vanessa.jpgAn update from Vanessa, a senior majoring in public policy and economics, with minors in political science and philosophy, who is investigating why strict scrutiny was never applied to gender discrimination cases in the Supreme Court:

For the past weekend I’ve been trying to figure out how to appropriately sum up the events of this past week and my reactions and reflections regarding them. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one can truly understand how much every one of us pulled away from this trip because everything about it made it unique and indescribable.

People have asked me, “How was D.C.?” and wonder how I thought it was so incredible despite our lack of tourist time. But I think the opportunity to be true scholars, the chance to do something most people don’t do until they get their doctorates (if even then) do at the ages and places we are in our undergrad career is something we all were able to cherish. We all explain it as us having the same amounts of “nerdiness,” but in all honesty, in my last semester of college, for the first time I finally was able to find a group that truly shared the same enthusiasm for academics as I do. The encouragement and development of our academic interests by Dr. Kobylka made all the difference.

I now look forward to pulling everything together and putting together a paper from the plethora of information I found in the Library of Congress; half the battle is done, but a large part of the evaluation of this trip still remains to be completed. The challenge to produce something amazing is irresistible. I realize every semester I get so caught up with work, family, and life, that I tend to get blindsided by the end of the semester. So much has gone into this, I feel I could work on this paper over and over for the next few years. Research like what we did this past week is what fosters passions in academics, and I am incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity.