Meet a Major: Nicki Barrett

Nicki BarrettHometown: Wooster, Ohio
Major: Religion, with a minor in history
Graduation: May 2016

After graduation: Wants to work on engagement and outreach for a Jewish community; is considering rabbinical school

"I'm gaining a broader understanding of cultures... I'm able to come to situations from another perspective."

Why did you decide to major in religion?

When I came to Miami, I was undecided about my major. I took a few religion classes here and there, and felt the religion department gave me a good understanding of the world.

This major is different: it's not about checking boxes to fulfill predetermined requirements. It's about finding courses that really interest you. The department offers a large variety of courses, plus I've been able to pick courses from other departments to fill requirements for the religion major.

Professors in this department want to see students succeed; they're willing to go out of their way to help with that.

What have been your best experiences in the major?

My capstone research project is studying Reform Jewish communities' response to the Vietnam War. I've been traveling to Cincinnati, using the American Jewish archives at Hebrew Union College. Through this project, I've learned a lot about archival work.

Right now, I'm in a research seminar with Dr. French. There are 8 students. We think in depth about subjects I would have never learned about without this course. I'm using this research seminar to critique and expand on my work.

How has studying religion prepared you for a career?

I have an extensive background in Judaism, but I've learned how to interact with people of other religions as well. I'm gaining a broader understanding of cultures. By learning how other people think and look at things, I'm able to come to situations from another perspective.