Strength in Diversity

My Brackenridge Cohort

Upon getting to know my fellow cohort members, it’s clear that we are a hugely diverse group and that I have a lot to learn! For the bulk of my undergraduate experience, I’ve been primarily exposed to the natural sciences; immersing myself in a group of students studying history and language is extremely new to me. From my peers, I am looking forward to learning the way history shapes the present, whether it be economically or expressively. Most projects within my cohort are focused on studying people and how they shape history, ranging from past presidential candidate archetypes head by Adam, to language-based inequalities head by Ryan, to the creation of the heteronormative gender head by Charlie. These are all incredibly new to me and dipping my feet into them will undoubtedly shape how I perceive and go about research. Other projects are more science centered, like mine. I’m looking forward to expanding my current knowledge of science and its application from Katelyn and Ian’s project that center around our environment.

Comparing and contrasting myself to others within my cohort revealed that all of us have two seemingly unrelated majors. Major combinations that stood out to me include Supply Chain Management and Political Science, Art History and Anthropology, and even Mathematics and Classics. Nonetheless, each individual in my cohort found a way to intertwine the two to explore a unique event. I believe this observation exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of Brackenridge scholar projects as well as the PittHonors motto, “Cross Boundaries.”

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The distinctiveness of each of our projects will certainly require all of us to step out of our comfortable areas of experience into what is for us uncharted territory in academia, promoting a great deal of learning. However, to do so we will first need to invest a great deal of time and energy into becoming familiar with these fields. We will be each other’s guides in a sense, and in addition to acquainting ourselves with novel concepts, it will be our responsibility to communicate the ideas of our projects so that those with no prior background can grasp them. I believe this will be one of the most frequent obstacles we will face during the course of the fellowship, but I consider it as an investment in our learning that will promote increased versatility in our thinking and benefit our cognizance in the long run.

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