Now that religious studies major Pheobe Duke-Mosier ’19 has been out of Hamilton for a little more than a year, she’s gained a deeper appreciation for her liberal arts education. She recently recieved the Unversity of Alabama's David Francko Graduated Fellowship to pursue graduate studies. She agreed to answer these questions about Hamilton and beyond.
How did you discover that you were interested in religious studies?
I went into my freshman year thinking that I might be interested in majoring in religious studies. My parents are both mainline Protestant ministers, so I was liberally churched growing up, but had limited familiarity with what might be called other world religions. I signed up for Professor Newell's "ABCs of American Religion" during my first semester, and the rest was history. I really appreciated how interdisciplinary religious studies is, and the faculty in Hamilton's department is fantastic.
Tell me about the graduate program you’ve been accepted into and what you hope to gain from your studies.
I will be pursuing an M.A. in Religion in Culture at the University of Alabama. The program is relatively young and, as its name suggests, focuses on religion within wider cultural contexts. My goal is to determine if I might be interested in pursuing a doctoral degree and to develop a theoretical and methodological foundation that will prepare me should I decide to do so.
Now that you've been out of College for a bit, what stands out about majoring in religious studies at Hamilton or your Hamilton experience in general?
Since graduating and entering the work force, I have come to appreciate the value of the liberal arts even more so than I did while still at Hamilton. My degree is not usually particularly relevant to my day-to-day work, but I definitely think that the critical thinking skills I developed as a religious studies major have made me a more creative and effective employee and a more empathetic person.
What is your fondest career hope?
I'm not quite sure what direction my career is heading, but I guess that no matter what I end up doing, I want to feel like my time is being used productively.