April Xiaoyi Xu '18

April Xiaoye Xu '18

Prior to coming here to Pomona College, I had very limited exposure to the realm of politics. Having taken a few classes here, I find the subject fascinating because the theories I learn are not only thought-provoking on their own, but also connect well with other academic disciplines that I am concurrently exploring and campus-wide events such as talks, which are all parts of my liberal arts education. I also chose the major because of the all-star faculty members in the department, many of whom are leading scholars in their specific areas of study. In addition, the major leaves much flexibility: It does not dictate which courses students have to take, and only requires nine classes for the major while offering a clear structure with the subfield requirements. This leaves much room for us to engage with other academic fields in order to maximize the benefits of a liberal arts education.

Auzzie Sheard '16

Auzzie Sheard '16

Why did I major in politics? Well, coming into Pomona, the one major I was not considering, along with math, was politics. In the small rural area where I am from, smart people became doctors and politics was just Democrats vs Republicans. Those myths began to dissolve right away. My first politics class, Comparative Politics, was intriguing and challenging. I loved that it felt like a bio course on natural selection, but instead of reading about animals, we were reading about states. It was captivating to read about how states came to acquire their systems of governance and finally understand why there was a Cold War. After that, politics was like an itch I had to scratch and the major became an obvious choice. How else could I have gotten to analyze the contemporary institutional ramifications of colonial legacies and imagine the various ways this world could look?

Wes Haas '15

The first Politics Department class that I took at Pomona College was Law and Politics with Professor Hollis-Brusky, which is a class normally reserved for seniors but I decided to take it my first semester of my first year in college. This wasn’t due to any personal ambition; I was simply unaware that there were prerequisites. It was one of the most demanding classes I’ve ever taken, but I’m glad it was my introduction to the Politics Department because it forced me to develop the skills necessary to be a Pomona College politics major. In that class (and every subsequent politics class I’ve taken), I’ve learned how to read more books in a month than I thought was ever possible; how to critically and synthetically develop arguments that are based in philosophy, statistics, literature and a breadth of other studies; and most recently, how to pursue my own independent study. One of the features of being a politics major is that it serves as an excellent supplement to other majors such as International Relations, Economics, Gender and Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, and Media Studies just to name a few. Most politics majors also have a wide variety of study abroad programs to choose from that fit the major requirements, which for many is a defining experience of a Pomona College education.