Caitlin Battey '15

How has a Hood education benefitted you?

My Hood education leads to me constantly challenging both the environment around me and myself. The professors and staff of Hood College instilled the importance of critical thinking and originality in academia.

How did your time at Hood prepare you for your graduate coursework or career?

Hood entirely changed the way I looked at the world. I was encouraged to look for unique solutions to ordinary problems- it is this mindset that prepared me for the fast pace and challenges of the professional world in Washington, D.C.

How did you find the transition?

It was a whirlwind! I turned in my last final, packed my apartment while enjoying a few days of senior week, and was in training in the office before graduation had even occurred. I started in D.C. just a few days after graduation. I will say though, graduation and leaving Hood was challenging for me especially after the dust and excitement settled. I didn’t realize how much I valued the Hood community and city of Frederick until I was no longer there anymore. The transition is tough but the opportunities offered to you really are endless. It’s terribly cliché to say, but the world really is your oyster.

Did you participate in extracurricular activities?

Extracurriculars really were the key to my success at Hood. It was in student organizations that I gained the confidence to voice my opinion and pursue my passions. I also gained valuable skills that are essential for working in the professional world like managing multiple projects, participating appropriately in meetings, and an ability to collaborate with different personality types and leadership styles.

Did you decide on your major right away?

I went into Hood knowing that I wanted to study Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. After a bumpy start in Arabic 101 I did complete the program and ended up being asked to write a departmental honors thesis with Dr. Wright. While I didn’t change majors I did consider it several times; biology and environmental policy were strong contenders for a while in my sophomore year. I didn’t change majors but I did pick up a second major in spring of my sophomore year; I added sociology to my transcript after taking sociology 101 with Dr. Reitman and becoming fascinated by the impact that socially constructed concepts impact everyday life.

What is your favorite memory of Hood?

There are so many! I always loved the beginning of the school year with move in and convocation- there was just such an air of anticipation and excitement in the air on campus. Then in my sophomore year I organized the SGA’s largest ever team for the Heartly House’s event, “Walk A Mile”; President Volpe, Chuck Mann, Dr. Coon, and several other faculty members participated! I will always have extremely fond memories of the time I spent with my roommates and mentors throughout my senior year as we all finally started to relish the opportunities and experiences we collected over the years in Frederick.

Who was your mentor at Hood?

I’m so grateful for the guidance and friendship I was able to gain from the staff and faculty at Hood; so many people at Hood College touched my life. Dean White, Melanie Eyler, and Reverend Beth O’Malley had huge impacts on my personal life and encouraged me to pursue my passions. Dr. Donald Wright, Dr. Kerry Strand, Dr. Paige Eager, and Chuck Mann always challenged me in the classroom demanding that I always produce a quality product and never accepted anything less than what they believed was my best.

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

A Hood education is incredibly valuable as it provides a unique take on the standard liberal arts education by providing a seemingly constant stream of events both on and off campus to enhance the student experience. I wouldn’t have wanted to begin my academic path at any other institution.

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

A liberal arts education is incredibly important. There are parts of this style of education that should be mirrored in every institution. Hood impresses the importance of being a well-rounded academic upon all its students. I believe that the communication of this concept is what gives Hood’s students a thirst for knowledge.

What would you say to students applying to Hood?

I would tell them that it went too quickly and at the same time took too long. I would encourage these students to enjoy the little things that Hood College and the Hood community offers her students because truthfully, in the end, you come to realize that the little things are the big things and have had the largest impact on you. I would also tell them that supporting Memorial Hall is the only option when participating in any residence life competition, that Ms. Pat makes the best omelets in the state of Maryland, and that no one likes the student who picks a different seat in every class.

What role has your Hood education played in your career?

This measure of the impact Hood has had on me must be labeled as “to be determined”. As I have mentioned before, Hood challenged me to set limitless goals and expectations for myself. My time at Hood College truly made me believe that my peers and I are capable of remarkable things that cannot and should not be limited, defined, or determined by anyone other than ourselves.

Why did you choose to attend Hood College?

I chose Hood because of the Middle Eastern Studies department, the scholarship opportunities, and the way I felt when I saw the four columns of Alumnae Hall when I drove up the Hood College Drive for the first time.