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Katherine Jossi'20, History and Political Science Major from Saint Paul, Minn.

November 2017

Majors: History and Political Science
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Program: The Field Experience Grant Program
Program Mentor:
Cristina Parente, Field Experience Grant Program Coordinator

Katherine Jossi'20 

Share a little bit about your Field Experience project.

For my Field Experience project I traveled to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for ten days to research how different modes of transportation impact life in the city. Much of my time was spent observing and speaking with residents about how they interact with transportation in Amsterdam. With the exception of a Vespa (a popular motorized scooter), I was able to experience all the primary methods of transportation first-hand. This first-hand experience was key to my reflection on how using those different modes impacted and shaped my experience within the city. While I was there I also had the opportunity to record a bit of video footage, which I am hoping to incorporate into my project somehow.

What sparked your interest in this topic?

Beloit doesn’t have an urban studies department, and it’s an area of study I’ve increasingly found myself interested in exploring. I knew I wanted to study some facet of cities, either urban planning or transportation. I decided on studying transportation in one of the greatest transit hubs in the world: Amsterdam. I really wanted to do a project centered on the way transportation serves residents and how it shapes the nature and dynamic of a city.

How was your experience working with your mentor throughout your Field Experience project?

I spent a majority of my time at the Liberal Arts in Practice Center (LAPC) with a student mentor Jeffrey Le. I also worked with Cristina Parente throughout the planning phase of my project. Jeffrey was critical in pulling together my ideas and helping develop a clear vision for my project, while Cristina helped me make sure the logistics of the project were feasible. Additionally, I met with Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Jennifer Esperanza, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Sonya Maria Johnson, and Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Shannon Fie for help with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) form and ethnographic research.

The execution part of my project was so thrilling because you can't believe it's real. I remember a time sitting in the LAPC with Jeffrey and we found cheap tickets to Amsterdam. At that point, I was about a month away from approval for my project and he told me I just had to trust it and book the flight. Two months later I was on that plane.

I also think the personal reflection I completed after the trip was critical in helping me understand where I grew and where I struggled throughout my Field Experience. 

After completing your program, what are you looking forward to most?

I am really looking forward to pursuing an internship or another project through a Venture Grant. I really loved the grant writing process and engaging professors outside the classroom environment. It was something that really challenged me in the best way possible. I am also hoping to study abroad through a history program in my junior year. I think my goals and milestones will change and grow over the next few years but right now this is what I am striving toward.