Friday, January 30, 2015

Hi I'm Izzy!


I grew up in a small town called Amesbury in Massachusetts. You've probably never heard of it but it's next to Hampton Beach to put it in perspective. I lived in Plymouth for my first three years of school but now I live in Gilford right on Lake Winnipesaukee with my loving boyfriend Brad.
Scuba diving in Key West
I work at a marina right down the street from me and thrive in the sunshine when it's not -20 degrees out. In the winter I hide in blankets and watch Netflix mostly, and sulk outside to get to the gym. But during the warmer months I am unstoppable; rock climbing, scuba diving, sailing, beaching, running, hiking, etc. I love to be outside, and live in the perfect location for it.

Beach bouldering in Jupiter, FL (Photo cred to Brad Reep)
 When I first got to PSU, I was majoring in Meteorology. In fact, I suffered through 3 years of it. I say suffer because I hated it, but was afraid to "give it up." It was hard, but not impossible. I just ended up losing interest in what I thought I loved for a number of reasons. When I finally decided to make a change, I went to Robin for help (thanks!) and she helped me transition into IS. My major now is Scientific Communication, and since I did 3 years in hard science I am doing my senior year currently in mostly communication classes. I also ended up with a Technical Mathematics minor along the way.

Climbing in Rumney (Photo cred Andrew Pohl)
Interdisciplinarity, to me, is all about being able to combine multiple areas of knowledge by integrating them together. Pursuing IS is one of the best things that has ever happened to me because I feel free to use multiple interests and areas of information to create something that will be useful to exactly me specifically and what I want to do. I feel like I was able to customize my future instead of trying to fit into a cookie-cutter predetermined path to follow, and that excites me. I've become a more versatile member of society by being able to functionally communicate and know a lot about science. This provides me with opportunities to communicate science to people who don't understand it, or have a scientific job that requires a lot of communication.

Right now I'm not sure where my BS will take me, but I've been looking into Medical Technology lately, so we'll see where that goes. I can be a doctor without actually being a doctor, and the constant hands on activity and interesting interactions sounds really exciting to me.

New Years (Photo cred Patty Manning)
My best friends (our trivia team is Kitten Mittens)
Hiking Mt.Major (Photo cred Brad Reep)
Climbing Canon Mt., Whitney Gilman Ridge (Photo cred Jon Raymond)


p.s. Sorry for the day late submission! Because of the snow my flight from Florida got delayed two days and my connection flight got delayed in between and I've been traveling nonstop but I'm finally back!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hi Everyone!

Hi, I'm Catrina Wade. I'm from Biddeford, Maine. I have a passion for cheerleading and I've been doing it for 14 years now. I cheer on the PSU cheerleading club. I am in the multi field option of the IS program. My major is Pre-Physical Therapy. I was previously in the athletic training program and it just wasn't a good fit for me. I decided that physical therapy was a better option for me, but PSU does not have a PT program so I talked to advisor about IS. IS intrigued me because I could focus on classes from multiple disciplines that will all come together in my career. I believe IS is taking all of the relevant information from multiple fields to create something that will help you get a diverse education. I believe that more majors should have An interdisciplinary feel to them. It gives more of a complete education from  all different perspectives. After receiving my IS degree from PSU. I plan to go to graduate school in Maine and obtain my doctorate degree. I want to be a physical therapist in Maine, working in nursing homes.

Plymouth State University Cheerleading takes Daytona Beach at College Nationals 2013

So what exactly is Gender Studies?

That is the question that usually proceeds after telling someone what I'm studying in school.  I both smile and cringe at the question since it is an opportunity to spark conversation or leave them just as clueless as they were before asking.  As people living in a society that finds comfort in binaries (one or the other) this may be an area of academia (and thought!) that can appear a little fuzzy for some.  I mean, look at all of the thoughts, ideas, and theories that create this area of study:

Seriously, I get overwhelmed on the daily! To make it a little less fuzzy for us all, Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that is devoted to gender identity and gender representation as the center of analysis. It is the most beautiful blend of women's studies, history, sociology, psychology, and literature are girl could ask for! Almost every course I have taken thus far has incorporated knowledge about social obstacles that humans have faced or are still facing today. It is knowledge that makes me question the way I use language, how I interpret the idea of gender, and our own nations' state of equality. That is why I find it so fascinating!  To fuse my passion for social change/justice in with academics is an Interdisciplinary match made in heaven!

My interest for positive change began in Algonquin Regional High School in a suburban Massachusetts town where I attended my first Gay-Straight Alliance meeting. Though the group wasn't well organized and meetings usually consisted of listening to show tunes, I was thrown into a whole new world.  It was a world were I first learned about the tragic discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people faced and in the process of my own self-discovery, I wanted to create change somehow.  After coming out as gay just before entering university, my eagerness to educate others on LGBT issues was vibrant.  Once I started at Plymouth State in 2011, I joined PSU Pride and became involved with the S.A.G.E. Center. I had found a cause that was so important to me but my major didn't match my growing inclinations.  Don't get me wrong, Psychology is vastly interesting but reading about Sigmund Freud's Developmental theory ad nauseum was not my cup of tea. So I took a trip to the Academic Advising Office and they asked me if I had ever heard of Gender Studies. Dumbfounded, I said no and they told me that there was a way to create my own major in a subject I was interested in.  

The office suggested that I talk to an English professor who was well versed in topics on gender and also a chair on the IS council.  Surely this person would be a great advisor throughout this process. And they were right on point; our very own, Robin DeRosa, has been an excellent guide from the very beginning!  Her first piece of advise was to enroll in Feminism in the U.S. (The F Word) and I haven't been the same since. The F Word introduced me to a new way of perceiving life around me from medias' messages for women to Betty Friedan's, The Feminine Mystique.

Currently, I live in a state of social awareness and am employed at the S.A.G.E. Center.  Both positions I love immensely. Through Interdisciplinary Studies I have tasted a little bit of many disciplines, making my view of personal and public life more extensive. I have an understanding of experiences of a contemporary American woman as well as a native woman living in colonial India. This worldly outlook is what Interdisciplinary offers and makes it important to high education.

So what's next? To be honest, I'm not sure but I do know that want to continue to educate others in a way that is relevant to their lives. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll be as successful (and stellar) as this young woman, Laci Green.  


Hi Friends!

Hi guys, my name is Chelsea Merritt! I came to Plymouth in the Fall 2011 as a Musical Theatre Major. I've been performing since I was in the fourth grade, so making the choice to go to college and pursue performing arts was a no brainier to first.

My first semester at Plymouth was nothing short of a dream come true. I loved the people in my department, the campus was amazing, and most of the classes I was taking were for music, theatre, and dance. I was in heaven. Things only got better when at the end of my first semester I was cast in my first musical here (as a supporting role) which is usually pretty rare. The experience of my first show in college was enthralling, and I couldn't wait to come back and do it again in the fall! But first, we had to audition. Unfortunately, I wasn't as lucky as the first time, and I wasn't cast at all.

Or the semester after that.

Or the semester after that one either...

So for a year and a half of working towards my degree in performing, I didn't step foot on the stage once. Obviously, that was pretty devastating for me. It took the fun and passion out of what I had once loved to do, I was unhappy and withdrawn in my classes, and it became very clear that I needed to make a change. I talked to a friend of mine who also used to be a theatre major who had recently switched to IS, and when she described the program to me something just clicked. I knew I wanted to be involved in the IS program, but I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do.

That summer, I participated in our New Student Orientation as an OL, and had an absolute blast. I loved getting to meet new people, and loved the satisfaction of knowing I was helping my peers around me. It was during this time that I got the idea for what my IS Contract would be. I met with Christina Schaefer in UGS that summer, enrolled in IS 2222, and began my journey through the IS program.

Almost two years later, and here I am starting the capstone course for my IS degree. I can hardly believe it! My contract focuses on working with children with special needs through the outlets of music, theatre, and dance. Upon completing my undergrad, I hope to begin working toward my Masters Degree in Elementary Education here at PSU :)

Can't wait to meet you all!!



My name is Sohye Park.

Education and Family have been the most important components in my life.  I grew up in competitive environment, South Korea, and ever since I was a child, I learned the value of a good education.  Plymouth State University satisfies my personal goal.  I have worked with children since I graduated my college.  For being a teacher, the administration degree that I earned from South Korea many years ago seemed unnecessary and useless for my career until I found interdisciplinary studies.

My Interdisciplinary Studies program, titled Early Childhood Administration, is a combination of Early Childhood Studies and Business Management.  I selected to blend these majors because I strongly believe a quality education program for young children requires a well-educated administrator who utilizes business skills and who has a deep understanding of early childhood pedagogy.  I have chosen core studies that will lead me to become a knowledgeable educational leader.   

To me, Interdisciplinary Studies means educating an individual with a broad knowledge to be able to overview the work.  For example, a good teacher who lectures the subject with various information including a deep understanding of the subject and his/her personnel life experience that connects to the study, not only limited to the content of the textbook.  For my case of study, even if I was trained to be a nurturing teacher who actively interacts with the children and parents, having an understanding of well-organized business structures, effective marketing strategies and financial flows in small business are further important aspects for me to be a successful director of the early childhood program.  This is why I am pursuing my interdisciplinary program.

 I am excited to see how my interdisciplinary studies stand as a unique discipline with other studies that are formally offered from PSU.   I am excited to learn more about how I can create and lead a modern and progressive education facility for young learners.

I feel our group of IS 4444 has their own vision and belief toward their studies and following future.  The role of Interdisciplinary Studies is to create an environment where students can pursue a customized degree in higher education which follows their personal vision and life goals.  Their academic plan and the process are guided by a network of caring faculty and peers.
I am excited to be one of them!

 This is a Joshua tree in the Mohave Desert, the most unique tree I ever seen in my life.  It seems to have strong sustainability to live in this extremely windy area.  I sometimes feel that I am like this tree in that I can also survive despite challenges.

Wait...What....I'm a Senior
For those of you who don't know me my name is Kaitlyn Warren and I am a senior here at PSU...eeeek. I'm new to this whole blogging this so please excuse this first post, hopefully it will get much better as the semester continues on. 

             Anywho a little about me and my journey here at Plymouth. It starts my second semester my sophomore year, yes indeed I am a transfer student! Going through the whole transfer experience was a bit of a transition for myself personally, but looking back I would not change it for a second. Plymouth State has become more of a second home, and I have created memories that I wouldn't take back for anything. I have found the career that I will be doing for the rest of my life, along with friends that have become more like family. 

Was a member of the PSU
Women's Field Hockey
Spice Girls visited Plymouth for the night 
It has been quite the journey to get where I am today, and I am proud to say that I will be graduating this Spring from PSU with a degree in Health Science. I have created my interdisciplinary study by pulling class from the physical education program along with the health education program. By graduating with this degree I have set myself for my dream job of becoming a nurse. Without this program I would have been adding upwards of two years onto my education, thus costing me a lot more money. I am extremely grateful that I had the option to add the IS major, it has truly set me up for path that I want to take on in life. I have been going through the process of applying for graduate nursing programs throughout New Hampshire and cannot wait to hear back....hopefully with a letter of acceptance (: fingers crossed!
Orientation Leader Summer of 2014
 There are many more memories to come this upcoming semester here at Plymouth States...let's make them good ones!!! 
Great night with great friends (: 
My roomies over at 26 A Russell 
Signature Rattlesnake picture pose

This is me!

Hey everyone! My name is Kelley Collins and this is my last semester here at Plymouth as an undergrad student! I come from a little town in northern New Hampshire where sports and family are a really big part of my life. When I was applying to schools my senior year, I applied all over New England, Florida and the Carolina's for various majors (different health fields & teaching). After sitting down and talking to my parents we decided that the best option would be to save some money and get some general classes out of the way instead of spending money on something I wasn't 100% sure of. I ended up attending a community college in Concord where I could be 2 hours away from home, take general classes to figure out what I wanted to do and continue to play sports. After 2 years I graduated with my Associates Degree and I think finally figured out what I wanted to do!

NHTI WBB takes on NYC!!

NHTI WBB @ National Conference

With my love for sports, I decided I wanted to be around it for a little while longer and that becoming an Athletic Trainer would allow me to do that! I applied to Plymouth and then my journey here began! Talking to my advisor and coming in with so many credits we decided that either way I was going to be here for three and a half years so why not try to get my Masters. Together, we build an IS program called Pre-Physical Therapy where I would take Athletic Training classes, Physical Education classes and Biology classes that would all help me to get into the Entry Level Athletic Training program here at PSU. (It worked, I got in!!)


House Manager of Delta Zeta

2 lobsters down! 
This IS program opened my eyes to many different areas, especially some of the biology and physical education classes. I took Neurobiology, which was probably the hardest class I have ever taken, where we had to do a Field Study. In this Field Study we had to make up our own experiment with amines and animals, my group did how different amines effected the locomotion of lobsters. Sadly, they all died and we had to change it, but it was hard work and opened my eyes to a whole new occupational area. Another class I took was Exercise Physiology where we learned exactly how the body works in different conditions while training. I absolutely loved it and it is honestly why I am staying in the Athletic Training field.

Interdisciplinary studies I believe is a great opportunity because you can put many interest together. In the end you may end up down one path, but this way it opens so many more doors with all your different experiences. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Hi! I’m Iveta and I’m from Slovakia. I came to Plymouth State as an exchange student from Middlesex University in London, UK. As an exchange student, I really enjoyed my stay here and I met so many wonderful people. I really liked the small class environment in Plymouth and the friendly atmosphere. Therefore, I decided to transfer to PSU. The only thing I didn’t really like is that the courses at Plymouth State focus mainly on domestic issues and it doesn’t satisfy my interest in the global world. For this reason, I decided to take the interdisciplinary path.

My major is called International Studies. I combine Political Science, Tourism Management and Policy, Spanish, and Geography. I am also doing a minor in Peace and Social Justice Studies, which is also interdisciplinary. Though the Interdisciplinary Studies, I will be able to integrate theoretical knowledge about broad global processes. It will help me to prepare for the variety of jobs and I will become well equipped to work anywhere in the world. My strong passion for traveling and experiencing living in different countries requires interdisciplinary major that will help me to achieve my career goals. This Interdisciplinary Studies major will be also a great foundation for my further graduate study.

I think that interdisciplinarity is about being able to pick the right components in order to achieve the right result. It has to be well thought out and it has to have a main idea. I think that Interdisciplinary Studies major is still underestimated and this field is not taken as seriously as it should. This is a problem that needs to be changed because this major is the future. Sooner or later people will be forced starting to broaden their scopes of interests and disciplines. The new era will require development of new interdisciplinary fields. I think Interdisciplinary Studies major is very beneficial and it has its uniqueness. I love the idea of freedom I have with this major and that I can do something exclusive which differs me from students who take regular majors offered at PSU. Interdisciplinary Studies major will become more and more common and I am glad it is offered at Plymouth State University.

Photo by Iveta Stefancova

I am little obsessed with traveling. I need to explore and visit as many places as possible. It is my life mission. I have traveled to 22 countries so far and I hope the number will drastically increase very soon.

Citation: picture of the map:

Who, me?!

Living in one of the most beautiful, adventurous and comfortable places has led me to find all those things within myself. I have traveled a bit, I have met many people, I have had many kinds of loves. I find myself always coming back to Plymouth.

I decided to listen to me, the part of me that knew that these experiences; happy and exciting, horrible and lonely, were to be respected and to be used in the l i f e I wanted in Plymouth.

Art therapy can be described in many different ways, through many different eyes. I have met and conversed with many, I have worked side by side, and I needed it when I lost my best friend.

With this passion and experience, I knew that Art therapy would carry on with me through my schooling. I contacted my dream school in Cambridge MA., Lesley University, and asked what classes I should focus on to be able to get my Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley. They were amazing! I have spent hours upon hours talking, laughing, crying, and begging! We mapped out what my years at Plymouth State would look like. I knew I wanted to focus on Early childhood, Art and Psychology so we picked my core classes as well as extra ones that would only benefit my future.

It has been five years and I can see the light! With the help of Interdisciplinary studies I have been able to become well-rounded in all of the disciplines I have been fortunate to study (Art, Psychology and Early Childhood studies). Thus creating something new by crossing boundaries, and thinking across them. With a disciplinary background I have been able to gain experience in a wide variety of places. Many schools through student teacher observations, such as Holderness Prep where I was able to utilize some of my drama therapy lesson plans.

The Hunter School is where I volunteered Therapeutic arts this past summer. It was an a l i f e changing experience. This school connects with everything that I wish to be surrounded by. The children were eager, hopeful and excited. I knew that this was the best way for them to connect with art because it was unobtrusive. I recently was extended an invitation to have a full time job with them teaching art in a therapeutic setting such as the one I provided over the summer! I am so honored and excited to yet again start another chapter in my l i f e.

These are some art that I have done in my own therapy sessions as well as with students. I recently started engraving wood, which is such a therapeutic experience!


Hello my name is Heather Janssen and I am in my last semester at Plymouth State University (PSU). Over the last four years I have taken many long drives from my home in New Jersey to pursue my Bachelor’s degree.

I have had an interest in learning about the weather for many years. I would sit and watch the meteorologists on TV for hours just so I could know what the latest forecasts would be at home and around the country. I knew that I wanted to be that person on TV. I made my decision that one day I would go to college to become a meteorologist. 

That decision led me to come to PSU in hopes of obtaining a degree in meteorology. My first two years at PSU I was declared as a meteorology major. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I began to question whether this was the major for me. Part of me wanted to stick with the major, but I knew I would not be completely happy. That is when I found out about the Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) program. I knew that this program would allow me to continue with meteorology as well as grow in another discipline. 

My IS major, “Weather Journalism”, combines the disciplines of meteorology and communication. With this major I will be able to work in different fields such as broadcast and print journalism, television, and radio. I also want to get a Master’s degree in scientific journalism in a few years once I have some work experience. 

I think that Interdisciplinary Studies is a very important part of in a higher education system. Interdisciplinary gives people the ability to look at a subject manner from different perspectives rather than being one sided. It makes learning more exciting because as an IS major you are able to take what you have learned from multiple disciplines are use them in your everyday life.

These pictures are from my storm chasing trip that I went on this past summer. It was a great opportunity for me to put my Interdisciplinary Studies major to use by having to use both meteorology and communication skills. I worked with a team in deciding the chase location by looking at various meteorological variables as well as creating a blog that each day I wrote a new post about the day’s events.

Who I Am

Blind Bear
My name is Christine Whitman and I am currently attending Plymouth State University for Interdisciplinary Studies. With this major I wish to concentrate on therapeutic art using a few different fields. I have always had a strong love for art along with the desire to help those around me. When I found out that you could attend school for Art Therapy, I knew what direction I needed to head in.
I found Art Therapy when I was attending school for nursing. As I sat in my art class for one of my general education classes, I began to realize how much I missed the feeling of charcoal between my fingers tips and the paper that allowed my hand to glide across it as I left black tracks along the untouched surface. I needed this back in my life, but I did not want to leave behind the world I had become accustomed to, so I swallowed my feelings and kept it as a hobby that I barely had time for. Thankfully, art found its way back to me.
My next semester at my old school began and I started taking a computer course (another general education requirement). The teacher told us that we would be researching something that interested us, but something we have never learned about before. Our options were endless, and as I searched around the internet, I found it....ART THERAPY! Instantly I was captivated; I wanted to learn everything I could about this new field that I had never quite heard of before. As I skimmed through the multiple pages I had up, I could feel it almost calling to me. This is what I am meant to do.
That's when I began applying to PSU; my school did not have anything for this major and I ached for it. I discovered that most schools did not have anything that could help me get a step closer but Plymouth State University offered something that really intrigued me; Interdisciplinary Studies. I could do whatever I wanted; create something from nothing, like a piece of art. Nothing could make me more excited and motivated. When I got my acceptance letter, I filled with overwhelming joy.

My program includes Psychology, Art Education, Art, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Anthropology; I chose these because I believe they all blend well together when going into a field that involves many types of people with all kinds of backgrounds. Interdisciplinary Studies is something that I believe is important for all students who attend school. It gives people the chance to learn something from a new perspective and to break out of the tunnel vision that is created when entering a specific and focused discipline.

I created the image above the summer before I came to Plymouth. The reason I am using it to represent me is because it is a blind gesture drawing, meaning, I did not look at my paper, no did I lift my pen as I drew it. I am going into this program "blind," but I will not leave my course. I will stick to it, even when things become challenging, because in the end, after all of the chaos and confusion, I can create a masterpiece. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Hi Guys!
My name is Sonya MacMillan, a little background on me, i'm from Nashua NH originally, but moved right out of the dirty city up here to the beautiful mountains right after freshman my year here at PSU. I'm on the PSU cheerleading team, but have been a gymnast my entire life, I absolutely love and respect the hell out of this sport and it has been my passion for a long time. I'm an only child to two beautiful and loving parents, whom are high school sweethearts. Something you don't see a lot nowadays and i think its inspiring. I have a beautiful cat, Mark at home who is pushing 20 years old. He's a beast and my baby.
My mom has always been my inspiration she's an amazing person, and also where I get my artistic roots from. She's an art and photography teacher and Hollis Brookline High School, and has always pushed me to be creative and nurtured my love for art. Upon coming to PSU I was declared BFA, but quickly switched to undeclared after lots of criticism for being an art major. Psychology peaked my interest my first year here, and so didn't anatomy and physiology. I took these courses as electives, everyone thought that I was crazy, but I actually did extremely well in these classes, ones that students tend to struggle with. I couldn't tell you how I first heard about interdisciplinary studies, but it wasn't long before I set up a meeting with Linda Levy to begin to hash out the details.
For me interdisciplinary studies is a way for me to hold on to something that I love, Art, while also incorporating a more challenging and intriguing field, Psychology. I'm actually doing a thematic degree so I have a third major piece thrown in there as well, Health. The health aspect for me is mostly mental health and well-being courses. Something that I hold close to my heart coming from a family that has a history of alcoholism and substance abuse. It was an easy decision to incorporate this field because over time I had accumulated a lot of those relevant courses just from taking courses that appealed to me.
In the end interdisciplinary degree for me has become just a stepping stone into something bigger. I want to apply to Lesly in Cambridge, MA and pursue a graduate degree as a licensed and certified art therapist. For me interdisciplinary is really the only way that I could get everything I needed to be equipped to pursue a higher education without leaving the comfort of PSU. I truly love this school and the community and couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I'm actually very nervous to be going to school in a city like Cambridge. I've attached a short video about what art therapy is, its still a growing field and relatively new, a lot of people give me a curious look and begin with a slew of questions when I tell them my major.