Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Sabina Berg

Sabina Berg smiles at the camera wearing a graduation gown and cap

Hometown: Lakeville, MN

Major: Political Science 

Minor: Sociology

Activities you are involved in: Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program (DURP) in the Department of Political Science

Did you participate in any student organizations, Learning Abroad programs, research or internship opportunities, or other related experiences? How have you learned from them?

Outside of DURP, I was a research assistant for a semester. I worked on Professor Sarbahi's project in the political science department during both. These experiences have been very rewarding. During freshman year, I never would have thought that I would end up working on research. I used to put myself in a box as someone who was bad at math and science, but I've found that deconstructing that mindset gave me opportunities I never would have taken otherwise. 

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?

My favorite classes were POL 3085 - Quantitative Analysis in Political Science with Professor Sumner, and SOC 4162 - Criminal Procedure in American Society with Professor Samaha. Both of these professors were very kind, helpful, and made class interesting. 

In POL 3085, I did a research project studying personality traits of people who supported the death penalty. We learned how to use RStudio in this class and how to conduct and write a Large-N research project. This class paved the way for me getting a job as a research assistant and taught me things that I would have never attempted to learn myself.

SOC 4162 was a Zoom class where we discussed cases and learned more about criminal court. Because I hope to go into law, this class was very valuable to me. Professor Samaha facilitated productive and interesting discussions which allowed me to think about the law in different ways. 

If you could go back and give your first-year self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Everyone says this, but it's still important. I would tell myself not to be scared to talk to people! Make an effort to introduce yourself to people in the dorms and join student groups. Remember that everyone is just as nervous as you in their first year! Some just don't show it as much. 

What is your favorite study spot on campus?

The basement of Wilson Library near the coffee shop or the Starbucks in the Graduate Hotel! 

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

Right now I'm in the process of applying to law school! Before that, I will be taking a gap year to work and save up some money while also taking a little break from school. If I find the time, I would also like to do a bit of traveling during my gap year.

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