Core Profile: Jessica (Michael) Harrell ’04

Submitted by Web Communications on July 27, 2011

 

For me, the “requirement” to be well-balanced has served me well – I am more comfortable in a variety of situations than I would have been without the experiences of my Core classes.

Jessica (Michael) Harrell ’04

Hometown: Clifton Park, NY

Major: Chemistry & Biochemistry

Extracurricular: Peer tutoring, Church Choir, Theatre Fairfield, Community Service, Adopt-A-Grandparent, International Orientation/Ambassador Coordinator, SOS, Senior Service Trip to Ecuador, Senior Interviewer

Honors: ACS Chemisty Award, Presidential Scholarship, Alumni Student Achievement Award

academic intrigue

As a Chemistry major, the Core requirements enabled me to expand beyond the little world of Bannow to other aspects of education. I was so inspired by Dr. Curt Naser’s Philosophy class that I took another as an elective. Intrigued by Dr. Ellen Umansky’s Intro to Jewish Studies class, I met with her during office hours to delve more deeply into material. Captivated by Dr. Danke Li’s story and perspective, I engaged in readings and research outside the required texts for class to learn more. I also took an upper level Spanish class to continue my studies of the language, too. It was experiences like these that truly kept me balanced throughout my rigorous science focus and enabled me to consider topics outside my major.

career enhancement

I am currently teaching Physics in Newark, NJ at North Star Academy (part of the Uncommon Schools Network). My students benefit from the reality that I can help with nearly every one of their assignments from any class; from History to Spanish to Math to English class, I have the background required to assist them. Additionally, in the past I have taught middle school subjects outside my concentration (such as Writing), and I believe that part of the reason I was successful in these endeavors was the fact that my undergraduate education at Fairfield challenged me to learn a variety of subject matters.

everlasting lessons

For me, the “requirement” to be well-balanced has served me well – I am more comfortable in a variety of situations than I would have been without the experiences of my Core classes. I think I have also been exposed to ideas and perspectives that would not have come naturally to me, and these are lessons that are, clearly, “everlasting.”

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