Religion Department Outstanding Senior Major Award
This year the Department’s Outstanding Senior Major Award was presented to two graduating students, Gina Blacutt and Andrew McCue.
Gina, who is from Manassas, Virginia, is a double major in Religion and Philosophy. Regarding her work in the Religion Department, she notes: “In the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed great company and conversation as a member of Religion Club, which provided me with a casual environment in which to explore a wide range of topics in the discipline. I’ve also taken courses with most of the department’s current professors, each of whom has been influential in helping me navigate my broader concerns and addressing them more lucidly. My immediate plans following graduation include restoring my abysmal Vitamin D. levels, shopping for books I now actually have time to read, and heading to the D.C. metropolitan area to explore my networking potential. I plan to continue engaging with the study of religion outside the classroom, specifically with regards to my interests in the sociology and globalization of South Asian religious traditions. Once I discover that I’m fully-funded and given a livable stipend I just might head to grad school, where I may develop my philosophical leanings and background in religion into a wealth of knowledge to be rewarded with tenure—I’m sure—in due time.”
Andrew, who comes from Manchester, Massachusetts, is a double major in Religion and French, and a summa cum laude graduate of the Honors College; he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Reflecting on his future plans and work in Religion, he observes: “My immediate future involves a relaxing summer before I head down to North Carolina to work on a small organic farm for 8 months. I'm hoping this will not only give me a chance to catch my breath from the world of academia, it will also hopefully teach me a thing or two about ethical food production. Afterwards, I hope to work on changing our food systems to make them more equitable, environmentally friendly, and healthy. As a religion major, I've loved learning about tensions, paradoxes, and contradictions in religious thought and practice as well as how they are interpreted or enacted to serve real human needs. In my free time I greatly enjoy biking, skiing, and sailing, as well as cooking and baking.”