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The Class of 2020 is ready to put the liberal arts into action. Since their arrival at Conn, the students in this graduating class have explored a wide array of interests, excelled inside and outside the classroom, completed internships, studied abroad and collaborated on research with their professors—all while making a difference in their communities and beyond.

Meet some of the members of the Class of 2020 as they reflect on their Conn experiences, including remote learning during the pandemic, and prepare for the future.

 

Headshot of Marcus Vinicius Pinto Pereira Junior, Class of 2020

Marcus Vinicius Pinto Pereira Junior

ACS Chemistry major, Computer Science minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: I had great classes at Connecticut College, but if I have to name my favorite, I would say that it was the two semesters organic chemistry course that I took my sophomore year with Professor Timo Ovaska, the Hans and Ella McCollum ’21 Vahlteich Professor of Chemistry. This course made me fall in love with organic chemistry in a way that motivated me to start doing research in the field. 

Best takeaway from your summer science research experience: For my internship, I stayed eight weeks at Connecticut College through the Summer Science Program, working with professor Ovaska on research about the synthesis of natural compounds. This fulltime laboratory experience made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in science. I was also fortunate to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Otto and Fran Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement that allowed me to travel to the University of São Paulo in Brazil to spend four weeks conducting research in green chemistry. As a member of the Goodwin Niering Center for the Environment, this opportunity opened my eyes to the possibility of combining my passions for environmental conservation and organic chemistry.

How did you adapt to remote learning? I was able to retrieve all my data from the Hale Laboratory computers before returning home to Brazil, and I was able to work remotely with my adviser to complete my thesis. I also participated in an international Zoom chemistry conference, where I presented my honors thesis to about 100 other students and professors.

Future plans: I will start my doctorate in organic chemistry at Yale University in the fall.

Headshot of Megan Feragne, Class of 2020

Megan Feragne

Hispanic Studies major, Biological Sciences minor

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: I loved the class “(In)visioning the Invisible” with Professors Denise Pelletier and Christopher Steiner. We examined voyeurism, secrecy and power through art. We also traveled to New York City to visit museums, including the Whitney, in order to supplement our classroom learning experience. 

Best takeaway from your internship: I was fortunate to do a couple internships throughout my time at Conn. I worked as an art teacher at a summer school, as a conservation intern in Rome, and most recently, as a Global Health research intern at Brown University. The purpose of this research was to inform programming efforts to improve the lives of new mothers living with HIV. My biggest takeaway from this experience was that I would love to combine my love of language, helping others, and biology in the field of Global Health. 

How did you adapt to remote learning? I miss everyone and everything at Conn dearly, but I have definitely made the most of remote learning. It has been a great opportunity to brush up my digital technology skills and also spend quality time with my family. I’ve been able to video chat with the Cross Country team weekly to discuss our training and I have been holding Career Fellow appointments via Google Hangouts. I enjoyed the remote Floralia celebration put on by SAC on Instagram live. My sister and I had fun dancing to the music. 

Future plans: I have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant fellowship. I will be teaching English in the Galicia region of Spain. I was also accepted to Brown University to pursue a master’s degree in science in global health, and plan to enroll in the fall of 2021.

Headshot of Viridiana Villalva Salas, Class of 2020

Viridiana Villalva Salas

English major, pursuing Secondary Education Certificate

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Holleran Center for Community Action

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: My favorite classroom experiences were definitely the ones where my professors asked everyone in the classroom to examine how race and racism motivate different systems in American society. These types of discussions were crucial to my understanding of people and how that might come into play in educational settings.

Best takeaway from your internship: I interned with the Noble Network Charter Schools where I worked with my former AP U.S. history teacher. The internship developed my academic and career goals by affording me the opportunity to read important education-based theorists whose work aligned with my own research interests. This carried over to my work as a scholar in both the Holleran Center for Community Action and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

How did you adapt to remote learning? I was selected as the student speaker for the Class of 2020 Commencement and will address my classmates when we reconvene for Commencement on May 30, 2021. To be selected felt so unreal. It is not often that people with my background are given the opportunity to go to a college as prestigious as Conn, much less speak at Commencement. We will all be coming back together after a full year of graduate school, jobs and fellowships. It won’t be like any other Commencement that has been seen on our campus.

Future plans: After graduation, I will work at Muchin College Prep, a high school under the Noble Network in Chicago, Illinois. I will be a full-time English teacher before pursuing a Ph.D. in education.

Headshot of Alexandra Bernardo, Class of 2020

Alexandra Bernardo

Film Studies major, Dance and Economics double minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change Pathway

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: My favorite classroom experiences were in my film production classes with Professor Ross Morin. The classes were extremely hands-on and interactive which created an extremely enjoyable, creative and supportive environment. The small and close-knit film community allowed me to connect with my fellow classmates and Professor Morin, and I will cherish the collaborative learning environment created in these production classes long after I have graduated.

Best takeaway from your internship: My summer internship was at Ecast Productions, a promotional filmmaking company in Boston. I had a wonderful experience as a production intern, and loved being able to go on set, sit in on meetings, observe editing, and do some research for future collaborations for the company. I observed the dynamic between the co-workers, and realized how much a positive, collaborative and supportive work environment impacts your day-to-day work.

How did you adapt to remote learning? Rather than filming and editing for the remainder of the semester, we instead went further into the preproduction of our films, created look books, grant proposals, and even learned to budget with a hypothetical $35,000 budget. 

Future plans: Work as an admission counselor. My work in the Office of Admission at Conn was one of the most rewarding aspects of my time at Conn. My experience as Senior Admission Fellow showed me this was a true passion of mine and something I want to continue post-grad as a career.

Headshot of Hector Salazar, Class of 2020

Hector Salazar

Environmental Studies and Anthropology double major

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: Some of my favorite classroom experiences while at Conn were in my ecology, botany and geology courses, where we would carry out regular lab sessions in the Arboretum or on Mamacoke Island, learning how to conduct various ecological field techniques and procedures, as well as data sampling methods. I also really enjoyed my “Experimental Archaeology” course, which was the class that afforded me further opportunities in faculty-student research alongside my archaeology professor and mentor Anthony Graesch. During my semester away at the Marine Biological Laboratory, I conducted my own independent research quantifying microplastic pollution on Cape Cod beaches, a learning experience I will never forget. 

Best takeaway from your internship: I had the privilege to be able to participate in two archaeological field schools during consecutive summers at Conn. The first was in Andahuaylas, Peru, where I conducted bioarchaeological-based fieldwork, and the second was with the Mohegan Tribe in Uncasville, Connecticut. I gained further appreciation for my academic disciplines and met amazing, like-minded individuals who were equally passionate about archaeology, making the world a better place, and understanding the role the sciences have in preserving culture and the environment.

How did you adapt to remote learning? I chose to stay on campus after Conn went remote to continue my work as a volunteer firefighter and an EMT with a local fire department and ambulance service. I have been working up to 32 hours a week on the ambulance, and responding to fire calls as they come in. I have always been able to manage my coursework on top of my responsibilities with the fire department and ambulance; much like the student-athletes, I think of myself as a student-firefighter. I was raised to use my time and talents to help others and be in service of others. In a crisis like this, it is even more important to step up to the plate and let the community know that we are here to help.

Future plans: Find a full-time position in the environmental industrial sector or a full-time firefighter position.

Headshot of Emma Benington, Class of 2020

Emma Benington

Dance and Behavioral Neuroscience double major

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: I have had many impactful classroom experiences at Conn, but one that stands out is from the ConnCourse “Power and Inequality” that I took my first year. This was the first introduction to anthropology that I had in my academic career and it opened my eyes to a new way of thinking. The class was discussion-based and it was invigorating to be a part of such stimulating and meaningful discourse so early in my college career.

Best takeaway from your internship: This past summer I interned in Lisbon, Portugal, for a hospitality and tourism management company called Intercruises where I learned the value of being comfortable with discomfort. Working in an office where the primary language spoken was Portuguese really pushed me to communicate in new ways and learn from asking questions. I experienced an inside look at the tourist economy in Portugal and I learned how crucial the behind-the-scenes administrative work, as well as the one-on-one interactions with vendors and clients, is to propel a successful business.

How did you adapt to remote learning? When we were still on campus, I was working on my Senior Capstone project for dance and setting my choreography on six wonderful dancers. When we transitioned to remote learning, I decided that I would create a dance film. The music layout is a key component of my vision, because I am drawn to rhythm and how that manifests in our bodies and in various dance styles. I asked my dancers to send me videos of themselves doing phrase material from the original dance. I filmed myself dancing as a solo for the underlying piece of the film, but I overlaid videos of the dancers as if I was responding to dancing without them, while also trying to dance with them. I see the film as a representation of the situation that we are all in right now, but also the inherent beauty of art and music bringing us together. I titled the piece “take away time,” and it is available on YouTube.

Future plans: Connect my science and art degrees in a career that also incorporates collaboration with others toward a meaningful outcome, and continue my dance career.

Headshot of Lilly Noble, Class of 2020

Lilly Noble

Psychology major, Statistics minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Public Health Pathway

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: My favorite class was the thematic inquiry course for the Public Health Pathway, which I took my second year at Conn. The guest lectures not only helped us take a look at the outside world, but also helped to shape the direction I took in my Pathway. 

Best takeaway from your research experience: I’m focusing on psychotherapy waiting rooms in community resource centers and in private practices, and how the environment affects psychological stress and perceived quality of care. My qualitative interviews with therapists from Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, about their waiting rooms, enabled me to collect data from individuals which is much richer than just numerical data from quality ratings. 

How did you adapt to remote learning? My adviser, May Buckley Sadowski '19 Professor of Psychology Ann Devlin, and I communicated frequently, and with her support and mentoring, I was able to finish my honors thesis. 

Future plans: There were two phases to my research. Phase 1 involved interviewing the therapists and taking pictures of their waiting rooms. Phase two involved recruiting participants on Amazon MTurk to answer a series of questions about the waiting rooms. There has been little research conducted on psychotherapy waiting rooms, and Professor Devlin and I are working to publish my research.

Headshot of Jenny Carroll, Class of 2020

Jenny Carroll

Archaeological Anthropology major, Art History minor within the Museum Studies Certificate Program

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: The classes within the Museum Studies Certificate Program will always stand out to me as the hidden gems of Conn’s course list. The way in which the classes are organized allowed me to take control of my learning. For example, my classmates and I had the opportunity to develop and curate an entire exhibit from the Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s collection of photography by women photographers. Getting to work with the students in the basement of the museum and on Zoom was the highlight of my week as we steadily made progress curating an exhibit that not only reflected us, but others as well. I’m excited to return to Conn next May and see our installed exhibit, “Unbeatable Womxn: Perspectives on Power and Vulnerability by Womxn Photographers.”

Best takeaway from your internship: Last year, I took part in the Mohegan Field School’s annual archaeological program, which ran for five weeks in June and July. In contrast to other internships, mine involved a lot of dirt, bugspray, and slow and sometimes tedious excavation. I loved it. Going into the field each morning with the prospect of finding something new and learning more about the site was exciting. Getting to work with others who have a similar passion for archaeology has particularly influenced my choices going forward and I hope in the future I get the chance to share my love of the field with others.

How did you adapt to remote learning? A few weeks before spring break, when classes were still meeting in person, my anthropology professor, Anthony Graesch, handed me and my classmates in my “Discard” seminar each a Solo hot cup, much like the ones used in coffee shops across campus. We were tasked with using the disposable cup every day for two weeks. We carried the cups around prior to spring break, then, once Conn went remote, we wrote cultural biographies about our cups. This style of cup is marketed as single-use and is accepted as such, yet it can be used for much longer before it should be culturally understood as “waste.” The project made me more aware of how I use mundane objects, as well as how frequently they pass through my life.

Future plans: I will be attending the Museum Education Graduate Program at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, this fall.

Headshot of Andre “A.T.” Thomas, Class of 2020

Andre “A.T.” Thomas

Theater major, Architectural Studies and Psychology double minor

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: My favorite coursework has been using Lego in “Building Culture” with Dean Emily Morash, creating a bamboo chair for “3D Art” with Professor Gregory Bailey, and calling cues for a portion of “Big Bright Beautiful World” from Shrek the Musical for “Stage Management” with Professor Alison Andersen. 

Best takeaway from your internship: I did my internship abroad with the Archaeological Conservation Institute along with Conn faculty and students for a month. It was a life-changing experience and it challenged who I thought I was by making me operate outside my comfort zone. I also got to work on my Italian and travel throughout Rome.

How did you adapt to remote learning? The best thing about this switch was adapting my theater courses to a camera. It’s been an amazing experience, especially filming scenes for Peter and Wendy, a play we had planned to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I also created a virtual sound installation centered around the play I’m Electra, based on Sophocles’ version of the play Electra.

Future plans: Work at a theater and audition for plays. I’m currently doing voiceover work to get a foot into the industry. A dream I have is to create a place for kids and teens in Chicago to have access to performing and visual arts.

Headshot of Isis Torres Nuñez, Class of 2020

Isis Torres Nuñez

Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology major

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA)

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: All of my classes have shaped me to be the scholar that I am today. However, I have to give my most sincere gratitude to Professor Stanton Ching, the Margaret W. Kelly Professor of Chemistry. Like most pre-med students, I took general chemistry my first year and it was nothing short of demanding. Professor Ching thinks highly of his students and always expects our best. These expectations forced me to develop critical thinking, organizational and study skills, all of which made me a better student. More importantly, it changed the way I looked at science. My professors always emphasized that we're not learning just to get a grade; we're learning science because our knowledge of these principles will one day impact the lives of others, whether that is in medicine, engineering, research or education. 

Best takeaway from your summer science research experience: The Summer Science Research Program allowed me to experience what it meant to truly be a scientist. Sometimes that meant spending days planning, preparing and conducting experiments, only to get unexpected or unwanted results. Sometimes it meant getting exactly what you expected, if not something better. Professor of Biology Anne Bernhard, whose lab I worked in, advocated for scientists to convey their research to the layperson. To this day, I can't believe she had our lab make a YouTube video explaining the importance of our research to non-scientists, but now I realize its importance. She is a mentor and is committed to advancing the field of science. My work with her made me realize that I wanted to conduct research in medicine.

How did you adapt to remote learning? Scientists are very hands-on. We learn when we're put to practice in labs. But adapting to unfamiliar scenarios is what being a scientist is all about, and I was able to use the data I collected out in the field, on Barn Island, which has 1,000 acres of ecological diversity to study, and in the lab to complete my research.

Future plans: Apply to medical school and work as a research technician for my gap year.

Headshot of Scott Brauer, Class of 2020

Scott Brauer

German Studies and Human Development double major

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA)

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: One of my favorite courses at Conn was Professor Afshan Jafar’s “Sociology of Globalization” senior seminar. On our first day, Professor Jafar asked us to define the term ‘globalization’ and despite having discussed this topic in CISLA, I was hard-pressed to answer her most basic question. I think it was really humbling for us all and once we recognized how little we actually knew, then we could begin learning. This course influenced my understanding of our contemporary, interconnected world and was instrumental to my honors thesis, “‘When I Came to Germany, Everything Changed’: Adolescent Migrant Narratives on Shifting Identities, Societal Integration, Language Learning, and Citizenship Pathways.”

Best takeaway from your internship: I completed my internship in the winter of 2019 in Lübeck, Germany, where I worked as a teacher’s assistant in a local school’s “German as a Second Language” program, which is run for migrants who have just arrived in the country. I received permission from Conn’s Institutional Review Board to conduct interviews with the students about their experiences migrating to Germany, and these formed the foundation of my honors thesis, which focuses on adolescent migrant narratives. At my internship, I engaged in multiple passions of mine: foreign language pedagogy, narratives of migration, German schooling experiences and ethnographic research.

How did you adapt to remote learning? I actually found remote learning to be very conducive to working on my thesis. I could work intensively as long as I needed to. I was also able to continue my work for the Human Development and Education Departments as a student worker by assisting professors with their research. 

Future plans: I have been accepted into the Harvard Graduate School of Education for a year-long Master of Education program, and have also been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to teach English in Germany.

Headshot of Sophia Angele-Kuehn, Class of 2019

Sophia Angele-Kuehn

English major with a creative writing concentration, German Studies minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA)

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: In the spring of my sophomore year, I enrolled in “Intro to Ethnobotany” with Professor Manuel Lizarralde. Although my major and minor are in the humanities, I’ve always wanted to study botany. I ended up learning more than 100 Latin names of plants and writing a research project on the history of chia seeds. One day, our class went to the Arboretum to learn about the health benefits of various plants in the collection. I remember how it was a cold rainy day, and Professor Lizarralde gathered plants to make hot tea for everyone in the Arboretum’s Buck Lodge.

Best takeaway from your internship: My CISLA internship took place at Literaturhaus Berlin in Germany. I had meetings with numerous literary organizations, researched moderators to attend events and readings, and worked in the Literaturhaus archives. After weeks of thumbing through more than 300 photos of authors, translators, artists and scholars from all around the world, I compiled a new list of books to read and gained a much-needed confidence boost. Hundreds of ordinary people have published books that mean something to the world. If they did it, I can too.

How did you adapt to remote learning? At first, I was nervous about the idea of having to work at home, but it soon became a “writer’s retreat,” where I could concentrate my time on writing. I kept in contact with my advisers and readers remotely and Zoomed with a fellow thesis writer every day to talk about our work and hold each other accountable. Recently, I gave a virtual thesis presentation to the English department and campus community.

Future plans: I have been selected by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF), coordinated by Fulbright Austria, to be a U.S. teaching assistant in Austria for the 2020-2021 academic year. Eventually, I’d like to complete a Ph.D. in either English or German Studies.

Headshot of Paloma Camarena, Class of 2020

Paloma Camarena

Human Development and Sociology double major

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Holleran Center for Community Action

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: Some of my favorite classroom experiences at Conn were not necessarily in the classroom, but outside of it. For some of my courses, it was required that I do service learning in the community. In my first-year seminar, “Create Community, Create Change,” we had the opportunity to travel to several non-profits in the surrounding area. One of the most memorable ones was when we had the opportunity to design our own shirts on a visit to Spark Makerspace in New London. Another memorable experience was when I had the opportunity to volunteer at New London’s Jennings Elementary in a bilingual classroom and was able to connect with children from the area.

Best takeaway from your internship: I interned at the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) in Nashville, Tennessee, where I registered immigrants to vote and answered the organization’s hotline, among other things. Hearing their experiences and learning more about the work TIRCC does, I became more aware of the disparities in immigrants’ rights across states. This encouraged me to continue fighting for immigrant and refugee rights.

How did you adapt to remote learning? I completed a senior integrative project, “History Repeats Itself: Undocumented Immigration to the U.S.,” in which I explore the history of Mexican, Central American and Chinese immigration to the United States. I used this historical context to make immigration policy recommendations at the end of my independent study.

Future plans: Work for a non-profit focused on education and/or immigrant rights in the Chicago area.

Headshot of Hana Kristensen, Class of 2020

Hana Kristensen

International Relations and Hispanic Studies double major

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA)

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: My favorite classroom experiences at Conn were always my seminar courses. These classes brought me and my classmates together in such a great way. We would become friends, but also discuss specific issues at a high level, inspiring each other to learn more about the subject. My favorite seminar course was “Environmental Justice from a Global Perspective,” which included students majoring in Government, International Relations, Environmental Studies, Human Development, Sociology and Economics. Everyone brought such a different perspective to the table and it really added so much to the discussion and helped me learn and think in a much different way.

Best takeaway from your internship: My internship was completed abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, through the CISLA program. I worked at Democracia en Red, an NGO that focuses on promoting civil society through technology and online platforms. It was really inspiring to look at democracy through a civil society lens. It was through my internship that I was actually able to develop my Spanish skills and gain proficiency at a much higher level. In addition, completing an internship in a completely different country really taught me exactly what I want from a future place of work. I learned what motivates me, what makes it difficult for me to complete work and what daily routine works best for me. 

How did you adapt to remote learning? My seminar courses were always my favorite, and these transitioned seamlessly to remote learning. Despite being remote, our discussions were just as passionate and provocative as if we were in class together. My professors put in a lot of effort to make sure our classes would function well remotely. It was interesting to see the variety of ways in which classes adapted. From "Photography" to "Global Environmental Politics," none of my professors’ approaches were the same.

Future plans: I have applied to graduate school for political science at Copenhagen University.

Headshot of Conor Xanders, Class of 2020

Conor Xanders

Psychology major, Sociology minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Power/Knowledge Pathway

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: After coming back from studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the spring of my junior year I took Multicultural Psychology. Beyond helping transform my focus within psychology, the class facilitated some of the most meaningful discussions about intersectionalities that I have ever had. I am incredibly thankful to have been able to take part in this class given the lasting impact it has had on me as an individual.

Best takeaway from your internship: I was able to intern with and shadow a behavioral specialist at a camp I have worked at and gone to almost every summer. My biggest takeaway was learning real-time that any behavioral outburst one sees in a child generally has a deeper underlying cause. A child ignoring your rule to throw rocks is more complicated than the kid just simply not liking the rule or ignoring your presumed authority. Taking the time to meet a child where they are, empathize with how they are feeling, and going a layer deeper than simply trying to address the behavior at hand has made me better at working with children and has informed my work through other avenues after that summer.

How did you adapt to remote learning? Before the pandemic, I was completing a psychology practicum in the residential program at the Waterford Country School. When Conn went remote, my classmates and I transitioned from providing direct in-person mental health support services at community practicum sites in greater New London to providing online mental health support. I have been working with 7 Cups, which offers text-based therapy and free support to people experiencing emotional distress by connecting them with trained listeners. The ability to communicate through text is very comfortable for younger generations, and I believe the ability to be anonymous allows sites like 7 Cups to engage with people who might otherwise feel uncomfortable or unwilling to engage in more conventional therapy and counseling. My practicum has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had throughout my academic career, and I am grateful to have gained experience in providing both in-person and online mental health support services.

Future plans: I will work for a few years and then apply to graduate schools to obtain a doctorate of psychology and become a licensed counselor.

Headshot of Lexi Rauth, Class of 2020

Lexi Rauth

Behavioral Neuroscience major

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Cities and Schools Pathway

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: My favorite classroom experience at Conn definitely was my thematic inquiry course for the Cities and Schools Pathway. My peers in the class came from all different disciplines, which led to an integrated learning experience. We focused our study on the city of Philadelphia?—how it’s organized; what's important to the city (economically, socially and politically); how the community engages with the education system, and vice versa. We discussed gentrification and red-lining, and how both have shaped what cities and towns look like today in America, which directly affects the education system. 

Best takeaway from your internship: This past summer, I had the pleasure of working as an intern in the Office of Student Involvement at Villanova University. Ultimately, the internship solidified my interest in working in higher education.

How did you adapt to remote learning? It really helped to keep a steady schedule at home. Our Conn community has shown how supportive we are of one another. Professors kept their courses as similar to in-person learning as they could.

Future plans: I will pursue a Master of Arts in Education degree at Villanova University with a concentration in higher education. At Villanova, I will return to the Office of Student Involvement as a graduate assistant. In the future, I plan to work at a college or university advising students. I hope to make an impact on students just like so many faculty and staff members did for me at Conn.

Headshot of Haruko Tateyama, Class of 2020

Haruko Tateyama

Chemistry major, Government minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: The “Global Environmental Justice” seminar highlighted many different social inequalities and environmental justice issues that arise from environmental concerns. The class illuminated for me the inequalities that are embedded in the decision-making process about environmental policies. As someone who is interested in using chemistry and technology to address environmental problems, this class taught me the social impact I could make as a scientist.

Best takeaway from your summer science research experience: During the summer of my sophomore year, I conducted research on manganese oxides with Professor Stanton Ching, the Margaret W. Kelly Professor of Chemistry. This experience gave me lab expertise and helped me develop an interest in materials chemistry, which led me to look for an internship in the field. Last summer, I worked as a research and development intern at Nanograf, a battery materials startup company based in Chicago. I was able to experience the forefront of energy storage, where I became passionate about the role technology plays in solving problems such as the lack of efficient energy storage to fully utilize renewable energy.

How did you adapt to remote learning? Professor Ching made sure that I had enough data, support and advising to complete my thesis and to continue practicing scientific learning. I participated in an international Zoom chemistry conference, where I presented my honors thesis to about 100 other students and professors. I am grateful for the dedication of my professors.

Future plans: I will start my doctorate program in chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology this fall.

Headshot of Hanna Bobrowicz, Class of 2020

Hanna Bobrowicz

History major, Theater minor

Center/Pathway Affiliation: Peace and Conflict Pathway

Favorite classroom experience at Conn: The best courses I have taken at Conn were history seminars. I took courses with Professor Marc Forster, Professor Catherine Stock and Professor Sarah Queen, and they all created a community within the classroom. 

Best takeaway from your internship: I interned at a history nonprofit called Pacific Atrocities Education, as a communications intern. I wanted experience in media or broadcast journalism, so I created my own podcast and a documentary Instagram series about the nonprofit. 

How did you adapt to remote learning? I found that creating a dedicated study space helped me focus, and the engagement we had at Conn, despite being remote, helped me research ways to continue working with the Womxn’s Empowerment Initiative by turning this year’s project into a podcast.

Future plans: I am researching and applying to fellowships and graduate schools.  

 


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May 15, 2020