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Pacific Humanities Scholars Program
Ray Rennard, Ph.D.
Director of Pacific Humanities Scholars Program, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Humanities Scholars Alumni

As with any academic program, the true measure of our success is our ability to produce professionals who are ready and willing to take on the world beyond Pacific's classrooms. Whether they have moved on to graduate school or are already taking steps to forge their own career, our alumni serve as a true tribute to the impact that the Humanities Scholars Program aims to produce. Whether their paths have led them into publishing or writing, business or education, it is an honor to have such strong, driven, and accomplished individuals representing our legacy. 

Class of 2017

Ashley ColomboAshley Colombo

For several years, I've been planning to apply my degree in English to becoming a game writer. Shortly after graduation, I was offered a position as a Customer Support Representative at the mobile game company TinyCo. We make some really neat mobile games based on popular franchises, like Marvel's Avengers or Harry Potter. As part of our Community team, my job is to interact directly with our players, answering their questions, listening to their feedback, and helping fix any problems they have with their games. This has been my first step into the gaming industry so far, and while I never expected it to come so soon after graduation, I've been having a blast doing it. My hope is that this job will enable me to learn more about what work in the gaming industry entails, and with any luck I'll be creating games of my own in the future.

Honestly, I don't think I'd even be the same person I am now without the Scholars. I came out of my shell so much in the three years I spent as a Humanities Scholar, and it was their encouragement and support that set me on the path to becoming a game writer in the first place. They challenged me every day to be my best self and come up with new, creative ideas whenever I could. The humanities taught me to be more conscious of other perspectives and more empathetic in my interactions with them. I grew as a writer, a friend, and a person because I had so many incredible people around me that I could rely on. The Humanities Scholars were and are the found family I never knew I could have, and college wouldn't have been the same without them. The impact of the humanities surrounds everything I do, and I'm forever thankful I was able to dive into them so deeply as a student.

Kathryn ElliottKathryn Elliott

Just over a month after graduating from Pacific with a self-designed major in Culture and Identity Studies, I was hired as a marketing specialist for Sciton, a company that produces medical lasers. Currently I work editing medical papers for publication, converting scientific and medical jargon into marketable text, creating marketing materials for a variety of products, and conducting research on products by Sciton's competitors. Eventually, I hope to secure a permanent position as a marketing coordinator or copywriter. Even in the field of marketing, the humanities continue to encourage me to think critically about how our company represents itself through the written word. It emphasizes the necessity of using good storytelling and efficient communication to make yourself appealing to a customer, just as you would an audience.

The Pacific Humanities Scholars helped me get where I am because it taught me that there is still a place for the humanities in a world that increasingly emphasizes STEM disciplines. It helped show me that many fields do value the liberal arts, sometimes in ways that are not immediately apparent. The program also helped me become a more competitive candidate for jobs like the one I hold now, as it encouraged me to excel academically and push beyond my comfort zone. Within and beyond the workplace, the humanities are fundamental to who I am as a person because they allow me to express myself personally and professionally.

Alex GerberickAlex Gerberick

When I started my degree at Pacific, I didn't quite know what direction I wanted to take academically. My decision to major in Marketing only emphasized the importance of the Humanities Scholars Program to my undergraduate education. The foundation of knowledge that I gained in Humanities Scholars seminars provided me with writing skills, interpersonal relationships, and a sense of empathy that I carried with me throughout my college experience and into the workplace.

Shortly after graduation, I was offered a position as the Marketing and Communications Director at Martin Ranch Winery. My daily responsibilities include developing content for social media and print materials, executing email campaigns, and maintaining our relationships with customers. As the winery looks to expand, I can't wait to employ new marketing techniques to gain new customers and increase sales. In the future, I am interested in planning my own Marketing Consulting business. As I continue to make progress in my career, I am consistently grateful for my background in the humanities and the skills that accompany it, and I am excited to continue applying them to make a strong and unique contribution to my field.

Kathryn Harlan-GranKathryn Harlan-Gran

The Humanities Scholars Program was initially what drew me to Pacific. I was enchanted by the idea of being surrounded by students and faculty who shared similar passions and aspirations while simultaneously being exposed to a diverse array of new ideas and unique perspectives. As a double major in English and Spanish, I'm incredibly grateful for the academic environment that Pacific's humanities departments foster. The small class sizes and personal relationships with my professors allowed me to nurture my interests and participate actively in my education, transforming me from a student into a scholar. Since graduating, I have remained on campus working as an Administrative Assistant with the Scholars program and as a writing mentor for Pacific's Student Writing Center. In the fall I will be attending graduate school to obtain my PhD in English Literature, with a focus on American Cultural Studies. 

Ever since I was a child, my greatest aspirations have been to teach and to write. Becoming a college professor will empower me to make an impact on students' lives while also contributing to the very scholarship that informs curriculum nationwide. Education is an incredible leveler-a good instructor is capable of positioning students from disparate backgrounds, circumstances, and interests on an even playing field. By working in academia, I hope to facilitate this leveling through both research and pedagogy, producing scholarship that breaks down and reconstructs mainstream expectations to recenter marginalized voices. This is how I understand the power of the humanities: they offer us the tools to provide a compassionate, thorough, and humanized educational experience for the next generation of scholars and citizens. 

Class of 2016

Jessie George

Jessie George

The Humanities Scholars Program was one of the largest parts of what made my undergraduate experience so wonderful. As a graduate student, I find myself surrounded by the humanities constantly, and frequently find myself discussing subjects to which I was initially introduced as a Scholar. The Scholars Program broadened my mind to new cultures and perspectives, exposed me to new literature and art, and gave me a more in-depth understanding of the space that the humanities occupy within the world.

As an undergraduate, I was a self-designed major seeking to explore the intersections of Theater, Literature, and Film; as a graduate student at Northeastern University, I am studying College Student Development and Counseling. Beginning last year, I have been collaborating with one of my professors to plan and implement a research project focused on mental health in college students. Ultimately, I hope to be involved with Student Activities, Greek Life, or Title IX Work in universities. There are many possibilities within the field of Student Affairs so I am still exploring my options for future careers, but I am so thankful to the Humanities Scholars Program for offering me a foundation. I think this program has been so beneficial to all who are part of it and I love watching it grow stronger every year!

Emily OlsonEmily Olson

As a graduate student at University of Oregon, I am still coming to appreciate the full extent to which the Humanities Scholars Program helped to shape me as a thinker, a writer, and a citizen. At Pacific, I majored in English and Pre-Law, but being a Humanities Scholar pushed me to broaden my education even further. I am now studying Journalism, and each day I find myself questioning the value of my career in modern society. In the end, I always return to what I learned as a Humanities Scholar: that good storytelling has the power to shape the world.

The Humanities Scholars Program gave me the courage to pursue journalism in a time when society needs strong journalists (and journalism needs strong voices) more than ever. I am proud to say that my experience as a Humanities Scholar not only put me on the path I walk today, but continues to shape where my journey will go next. 

Greg ShinGreg Shin

After graduating with a major in Philosophy and a double minor in English and Chinese, I surprised my peers by turning down an acceptance to law school. My hope was to get my feet wet in the working world, though many of my colleagues criticized this decision and questioned where a degree in philosophy would take me. However, my major had taught me how to take a step back and observe the bigger picture. The skills I learned in the Humanities Scholars program  at Pacific helped me to emerge as a leader, thinking outside the box while using my unique analytical perspectives to excel in the professional world. 

I spent my first year after graduation working for MRC Xerox doing sales for outsourcing IT and software/hardware solutions. During that time, I was promoted twice, was honored with the Rookie of the Year award, and developed the company's first ever sales internship program. Shortly thereafter, I was recruited by ADP to join their 401k division, and I obtained licenses in FINRA Series 6 and Series 63 to become a licensed mutual fund and 401k wholeseller. By 2020, I hope to be pursuing my MBA. My experiences in the Scholars program and in leadership positions at Pacific distinguished me as a leader no matter what environment I enter. My education shaped me to excel in the working world, and every year I find myself excited for what's in store! 

Sarah YungSarah Yung

The Humanities Scholars Program was absolutely instrumental both in securing the achievements that I attained at Pacific and structuring my future endeavors. I am now a second-year Masters of Fine Arts Candidate in Creative Writing at The New School in New York City. In my first year of graduate school, I interned at HarperCollins Children's Books, and this year I am the Editorial and Marketing Intern for Tor Teen, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. I can honestly say that without the influence of the Scholars Program I likely would not be here. The advice, assistance, and compassion from my professors at Pacific fortified my efforts to pursue goals that I had previously considered unattainable. 

As an undergraduate, I was an English and Film Studies double major with minors in Chinese and Gender Studies. The Humanities Scholars Program offered me the resources and support I needed to intern with a national fashion journalism company, to study abroad, and to participate in numerous excursions that would become some of my fondest memories of university. More than that, the Scholars Program aided me in cultivating some of the closest friendships that I had at UOP, friendships spanning years and disciplines and connecting me with people with whom I never would have come in contact otherwise. Ultimately, the Humanities Scholars Program has left an indelible mark upon my character and my career path alike, and I am overwhelmingly grateful that I was given the opportunity to be a Humanities Scholar.