Andrea Raffauf '09

How has your Hood education benefited you?

The education I received at Hood helped expand my views and opinions on life and world issues. Classes, such as those taught by Professor Reitman, showed me what was really going on in the world. My classes at Hood taught me to think outside the box and to really look at what was going on. They really helped me develop my own views and beliefs.

How did your time at Hood prepare you for the future?

The most beneficial experience for me at Hood was Professor Robinson’s psychology courses. They required so much more than simply memory; the information was more conceptual than factual. His teaching style forced me focus in on the key points in the lecture. He made me a better listener because I had to truly pay attention in order to do well in the class.

How did you find transition to graduate school?

The transition for me was more difficult than I anticipated because the graduate school I entered was on a quarter system. I had to not only transition to a new city, new school and new environment but also I had to transition to fitting a semester’s worth of material into 10 weeks.

Did you decide your major right away?

I knew I was going to major in psychology from the start, actually since I was about 13 years old. I never wavered from that decision and I don’t regret it either. Looking back, I wish I had added a minor, maybe in sociology.

What is your favorite memory of Hood?

My favorite memory of Hood is that of the friendships I made while I was there. The last two years I lived in the off-campus apartments, so rather than go home between classes we would all sit in Whitaker. Whether we were doing homework or just talking, it was such a fun time and a great way to keep in touch with the campus even though I wasn’t living in the residence halls.

Who were your mentors at Hood?

My faculty adviser was Professor Boyle in the psychology department. He, as well as the other psychology faculty, were awesome role models. Also, Professor Ensel was a great mentor. When I got accepted into two graduate schools and couldn’t decide which one to choose, she really helped me realize which school was the better fit. I truly appreciated her words of wisdom at that time.

What is your opinion on the value of a Hood education?

Hood wasn’t the type of school that had all these “throw-away” elective classes to take. While that made it difficult sometimes, it really showed students that Hood values education: we weren’t given the opportunity to waste our time and faculty resources on “easy” classes simply to get As outside of our major. It sets Hood apart from many of the large state schools.

What is your opinion on the value of a liberal arts education?

I recently was going through old notebooks and found one from a course in the history and theories of psychology with Professor Robinson my senior year. I noticed that in the margins of my class notes, I wrote down quotes from Professor Robinson. And one has stuck with me. He said, “An education is liberal when it liberates.” For me, my overall experience at Hood, in and out of class, was liberating. It opened my eyes and expanded my horizons in every way possible and made me a better person.

What would you say to students applying to Hood?

Don’t take it for granted. Make friends with your professors—they are an incredible resource that far too often goes untapped. To this day I still think back to my professors and what they taught me. Having professors that are so accessible is something very valuable that Hood offers.

What role has your Hood education played in your career?

My education at Hood helped me get into graduate school. I just graduated in June 2011 with a master’s degree in forensic psychology. Hood shaped the person that I am today.

Why did you choose to attend Hood College?

Hood stood apart from all the other schools. It was charming and welcoming, and I felt at home immediately. I can remember stepping onto campus and knowing that it just felt right.