Rachel Murphy has been soanstolaf’s loyal editor for 2014-15. She has profiled many of her fellow seniors, and it seemed appropriate for the site to profile her as well. A recap of our conversation:
Rachel grew up in Columbus, Ohio, which she describes as being like two cities due to the looming presence of The Ohio State University. In fact, her childhood home was only ten minutes from campus. One of the distinctive things she noted about Columbus is the city’s frustrating segregation. Growing up, she lived in a largely white neighborhood but attended schools that were predominantly African-American. She learned a lot about racism and inhabiting diverse spaces.
Such experiences no doubt led Rachel to major in sociology and anthropology, something she intended to do when she enrolled at St. Olaf. But as it turned out, the major proved to be different from what she initially expected. Rachel imagined her work would focus primarily on global issues, yet she came to study in her courses many things quite close to home. She likes that her major made her a better writer and increased her range of interests. She said she is excited to follow up on topics she was introduced to in SOAN.
Aside from SOAN, Rachel also majored in Latin American Studies. This offered a contrast because it drew on courses in a variety of disciplines and included key experiences off campus. Rachel had wonderful opportunities to study for a semester in Ecuador as well as an interim in Cuba.
Rachel is not certain of her next steps after graduation (at the time of our conversation she had just returned from a job interview and was weighing out a job offer in rural Minnesota). She enjoyed the chance to work in the Pause, a fun environment where she also glimpsed the challenge of running a business. She also liked keeping this blog on behalf of the SOAN department, where she learned more about larger developments in the two disciplines and got to know her fellow majors better. Finally, she said has a long list of books that she intends to read, first among them Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. We thank Rachel for all of her great work highlighting the SOAN class of 2015 and wish her, and them, well!