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Taking an Active Role in Learning


Sold on Hamilton’s open curriculum, Jeanne Penn ’17 enrolled at the College and started to study all kinds of subjects and topics she loves, in particular, sociology, food and the environment and writing.

“The main thing that attracted me to environmental studies was that I could do sociology, and I could do all the other departments that I really had come to love,” Penn says. She’s majoring in environmental studies with a sociology concentration. “I think of sociology as a way to look at the environment through a social lens,” she says.

She likes to apply what she’s learning and the research she’s done through her coursework, for instance a campus-wide study of religiosity.  “I like to have more of an active role in what I’m learning. And you absolutely do that in this major,” she says.

Penn has worked as an editing assistant for Sociology Assistant Professor Jaime Kucinskas, and at the professor’s suggestion is starting an editing business. She writes for Spoon University, won the The Grant Keehn Prize Scholarship for students who demonstrate leadership and studied abroad in South Africa. Post-Hamilton, Penn can see herself working in a field related to editing and writing, maybe for a publishing company that specializes in food.

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