I am originally from rural upstate New York and coming to Pittsburgh was a big change. Many of the other schools I looked at were small liberal arts schools scattered throughout New England. I chose Pitt because of the potential to do the BPhil degree, an opportunity other schools did not offer. In addition to working on a thesis research project, I chose Pitt because it had the resources and opportunities for me to conduct serious research at the undergraduate level.
As a freshman, I knew I wanted to do research in political science, but I wasn’t sure what area or specific topic I wanted to examine. From my first year at Pitt in 2009 and for the subsequent three years, I have taken advantage of the lectures, talks, social events, honors courses, and research opportunities provided by the University Honors College.
During my sophomore year, I began conducting independent research under the supervision of Andrew Lotz, a political theorist in the department of political science. With his guidance and assistance, I was able to obtain a research position in South Africa looking at how housing policy in the post-apartheid era relates to ideal moral theory.
Without the advising and mentoring, the extracurricular enrichment, and the research fellowships and grants, my BPhil research project would not have been possible. As a result of the support from the Honors College and the research I was able to conduct, I am now being considered for doctoral programs at major research universities across the country. As a senior, I am closer to attaining my ultimate goal of becoming a professor.