An interest in interfaith dialogue helped Jennie Wilber ’17 shape a course of study that took her from campus to the country of Jordan to a small Central New York city for a summer of research.
Wilber’s initial major was religious studies but she soon realized she wanted to delve deeply into Middle East studies. To do that she made use of Hamilton’s interdisciplinary studies major.
“I devised a concentration covering Arabic, religious studies, government and politics, and peace and conflict that truly fit my interests,” she says. “I was also able to augment Hamilton’s classes with my study-abroad program, where I studied development, intercultural communication and colloquial Arabic alongside Modern Standard Arabic in Amman, Jordan, with CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange).”
Wilber spent the summer after her junior year researching how the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Utica uses interfaith dialogue. She conducted numerous interviews, the results of which were a video she made about the coalition and a written report to the coalition’s executive committee. Wilber hopes the document she produced will help the organization expand and increase its community involvement.
Long term, Wilber wants to earn a master’s of divinity degree with a certificate of interfaith studies and to work in interfaith or multifaith communities.