Title: Associate professor of political science, Drake University
How has your Hood education benefited you?
Hood was a women's college when I attended. More than anything else, Hood encouraged me to become a strong-willed intelligent woman without apology. I think any young woman needs that encouragement and I'm grateful that my professors and my peers invested in me as a person as well as a student and friend.
How did your time at Hood prepare you for the future?
As a professor, I have always tried to model the professors I had at Hood. Their classes were rigorous and challenging, but I knew that the professors always cared about and respected us as people. The environment at Hood not only created excellent students, but fostered a sense of collaborative learning in the process, one that I bring to my own classroom today.
What were your extracurricular experiences?
Organizing the "Messiah" was a tremendous benefit in that it taught me how to be a problem-solver who communicates effectively.
Did you decide your major right away?
I thought I wanted to be a political science major and I declared that major right away. But I also continued classwork in mathematics and I ended up taking classes in sociology as well. Math became a second major and I had a minor in social research.
What is your favorite memory of Hood?
I have very fond memories of "Messiah," both at Hood and at the Naval Academy. My favorite memory, however, is of one night when a group of us stayed up and talked outside in the Pergola all night.
Who were your mentors at Hood?
I had several, but the most important were professors Betty Mayfield and Allen Flora, both of whom I still count as mentors. Judy Seymour (math), Kerry Strand (sociology) and Carol Kawecki (political science) were all important mentors as well.
What is your opinion on the value of a liberal arts education?
Having entered academia as a professor at a liberal arts institution, I have dedicated myself to higher education, and my experience at Hood was extremely important in that decision. I believe that a well-rounded education that encourages multifaceted thinking is essential in producing informed citizens and critical thinkers who question assumptions in their own lives. A liberal arts education fosters creativity alongside analytical thought to produce real and meaningful dialogue that allows a student to pursue professional and personal success.
What would you say to students applying to Hood?
I would tell them that Hood is genuinely dedicated to providing a constructive learning environment. I would also tell them that the faculty are the greatest strength of Hood, and the student-faculty connection is something that is both very rare and absolutely essential, and Hood students benefit from those connections in a tangible way every day.
What role has Hood College education played in your career?
My professors encouraged me to go to graduate school and spent countless hours helping me through the application process. They also provided me an excellent intellectual foundation that served me well not only in just a narrow disciplinary way. My Hood education created an intellectual curiosity that I use every day.
Why did you choose to attend Hood College?
Honestly, I chose Hood based on a gut reaction. I had never visited campus and I had not talked to many people about Hood before making the decision. It just seemed like the kind of place that I would fit me well—and it did.