didn’t, as did every religion class since.
What is the best way to get (and stay) connected to this department?
The best way to stay connected to the students in the department? Probably Facebook or email. For the professors, probably email. Or (and I haven’t run this by them, but I do it all the time) stop by their offices. Also, if you see us on campus, feel free to say hi. We want to help you with any questions you may have, and we’re a pretty friendly department.
What would you miss the most if you were no longer a part of this department?
If I was no longer a part of the religion department, I would miss the closeness of having such a small, eclectic, and tightknit department. Especially after taking the junior seminar, I have really come to appreciate the different ways in which the faculty and students in the department approach and study religion, as well as the reasons they have chosen a particular area of interest. I think this is noticeable in the wide range of topics we have chosen for our SIPs this year.
What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
Right now I am planning to apply to grad school, the Peace Corps, and Teach for America. I want to keep my options open, but hopefully scholarships will come through and I’ll be heading somewhere next fall.
What has been the biggest surprise you have encountered at K?
The biggest surprise I’ve encountered at K, especially in the past year, has been how many connections I’ve been able to find between the religion department and seemingly unrelated departments.
How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
This is what makes me so excited about my department! Religion is an integral part of the lives of many, present in history, and manifested in several ways. As a result, there’s very little in life that it can’t be connected to. I’m interested in the intersections between faith and gender identity and sexual orientation. And while I haven’t actively explored the connections between service-learning, social justice, and religion, my involvement in both the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service-Learning and the religion department has made me wonder what role religious organizations play in social change.
What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
My favorite class so far at K has been my sophomore seminar with Dr. Anderson, Same-sex, Gender and Religion. Dr. Anderson encouraged us to find and share relevant new sources and personal experiences to supplement the class material. She also led us in discussion and reflection. This helped to create a dynamic classroom environment, and helped me to better grasp the material.
What is your SIP?
For my SIP, I’m doing ethnographic research at a megachurch in Taipei, Taiwan, looking for factors which contribute to and detract from the success of the church. I’m supplementing my research at the church with book research and using it to inform a discussion on the rise of Pentecostalism in East Asia.