Hometown: Millis, Mass.
Major: Leadership Studies
Minor: Rhetoric and Communication Studies
Activities: Rugby Club, Bonner Scholars Program, Speech Consultant, Volunteer EMT

You are headed to Cambodia to volunteer with the Peace Corps. What will you be doing?

I’ll be a community health education volunteer, which entails living with a host family in a rural village somewhere in Cambodia and working in the local community health center. My other main responsibility will be biking to nearby communities to deliver presentations in Khmer, the local language, on healthy living while focusing primarily on maternal health and disease prevention.

Why did you decide to take this route after college?

A routine 9-to-5 job doesn’t appeal to me at this point in my life. I want to travel and see the world, but I also want to continue to help people. As a Bonner Scholar I learned that volunteering is one of the most fulfilling things one can do.

You majored in leadership studies. What is one lesson you will carry with you?

That anyone can be a leader. You don’t have to be a CEO or civil rights activist to be considered a leader, just have a goal and followers who can contribute to achieving that goal. I’ll keep this in mind as I settle into the routine of a Peace Corps volunteer.

Why did you choose to major in leadership studies?  

It allowed me to not only learn about the topic of leadership through a variety of lenses such as history, literature, philosophy and psychology, it also supplied me with the critical thinking and communication skills that will allow me to succeed in any of my future endeavors. Dr. Kerstin Soderlund’s Bad Leadership course during Roadmap was crucial to my decision to apply to Jepson. By examining the bad leadership traits, decisions and actions of several powerful individuals, the class was able to understand two things. Not all leaders are good people and, to quote Voltaire (as well as FDR and Spiderman), “with great power comes great responsibility.”

What are some other lessons or skills you learned that you think will be useful in your career or life after college?

Public speaking. I dreaded giving presentations in front of a class during high school and into my freshman year, so to challenge myself, I took Dr. Blake Abbott’s Rhetoric and Public Address class. I ended up taking Dr. Linda Hobgood’s Theory and Pedagogy course, which allowed me to join the team at the Speech Center as a speech consultant. These days, I no longer dread public speaking. I have actually come to enjoy it to some extent.

Do you have a long-term career plan in mind?

If I were to choose an ideal career, it would be to work with either the State Department’s Foreign Service or the United Nations. What fascinates me about these organizations is that they carry out their work on a global scale and aim to create peaceful relations between countries, which is imperative in the 21st century as our world becomes more interconnected and globalized.