Student standing and smiling at camera
Social Science

Where are you from? 

I was born in Minnesota, but have lived in Central Oregon for a long time!

What drew you to social science as your major?

I was drawn to social science as my major because of how it incorporates skills and interests that I value. I enjoy writing and reading in my coursework and wanted to prioritize learning about communication, anthropology, and how humans interact with one another and the systems and communities they are a part of. I’ve also been able to specifically focus on cultures and identities within the social science discipline which has further supported my interests and growth. Overall, I appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of social science and how well it applies to future career options. I was really impressed with the social science faculty at OSU-Cascades which was a big part of my decision to pursue a social science major. 

What has been your experience as a student of the Honors College while at OSU-Cascades?

As a transfer student, being a part of the Honors College at OSU-Cascades helped me to connect with faculty and other HC students when I arrived on campus. The HC program at OSU-C is definitely a different experience than Corvallis, but I’ve enjoyed being a part of small colloquia classes and collaborating with faculty to set up contract options for Honors credits. I’ve found it to be pretty easy to connect with advisors and other students in Corvallis to talk about the thesis process and HC experience as well, which has helped make being an Honors College student in Bend feel less isolated! 

Have you started your honors thesis? If yes, what’s the topic and/or focus of your research? If not, are you considering any ideas so far?

I have started to work on my honors thesis by being a student researcher on the School Readiness Study within the OSU College of Health. This study explores the effects of children’s adverse social experiences and exposure to chemical flame retardants on their school readiness and development. I am planning to focus my thesis around how to best communicate the results of this study to invested parties such as parents and educators in a way that is equitable, understandable, and inspires action. I am really interested in how to better communicate issues of public health to members of the general public. 

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

I love how the Baccalaureate Core curriculum as well as the social science major have allowed me to take a diverse range of courses over my last several terms at OSU-Cascades. Some of my favorite courses so far include Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Disease, Peoples of the World - Africa, and Intro to the Visual Arts. 

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

After graduation I am interested in pursuing further education, potentially a Master’s degree in Public Health or Public Health Communication. I am also considering gaining some professional experience ahead of a postgraduate degree by working in Communication or Public Relations. 

How do you feel that your experience in HC is setting you up for success?

Being a part of the HC has definitely set me up for success! I’ve been able to benefit from additional mentorship from faculty members and have continued to build experience that will be helpful after graduation through colloquia classes and my research work. As a part of an HC class I wrote a Public Health essay which will be published in a journal later this year. That’s just one example of how being a part of the HC has given me extra opportunities for growth and success.