Pioneer Profile

Beth Miller '19

Major: Religious Studies
Minors: Philosophy and Sociology

What made you choose this major?

I had the opportunity to travel to India for my cross-cultural experience and fell in love with the culture and the religious traditions there. My professors encouraged me to pursue my passions and helped me find the best way to follow all of my interests.

How has what you've learned prepared you for your future?

My courses have prepared me for graduate school and life as a global citizen in the future by being a perfect complement to Carroll's cross-cultural component. They have improved my communication skills and prepared me to be able to recognize and adapt to any culture or situation I will come across in a respectful manner in my future career.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

When I traveled on the Philosophies and Religions of Northern India trip I was able to develop a close relationship with both professors, Dr. Massimo Rondolino and Dr. Pascale Engelmajer. They both helped in my decision to change my major to pursue what I am passionate about rather than stay in my comfort zone in my previous major. They also both played a pivotal role in my decision to apply for a Pioneer Scholar project. which I worked on under the supervision of Dr. Engelmajer in the summer of 2017.

What's one unique experience you've had relating to the coursework for your major?

As part of both my Asian Religions class with Dr. Engelmajer and my World Philosophy class with Dr. Rondolino, the classes traveled to Oregon, Wisconsin, to hear a Tibetan Buddhist Geshe give a teaching on the Bodhicaryāvatāra in Deer Park Buddhist Center. We were able to ask questions we had about the text itself or anything else we were curious about. After this experience, we read a translation of the Bodhicaryāvatāra in our World Philosophy class and wrote our final papers on our choice of subjects pertaining to it.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you're learning in the classroom?

I have had the opportunity to fit a major and two minors in about five semesters due to the flexibility of my programs, so despite not declaring my new major until halfway through my second year, I am able to graduate in four years. I was part of a group of four students who traveled to South Carolina to attend an ethics symposium with our university chaplain. I am also still able to work in my community service work study position, where I have learned my passion for helping people, inspiring me to pursue a master's and future career in international social work, as well as participating in on-campus organizations.

If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?

I would tell them that Carroll may be known more for health science programs, but that we still have great faculty in all fields. I'd also point out that religious studies is a major that you can complete early or fit in with any of your other interests in the form of another major or minors. It challenges you but the amazing faculty will make sure to push you to be your best, but always be there to help if you need it. It is a small program, but that is why I believe it is so worthwhile.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

I am incredibly happy with my choice to attend Carroll University. I love the small class sizes and the personal attention I receive from my professors. They really get to know you and will send you links to articles that specifically would interest you or even invite you to join them when they are attending a book talk in your home state over a break! Downtown Waukesha is a major bonus being so close, with local businesses that love the college population, but you're never far from any bigger stores or restaurants you might want to go to as well.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would encourage anyone thinking about coming to Carroll to come and visit to see how beautiful our campus is and to experience it firsthand! Come sit in on a class to meet some students and any of our incredible professors to see for yourself how great it is to call Carroll home.

Learn more about the Religious Studies major

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