"When I came to Earlham, I was really timid and there were many adjustments that I had to make. But I found that the classes here are small, faculty members know me by name, and I can walk into a professor's office almost any time. In terms of the relationships you build, I don't think it gets better than at Earlham.
"I find that professors so often throw opportunities at me and it shows they believe in me. My confidence has grown and now I'm setting more ambitious goals than I would have before.
"I find myself talking about issues from my courses all the time and if a professor can get me talking about a topic outside class, then that's a class worth taking. This year I'm the Editor of the Earlham Historical Journal. It is a publication that showcases the academic work of students. The Journal has become one of my main activities.
"My interest in public policy and access to medical care started as a result of my politics courses. Then I took two courses with Dan Rosenberg in medical anthropology that I really enjoyed. Those courses helped solidify my interest in global health and social inequities. After Earlham I hope to go to graduate school."
Maria Vaikath 2011
Hometown: Alleppey, India
Major at Earlham: Politics
Interests: Public policy, health care, editing Earlham Historical Journal