Discuss your general career path since graduating from UT.
My academic career is a little different from many of my peers. I did not start my undergraduate education until I was 25, and entered UT knowing I eventually wanted to get a Ph.D. in sociology. As such, I proceeded straight to my graduate studies after completing my bachelor’s degree at UT in spring 2013. I am currently a full-time doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University.
How did your BDP experience influence your career path and interests?
My research interests have always been interdisciplinary, which is what initially drew me to the Bridging Disciplines Programs. My time with the BDPs only strengthened this cross-disciplinary commitment. When it was time to apply for graduate school, I wanted to be in a department that provided opportunities for continued interdisciplinary work. My experience in the BDPs continues to shape my research, where I draw from history, political science, and philosophy, among other fields.
What do you value most about your BDP experience?
I most value the program’s commitment to undergraduate research. It is rare for a program to give so much attention and support to undergraduates who want to take on original research projects. Additionally, the BDPs push students to “think outside the box” of traditional disciplinary methods, theories, and approaches to research. This kind of freedom and support was invaluable to me.
In what ways did an interdisciplinary education prepare you for what you are currently doing?
At Northwestern, I feel extremely comfortable drawing from a wider range of literatures and methodological perspectives. Also, because of the opportunity to take a wide range of courses for my BDP certificate, I feel that I have an advantage among my other graduate peers because I have already been exposed to research and bodies of scholarship from across the social sciences and humanities.