Helping the marginalized
"Going on the Bucknell Brigade to Nicaragua sophomore year was what sparked my interest, as geography helped me to begin to work through the huge disparities that exist in the world."
Michelle Doak '12, psychology and geography
Class of 2012 update: After graduating, Michelle is headed to Miami, where, through Teach for America, she will be teach kindergarten, first or second grade in an inner-city elementary school.
"I came into Bucknell knowing I wanted to be a psychology major; I have always loved that field, particularly in child development. Geography was a later discovery. In high school, I couldn't have said what geography was, beyond naming places on a map. I took Geographies of Globalization first semester freshman year, and I thought it was a cool class, but I still didn't really consider pursuing geography.
"Going on the Bucknell Brigade to Nicaragua sophomore year was what sparked my interest, as geography helped me to begin to work through the huge disparities that exist in the world. The experience really opened my eyes up to the challenges and problems that face the world and inspired me to work towards positive change. I have always been interested in psychology and understanding people, so geography was a compliment for this interest, allowing me to explore how people both create and are impacted by their environments.
"My career goals are still fairly vague at this point. I definitely want to be doing something to contribute to social justice, and help marginalized people be enabled to create change in their own lives. I want to be able to use the opportunities that I was lucky enough to receive, to help others have the same.
"My time at Bucknell allowed me to have a broader and more informed perspective on the world. My classes helped to equip me with the knowledge to begin along this path. My experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom at Bucknell, have shaped me into who I am today, and have prepared me to pursue my goals."
Michelle is from Ridgefield, Conn.Posted May 9, 2012