[Tatiana]Hometown: Saint Paul, Minn.
Major: Russian and political science
Why she chose Beloit: When I came to visit, it was pretty clear that everyone had their own Beloit experience and that Beloit was really flexible. There were so many different clubs, organizations, people, and majors. It’s really easy to make Beloit into your own experience. I didn’t want to go to a school where everyone does the same thing. I wanted to go somewhere where I could double major and form my own experience and focus on what I’m interested in.
Finding a professor who’s interested in the same things she is: (Political Science Professor) Beth Dougherty is a great professor. We’re interested in the same fields: human rights and restorative justice. I’ve taken two of her classes, and I’m probably going to try to take them all. I really like her teaching style. She’s extremely knowledgeable about the field, and she teaches classes in her specialty of human rights. I took Politics of Mass Killing, which is the most depressing class Beloit offers, but she makes learning about these types of things interesting. I wouldn’t say fun, but, interesting.
What the liberal arts in practice means to her: The liberal arts in practice means taking things you’ve learned in the classroom and turning them into an experience. I’m going to Russia in the fall, and I’m doing a project on how Moscow youth participate in politics.
How Beloit has prepared her for studying abroad in Russia: I’ve been studying Russian since high school, and I really wanted to continue taking Russian in college. When I came to visit Beloit, (Adjunct Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literature) Olga Ogurtsova blew me away with how passionate she was about Russia. I was really sold on the fact that she was a native-speaking Russian professor because that’s extremely valuable when learning a language. I also did CLS (Center for Language Studies), which helped me a lot. It’s intense. You go through an entire textbook in those eight weeks. It’s hard, but worth it.
[Tatiana]Why she organized a panel for domestic minorities abroad to speak out: I felt like there was a lack of assistance for students of color when they’re going abroad. As a way to get more students of color to study abroad and to not be afraid, I started putting together the panel. I had worked with the Office of International Education as an international ambassador, so I knew they would really be open to the panel because it was an issue they were trying to work toward as well. I talked to everyone I knew, and the nine people I found agreed to share their stories. It was really impactful. They got a lot more students of color to go abroad this semester.
On the San Francisco alumni shadowing trip over spring break: I got nominated by a professor to go to San Francisco for spring break. I job shadowed an immigration attorney who was a really good match for me because I grew up in Saint Paul and we have a big refugee population. A lot of my friends are Hmong or from Burma, so I was already familiar with immigration. I’ve been in an international setting my whole life, plus, I’m really passionate about law. Then we had an alumni reception where I met a bunch more alumni and prospective students from the Bay Area. I got a lot of LinkedIn connections after that. I didn’t know a lot of alumni. Now I do.