“I think my study of comparative humanities has allowed me to put a lot of scientific research into a historical context.

"I was looking for a school where I could have smaller class sizes and build relationships with professors, which has definitely happened here. Bucknell has a great biology department, so that drew me because I was really interested in it at that point. I came on a tour and got that feeling that everyone talks about when you get to a campus and fall in love with it. I realized it was where I wanted to be. 

"When I got to school, I knew I was going to be a biology major , but I decided to live in the Humanities Residential College because I wanted to diversify from the sciences. Comparative humanities isn't really a subject most people think of, but being in the Res College threw me into it right away. After taking the first-year seminar, I realized how much I enjoyed the subject matter. I decided to continue with the comparative humanities core requirements and I thought that maybe I would minor in it. And then I continued to like it every time I took a class, so I ended up double-majoring in animal behavior and comparative humanities.

"My majors definitely complement each other. I think my study of comparative humanities has allowed me to put a lot of scientific research into a historical context. If you pull out an article from an animal behavior journal and you read it for what it is and just focus on the science, that's great and you learn a lot from that. But, if you put it in the context of the time it was written and what else was going on, you can see what else influenced the ideas. And I think that's something important to think about as opposed to just the science itself because science is always influenced by the culture that it's in."

Mattea is from Corning, N.Y.

Posted November 4, 2013

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