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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Ariel Rawson Ariel Rawson

By Degrees - Ariel Rawson

Questions for Ariel Rawson, Honors Program student

Hometown: San Francisco

Major: Interdisciplinary studies

You created a major that combines the study of psychology, anthropology and international studies and conflict resolution (ISCOR). Why?

It’s exciting for me to describe my major because it is so representative of my interests. Combining three complementary areas of study allows a holistic approach to problem-solving in a world where single subject explanations and solutions simply don’t work.

How has the Honors Program made a difference in your education?

In addition to providing student support that helps you get to the top, the Honors Program offers interdisciplinary seminars—small classes led by passionate teachers who foster dialogue and interactive learning. This is a rarity in public universities, where funding cuts have increased mainstream class sizes.  

The Honors Program also encourages community outreach and volunteer work, doesn’t it?

That’s true. Through the International Rescue Committee, I work in ESL classes at Crawford High School. Mainly, I converse with immigrants to help improve their English language skills. I also took part last spring in the Hillel of San Diego alternative spring break program, helping to build homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. My paying job involves tutoring students at De Portola Middle School through a grant designed to help children of military families whose math education has been disrupted by frequent relocation.

Who on campus has been most influential in your life?

Michelle Lopez, former adviser for the Honors Program and current adviser for the College of Sciences students bound for Ph.D. programs.  She provided the guidance I needed to find a major that would accommodate my unconventional goals. She has also recommended prestigious opportunities, such as the Fulbright Program, which I plan to apply for after graduation.