College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion

N 21101712_31330517_3493Since graduating in 2008 with a degree in religious studies, I am constantly reminded of how important and worthwhile this particular course of study is.  Living in a time of rapid cultural, political, and religious shifts can be unsettling, but having a background in understanding the history, mechanisms, and reasons to why this happens has been my bulwark.   

Being a theme-based degree, as opposed to discipline-based, throughout my education I was given a taste of anthropology, philosophy, sociology, gender studies, and political science all under the umbrella of religious studies.  I have no idea how the professors can sustain this variety, especially at a small university, but they do it with flying colors.  In addition to the variety of classes, the diversity of professors is a boon for the department.  I focused primarily on South Asian religions, so I like to joke about how I majored in Dr. Bauman, but I had some of my most memorable experiences in Dr. McGrath's Science and Religion class and Dr. Valliere's Religion and Secularism seminar.

Religion can be a touchy, uncomfortable subject for some students.  This fact makes the study and discussion of it that much more important in my opinion, and having the right types of people to discuss the topics with was very important.  I was lucky enough to share a classroom with some of the most wonderful people I know today.  The diversity, maturity, and incredible intellect of my fellow classmates made the daily discussions a friendly and enriching experience, and I wouldn't have traded them for the world.

After graduating, I spent a year doing volunteer work with AmeriCorps in Indianapolis setting up education seminars for homeless veterans and the local Burmese refugee population.  My education helped me understand and empathize with the situations of others, and cultivated a desire to become a globally-minded individual.  After AmeriCorps I took a Director of Operations position at a wellness center in Illinois.     

The value of my Butler University religious studies education is evident to me every day, and I thank the professors and fellow students for the opportunity to learn, discuss, and grow.