Forming a More Authentic Future
Senior Katie Sanders’ interdisciplinary curriculum has greatly inspired her future life goals
By Catherine Joy
Professor Terri Peretti (Political Science) says that senior Katie Sanders “may be the smartest student I have taught at Santa Clara over the last 30 years!” Peretti usually doesn’t allow sophomores to take her Constitutional Law course, but Sanders—as a sophomore—earned the highest point total in the class. She was even invited back as a guest lecturer for the class in a later quarter. Peretti elaborates, saying that “Katie is a brilliant student, with exceptional intelligence, analytical abilities, and communication skills, both written and oral.”
Sanders, who has a double major in Political Science and Philosophy, has earned abundant honors and awards, including making the Dean's List throughout her entire academic career at SCU, joining Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honors Society), and earning the Political Science department's Bernard Kronick Award for research and writing excellence in her quantitative methods paper. Additionally, Sanders has worked at SCU's HUB Writing Center, interned for a congressional representative, and served as a language arts teaching assistant for third to seventh grade students over several summers.
While Sanders has plans to eventually attend graduate school, she wants to live in a new city and gain life experience before embarking on more years of academia. Learn about her favorite courses, professors, and specific plans in the Q&A below!
What are some of your favorite classes you’ve taken at SCU?
While I've loved a lot of my courses, my favorite class that I've taken in the political science department is Constitutional Law with Terri Peretti. It was a really challenging but rewarding class, and we even got to do a Moot Court simulation! Constitutional Law also confirmed my belief that I want to be a lawyer, so I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to take that class as an undergrad. In the Philosophy department, my favorite class is either Ethics, Authenticity, Freedom, and Vocation with Professor Lawrence Nelson or Philosophy as a Way of Life with Professor Eric Yang. Both of these classes pushed me to question my values and goals in life and helped me form a more authentic vision of what I want for the future.
Do you have any favorite SCU professors?
Lawrence Nelson is my favorite Philosophy professor, and Terri Peretti is my favorite Political Science professor, although I've had so many amazing professors at Santa Clara that it's hard to choose. I've truly felt like the professors in each department genuinely care about their students and want to help them become better thinkers, writers, and people.
What are your post-graduate plans?
After graduation, I plan to study for and take the LSAT and then take a gap year or two to work before heading to law school. I want to try something totally new during this brief time off from academia, so as of right now, I'm planning to move to Austin, TX in the fall to work and gain some life experience!