Student and Alumni Stories
Studying Theology & Religious Studies at Emmanuel College offered these students the freedom to explore their hearts and minds and discover what they wanted to do in life.
Elyse Whitehead '11
Emmanuel College is a small school of endless opportunities. In May after my freshman year, I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer with the Ubuntu Institute in South Africa and Swaziland, a program offered through the Center for Multicultural Programs at Emmanuel College. Delivering food and medication to Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS patients impassioned me and pushed me to develop my major, Global Health, through the Individualized Major program offered at Emmanuel with a minor in Religious Studies.
My sophomore year, taking Arabic language classes and an Islam seminar, fostered my interest in the Islamic and Arab world. I wanted to live in an Islamic society firsthand, and decided to study abroad in Meknes, Morocco for a semester. There, I studied Islamic Society and Politics, Gender Studies, French, and Arabic, while living with a Moroccan family and fasting for the holy Month of Ramadan. My time there was life changing and amazing. My inspiring stay in Morocco pushed me to apply to study Public Health and Gender Studies in a more religiously and ethnically diverse country. I decided to spend the following semester in Pune, India where I had the opportunity to conduct field research investigating the accessibility of healthcare to village women in the state of Maharashtra. Women's health, particularly in developing countries, has become an issue and field I am very passionate about.
Upon my return to Emmanuel in the fall of my senior year, I continued taking Arabic and applied for a Critical Language Scholarship for the summer of 2011. I hope to use my Arabic skills to facilitate and empower women in Middle Eastern countries. After my graduation, I look forward to pursuing graduate school and a career in healthcare serving the global community while encompassing the religious beliefs and practices of the people I will be treating in their native languages.
Senior Distinction Presentation 2011Back to Top
Chelsea Pingree '09
I decided to come to Emmanuel because I wanted to be a Catholic Studies major. Emmanuel offers the amazing option of doing an individualized major. Choosing an academic advisor, picking all of the courses that would make up my major, and writing a proposal was intimidating at first, but I also found it very empowering and it allowed me to center my major on the theme of social justice.
With so many opportunities to do volunteer work at Emmanuel, it didn’t take long for social justice to become a common theme in my life outside of the classroom. During my senior year I organized a service-based internship, volunteering at the Notre Dame Montessori School in Dorchester and the School of Peace in Jamaica Plain. I made such a connection with the children at the School of Peace that I continued on after my internship ended and I still spend every Saturday there.
To finish my senior year at Emmanuel I did a distinction project looking at the social justice issues surrounding the Living Wage movement. The paper that I wrote was recently chosen to be published in the journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national religious honor society of which Emmanuel has a chapter.
I should also mention that Catholic Studies was not my only major. I also majored in Mathematics and I had the opportunity to do and learn amazing things with the support of the math faculty at Emmanuel. The summer before my senior year I interned at Pearson Education, a publishing company, working in the math and statistics department. That internship led to the job I have now, working as an Editorial Assistant on developmental math textbooks.
The greatest lesson that I learned at Emmanuel is that your education is what you make it.Back to Top
Sam Gold '10
Although I am a half-Roman Catholic, half-Jewish graduate of a Methodist high school, I had no intention of studying religion at Emmanuel College. But Emmanuel’s general requirements kept me interested in the subject from the first semester. By junior year I was including upper level religion courses as part of the requirements for my Global Studies major. After studying Buddhist art and architecture in northeastern India, I returned to Emmanuel senior year knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in one of the many places in the public or private sector where politics and religion converge.
In the fall I will be pursuing my M.A. in Religion at Claremont School of Theology in California.
The scholarship and the support I received from Emmanuel’s Religious Studies Department really enabled me to pursue my interests and develop ways to apply them outside of the classroom.Back to Top