Samantha Brooks: Human Biology: while it is one major, allows for several different paths and opportunities. But we all are lucky enough to share in the lessons and relationships from our peers and professors that allow us to diverge and converge.
Francine Foldesi: Before coming to college, everyone told me that these next 4 years will fly by, and I was foolish enough to not believe them, as my time here went way too fast. Growing up, I didn’t always know I wanted to come to Indiana University, but I will be forever grateful I did. IU really is a special place, with a community unlike any I have experienced before. As a kid, I was always very into science with my sights set on medical school, so it was not hard for me to decide on the College of Arts and Sciences. When choosing a major, I was drawn to Human Biology because of the diverse classes that still allowed me to specialize in an area of study. I knew I chose the right major first semester freshman year when I took a bioanthropology class and fell in love with the subject that would eventually become my minor. I was constantly challenged and excited about my classes, and would often spend meals with Sammie recapping what I learned that day.
Samantha: For myself, my path to human biology and Indiana University at a whole differs from that of Fran’s, but nonetheless still a path I’m confident relates to several of you all. Coming from McLean, Virginia and knowing less than 5 people on campus, I felt extremely lost and overwhelmed when it came to the idea of picking a major- let alone choosing Indiana University in general. Coming to campus as a Freshman without yet declaring my major, I kind-of took the “trial and error” approach, jumping around to a few programs but never fully felt like my heart was in them. I knew I wanted to be in a program that enabled me to enter a people-centric profession and valued interpersonal growth through the curriculum. Upon becoming friends with Fran and sharing my goals with her she recommended I look into Human Bio as a major… and within the week I had switched to this path and happily stuck with it ever since.
Francine: Over the last 4 years, we have had the honor to get to work with and learn under some truly incredible people, and for that we could not be more thankful. The human biology professors are a group who are not only passionate about their work, but also about our growth as students and as people. They pushed us to think critically and there to answer every last question I had (there were many) with patience and compassion. We also had the pleasure of being in class and collaborating with all of you guys. These people have some of the most thought provoking questions and ideas that always impressed me. I can honestly say I enjoyed going to all my Human Bio classes, and not only learning from the professors, but also from you guys, so thank you for keeping it interesting. I have no doubt that you will all go on to do big things and spread goodness in the world, (while also being sustainable like Wasserman and Libby taught us)!
Samantha: Although we like to say we completed our Human Bio degrees together, personally one of my favorite parts of the program is the ability to explore and differentiate paths within the degree. Fran became passionate about anthropology, I became passionate about nutrition and psychology. Fran rooted herself on campus by holding exec positions in various organizations, and I was able to leave for a semester to study abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel. Human Biology allowed us to explore the strengths that we carry and apply them to the major in our own ways, and this value was definitely highlighted through the various opportunities for peer collaboration and learning within this program. Both HUBI 200 and 300 randomly assign teams for the semester of 5 students, who also share identities relatable to the experiences of Fran and I’s that incorporate backgrounds that
After graduation, our paths will split, but we will always have the shared experience here at IU. I will be going to DC and working at a market research firm, and Fran will be in Fort Wayne studying for the MCATS before DO school. Sharing similar coursework yet still being prepared to enter our respective fields is a true illustration of all the Human Biology program has taught us.
Francine: We all undoubtedly arrived where we are today in different ways. Sammie and I, for instance, while we are best friends that share the same major, had very different experiences in college. Graduation is an exciting milestone, so I hope that you all enjoy some time today to just take a deep breath and be proud of yourselves, because you deserve it! I know we would not all be here today without the support of our amazing parents, families, and friends, as well as our professors and advisors, so thank you all so much! I cannot imagine having done this at any other university! It definitely wasn’t always easy, but Class of 2019, we did it! Congratulations!