Through an emphasis on religious, ethical, and personal growth, students at Boston College identify their world-changing callings. However, a Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences experience takes things several steps further. Here, faculty members and students are directly tackling the world’s most topical and pressing challenges. They believe every talent or competency should be leveraged to enhance the common good.
Take graduating senior, Urwa Hameed, for instance. As a child, she noticed the way women navigated the legal landscape in Pakistan, where gender roles were evident. Her father did pro-bono legal work in the village centre. In his office, she would willingly serve as an intermediary between him and his female clients. “I was very engaged in that work,” she said. “I found it very rewarding, very intimate.” Hence her decision to pursue a degree in political science and international studies.
Exposure to research fuelled her longing to travel to Pakistan and conduct in-person interviews with female politicians. Upon receiving approval, as well as five scholarships and grants, her journey began — and it was a successful one. By her 43rd interview, Hameed considered the possibility of compiling these stories into an inspiring book for young Pakistani girls. That same year, “Steering Towards Change” was published. She is currently in the process of applying to Boston College Law School, where she hopes to study international law.
The Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences’ robust academic offerings make outcomes like Hameed’s possible. While she used its strengths in the Social Sciences to her full advantage, this division is equally renowned for its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Humanities and Natural Sciences as well.
All routes help students spark change on a national or global scale. Success stories may vary, but what they have in common is their level of impact. Economics student Kudzai Kapurura is hoping to gain the competencies needed to thrive in the field of social justice. By her sophomore year, she began taking on more transdisciplinary virtual programmes outside of class — one of which entailed facilitating “Courageous Conversations,” a Boston College programme that promotes civil dialogues on racial justice. Today, she’s won awards through poetry and public speaking.
“I am reaffirmed that I am on the path to a meaningful life through my attendance at Boston College,” she says. “Because so much is at my fingertips, I see no other option than continuing to make history in my family line.” Kapurura is the first in her family to become a US citizen and attend college on the East Coast.
Students in the sciences fulfil their dreams here as well — like Luisa Maria Nieto Ramirez, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Associate Professor of Biology Tim van Opijnen, who was named a 2020 Pew Latin American Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences. The opportunity entails studying how the immune system recognises and eliminates the pneumonia-causing microbe Streptococcus Pneumoniae (Spn).
“From the moment I knew about the Pew Latin American Fellowship, I pictured myself as one fellow of this prestigious programme,” she says of the accomplishment. “Now under the guidance of an excellent scientist and pioneer in the field, Dr. van Opijnen, the dream has come true. I cannot be more thankful for this lifetime opportunity.”
At the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, it’s common for students to break glass ceilings on such scales. They do so within the College itself as well — of course, in state-of-the-art spaces. Earlier this year, 245 Beacon Street opened its doors — a 150,000-square-foot, US$150-million structure which represents the largest single investment in the sciences at Boston College, and the focal point of a US$300 million university-wide initiative in the sciences.. Features include cutting-edge research and teaching laboratories, maker spaces for prototyping research, a clean room, and collaborative spaces for students and faculty.
It is also home to the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, which supports students and faculty from across disciplines in developing knowledge and solutions to crucial global problems in the areas of health, energy, and the environment.
World-class facilities and inspiring surroundings are just part of the package. Rubbing shoulders with the world-changing researchers and scholars within them makes the journey all the more enriching. The university’s faculty members are dedicated to using the resources of a renowned institution to put into action the values of a liberal arts education — working across disciplines and preparing students to become engaged, effective world citizens.
Imagine a dynamic analytical tool that detects COVID-19 strains; a better understanding of water quality and sediment transport in watersheds and along coastlines; a “high-risk, high-impact” project exploring the link between gut microbes, viral infections, and T1D onset; or a deeper dive into the intersection of inequality, environment, and health, specifically in neighbourhoods in urban areas — it’s all being done at the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, where the resources of a world-class institution are used wisely to champion the values of a liberal arts education.
Ready to begin your journey to effective world citizenship? Click here to begin the application process.