Nadia Hecker-O’Brien

Nadia Hecker-O’Brien uses CRIS to help her understand different perspectives. 

What makes you want to be a CRIS minor?


I have taken CRIS courses throughout university and always thought it was important but recently I’ve been thinking about why having a minor specifically is important to me. I am a religious studies major and my focus in my major has always been very related to social justice, gender, race, etc. and I feel it is important to have my degree reflect the lens through which I’ve looked at the study of religion.

If you’ve already taken CRIS courses, what has been your favorite reading or assignment? Why? OR, what CRIS course do you look forward to taking? Why?

There have been a lot of courses and readings that have really stood out to me, both at Beloit and through my CRIS studies abroad. I think Linda Alcoff’s “The Problem of Speaking for Others” is one of the most important pieces I’ve read in college. After studying abroad I wasn’t sure how to process the space I took up and some of the research I did but Alcoff’s work acted as an important framework for me to process my role. It eventually became a major part of my International Symposia as well.

What are your CRIS learning goals?


I think the reason my declaration is coming somewhat late is that I have only recently begun thinking seriously about what my future is going to look like. In thinking about the future I have realized that I hope to work in non-profit organizing and am considering eventually getting my MSW. In these fields and in anything else I decide to do I think it is so important I am not only aware of, but also engaged in the ways different parts of identity are working especially in my role as a white woman. I hope that by the end of my time at Beloit I do not think I have a complete understanding of identity, power, privilege, etc. but rather that I have the tools to continue exploring these concepts and that I do not become so afraid that I ever shy from these very difficult conversations, which I implicated in.

What do you want to do with your CRIS knowledge/skills in your post-Beloit life?

As previously mentioned, I hope to work in non-profit organizing. My current plan is to develop my Spanish-language skills and work in Spanish speaking communities in New York, where my family lives. Eventually I am interested in getting my MSW from UBC.

What would you tell other students thinking about majoring or minoring in CRIS?

I think topics related to identity, oppression, and power are pervasive in all arenas. I would encourage anyone I knew to take a course in CRIS because I think everyone, in every field would greatly benefit from it.

March 13, 2018

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