Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Alison Rasso

Headshot of Alison Rasso wearing a UMN sweatshirt in front of a campus building

Hometown: St. Charles, IL

Majors: Philosophy & Biology, Society, and Environment 

Minor: Public Health

Activities you are involved in: CLA Ambassador, Honors Ambassador, work in the Office of Undergraduate Education, Major Network Mentor, Nexus One Assistant

What is your favorite class that you took in CLA? Is there a professor that you particularly enjoyed working with? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

Dr. DeBruin is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and the director of the Center for Bioethics. I took a class with her my junior year, and she also served as my honors thesis advisor. She guided me through the thesis writing process, was there to answer questions, and was always so giving with her time. Dr. DeBruin prepared me for the next phase of life by teaching me a lot about the graduate school process and what that life is like as well as giving me the confidence to believe I can succeed at that level. 

Why is a liberal arts education important to you?

Being in CLA and getting a liberal arts education was/is important to me because it allowed me to change academic trajectory as my interests changed. When I started college, I tried really hard to convince myself that I wanted to be a physician. That meant I was focusing a lot on taking STEM classes even if I didn't necessarily enjoy them. 

Eventually I realized that I cared a lot more about the healthcare system and patients as a whole than I did about physiology and anatomy. I fell in love with the field of bioethics, and started taking a lot of philosophy courses, even adding it as a second major. A liberal arts education gave me the flexibility to explore that as an option, find my passion, and still graduate in three and a half years.   

What is your favorite study spot on campus?

I love places with natural light; it makes studying so much easier for me. My favorite spot is next to the fountain that's in the middle of Vincent and Murphy hall. 

Is there an app you hate but use anyways?

DoorDash or any other similar app. It's so overly expensive but so convenient.  

What's next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?

I'm deciding on where to go to grad school! I applied to master's of bioethics programs and am deciding between Columbia and Johns Hopkins. After that, I plan to go to law school and work towards becoming a clinical ethics consultant.

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