Undergraduate Institution: Augustana College
Undergraduate Major: Philosophy and Political Science
MAPSS Graduation Year: 2013

I came to the University of Chicago’s MAPSS program with the intention of pursuing a PhD in Political Science. I’ve always been deeply interested in the politics of the human-nature relationship. My favorite courses at MAPSS encompassed many fields in the social sciences, including Anthropology- Post-Nature and Commodity Aesthetics, Philosophy-Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, and Political Theory-Interpretive Methods in Political Theory. Under Dr. Chad Cyrenne, I studied the “Oostvaardersplassen,” an experimental nature preserve in the Netherlands which embodies many of the uniquely modern ethical and philosophical issues with which I aspire to grapple. This project combined methods from political science, history, and political theory, and I was able to establish myself as a multi-disciplinary researcher in pursuing this project. I will be attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a Geography PhD student, with environmental politics in Chicago as my research focus. Despite my switch in fields, my PhD research plans closely follow the themes developed in my MAPSS thesis project and course work. MAPSS teaches its students the “language” of social science, and my University of Chicago MA has taught me to master new “dialects” and pursue new opportunities for research which never could have otherwise been open for me.