Howdy everybody, and welcome to the College of Liberal Arts!!
I know it’s already the end of week three and you all have already started getting into your routines and such but don’t engrave them in stone just yet. Our lovely college has so much to offer and it isn’t limited by what degree you’re interested in. One of the great things about the Liberal Arts in general is how much all the fields of study feed into each other. For example you could memorize as many dates as you could fit into your brain in your history class however what happened in those historical moments might not stick unless you understand what kinds of things were happening in that societal or cultural setting.
Not just the knowledge is interdisciplinary though; many of the CLA’s professors and instructors combine knowledge and theories from their areas of studies and combine it with knowledge or theories from other areas in the Liberal arts, or vice versa.
One of my favorite examples of this is Dr. Patti Watkins in the School of Psychological studies. She is a Clinical Health psychologist, one of many branches of psychology and has more recently been focusing on Body image disorders. In both her teaching and research she has combined her psychological background and has incorporated a Womens studies approach to body disorders. This is shown in a class she recently developed and is teaching, Women, Weight & Body Image.
Dr. Watkins is not the only professor that does this though. It is actually part of your Bacc Core requirements to take a Synthesis Class which combines at least two areas of study outside your major. Gender and Science (WS 340) is a class I am taking this term that fits into the synthesis category. The class focuses on how gender and inequality are shown in scientific literature, methods and theories.
Interdisciplinary studies and research are not just limited to the Liberal Arts; all fields of study rely in some way on another area. So if you are an engineering major interested in research on foreign politics or a Women’s studies major (such as myself) interested in Oceanic Animal Behavior Studies, don’t be afraid to take a class outside of your major, talk to a professor about research opportunities, go abroad and study an international perspective, get a work study job in a lab, and the list goes on. What is really important is that you take opportunities of diversifying your Oregon State experience and make your education the best it can be.
SO don’t settle into the study, class, eat, sleep routine just yet. Go talk to a professor, look at classes for next term and utilize the opportunity for interdisciplinary learning opportunities with professors, their research, classes and perspectives so that your college experience can be the best it can be.