College of Arts & Science at Miami University
"The Miami I Carry with Me"
(with Whittney Barth, January 2012)
A full text transcript of the video is available below.
(Whittney Barth (Miami, '08) graduated magna cum laude with majors in American studies and comparative religion and with a minor in political science. Whittney participated in the University Honors Urban Leadership Program (Chicago) and University Honors in Comparative Religion. In 2011 she earned her Master of Divinity from the Harvard Divinity School. In this video she reflects on her Miami experience and talks about what it's like to return to campus. Ms. Barth talks about her majors and minor in a video on the American Studies website.)
"When someone asks me about my experience at Miami, the first thing that always comes to mind is the relationship between professors and students and how engaged professors are in the lives of students and how much they really care about the ways in which students learn and how their experiences outside the classroom impact what they bring into the classroom as well. I think that kind of a focus—an interdisciplinary focus—is such a key piece of my experience, and it's something that I carried with me to graduate school and into my professional life as I mentor students as well.
"Coming back to campus as an alumna, it's been really exciting for me to see how the campus has changed and how it's growing and taking into account the whole student as a learner and as someone who is developing their own sense of self-identity as well as professional identity. And I think that's a really encouraging trend to see Miami in that vein and in that work.
"One course that I never expected that I would take with me from Miami—that would be so meaningful in my life—was field botany. I loved field botany because I was outside, studying trees, learning about trees, learning about the world in which we live, in a way that I had never really done before. And it allowed me to see not only the importance of understanding the world around us, from the very basic elements of life and the things that we're surrounded by every day but also to recognize that everything has a story as well.
"And each time that I think about that class it brings a smile to my face because, as a humanities major, I never would have thought that field botany would be the place that I carry with me, but it certainly has been a formative piece of my Miami experience. "