Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
High School: South Fayette High School
Ask me what I care about, and my answer will vary by the day. On a Monday morning, my reluctant, sleep-slurred response would probably be “8 hours a night.” Catch me in a moment of wakefulness, and it’ll be more chipper, certainly more long-winded: a personal manifesto, complete with nods to metaethics, our place in the cosmos, and the value of benevolent curiosity. Inviting my friends to answer on my behalf would generate the simplest answer yet: “donuts.”
What I’m getting at here is not sleep nor sugar, nor even philosophy. It’s perspective. Like Sylvia Plath, I would love to “live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible” but acknowledge that omniscience is absurd. What matters to me is thus the process of discovering what should matter to me and why, relating my stance to a range of alternatives. I don’t want a passive answer. Instead, I want to evolve, whether it be through deep conversations or trips to the donut shop. In high school, this exploration took several forms — namely, afternoons divided between Model UN meetings and the tech lab, a year in Moldova studying Russian, and a growing passion for the digital humanities. In fact, researching applications of data analytics in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts led me to the Research Triangle, where interdisciplinary projects abound. I once saw my future as Frost’s diverging paths, Schroedinger’s cat observed; now I recognize that my interests can be reconciled. Moving forward, I hope to continue working at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts while studying some combination of mathematics, computer science, history, philosophy, and global affairs.
What drew you to the Robertson Program? I’ve never put much stock in the idea of the tortured intellectual, locked in an Ivory Tower. Education is discourse — a conversation that occurs across disciplines and civilizations, but mostly among friends. The Robertson Program not only builds a community based on this principle, but also ensures that it’s composed of curious and compassionate people (who just so happen to be smart, and who aren’t afraid to laugh). The Robbie family might inspire imposter syndrome if not for its openness and warmth, its emphasis on character and encouragement of risk-taking. I’m excited for the opportunity to grow as a person, a scholar, and a friend in such good company.