Student Success Stories:
Meet some UVM liberal arts majors below who are pursuing careers they never imagined when they began their academic journey in the College of Arts and Sciences. These are just a few examples of CAS graduates who, with the expert mentoring from their faculty scholar/teachers, gained vital analytical, critical thinking and communication skills and applied them to rewarding--and sometimes unexpected--careers.
Anthropologist/Marketer Tyler Wilkinson-Ray ’13
A typical day at the office for Tyler Wilkinson-Ray ’13 might involve standing in knee-deep snow on a 40 -degree slope while keeping a video camera steady in subzero temperatures. It's part of the quest to capture a few seconds of action—perhaps a skier suddenly flying over the lip of a jump—at just the right angle. Not typical, perhaps, for a global studies major with a concentration in anthropology. But Wilkinson-Ray says his experience at UVM was integral to his work making short documentaries and commercial films. “You can find a lot of people with nice equipment and an education in filmmaking who don’t necessarily know how to tell a story,” he says. “The reality is, you can learn how to use equipment by just experimenting. What’s harder is to create convincing narratives. The social science background I had at UVM was essential to that.” His corporate clients include heavyweights in the outdoor apparel industry including Patagonia and Columbia.
Biologist/Illustrator Meg Sodano ’01
Before becoming a natural science illustrator, Meg Sodano '01 spent her undergraduate years focused on pre-veterinary studies at UVM. Years later, seeking a way to weave biology into her artistic roots, she received illustration training and a certificate in natural science illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Now she spends her time drawing animals and their environments. “I am reminded daily that I couldn’t be the illustrator I am now had I not first learned how the process of science. I cannot imagine a more rewarding way to make my contribution to science.”
Philosopher/Attorney Rachel Wertheimer ’93
“As a high school senior, my academic interests – to the extent I had any – were in politics and current events. I followed elections; I attended protests. I assumed I would be a political science major. However, after deciding to attend UVM, I fell into philosophy instead. It was the best non-decision I ever made. I considered (and momentarily pursued) an academic career in philosophy because I had so enjoyed studying it at UVM. But academia is not for everyone, and I learned quickly that it was not for me. I realized that what was rewarding to me about philosophy was not actually answering the 'big questions,' but the process philosophers used to get there. I decided to go into the law. From my first day of law school, and through my almost 15 years of practice, I have applied the tools I learned as a philosophy student, and I get much the same pleasure applying those tools to my legal work as I did applying those tools in my studies.”