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Why an Academically Diverse School is so Important

December 14, 2017
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By Giancarlo Montes ’18, Photography Major from Washington D.C.

When I entered Purchase as an incoming freshman, I had an idea of what I wanted from college but I wasn’t quite sure. I came in as a Photography major, within the School of Art and Design; however, I wasn’t just interested in art and photography.

Luckily, or more so by design, I found a bunch of classes outside of the Visual Arts that enriched my college experience and my art practice. Each undergraduate program has classes that are open to non majors and given that Purchase is so small, it’s sometimes possible to get in touch with a professor to get into a “closed” class.

You can take a ballet class, a sociology class, an arts class and a literature class all in the same semester. The materials and information from each class begin to cross pollinate and something incredible happens! The way you talk and learn about literature blends into how you can consider a painting, which can then inform how you conduct research in a natural sciences class. Then you can use the mindfulness techniques you learn in yoga, to take a break from all the head-work.

Over my four years, I’ve actually learned to use the different types of intelligence that are emphasized in each class to go navigate life. And there’s actually a class about this (Multiple Intelligences), which I’ve heard its amazing. But really, it’s so so enriching to be able to dip into different ways of looking at things. I think it makes you sharp and interested in the world.

On top of that, there are students whose main focuses are those specific subjects. That yields an incredible diversity in academic and nonacademic interests and goals. You can see a dance show, go to a lecture titled, “ How Understanding the Evolution of Microbiomes Should Be Changing Our Lives,” then head to a visual arts opening and dance in front of the library as the Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra plays some Mambo.

That’s how I want to live life!