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Rethinking the Criminal Mind


Claire Welsh ’16, a sophomore biochemistry major, wants to become a forensic psychiatrist. “I am fascinated by the criminal mind and want to learn more about it.

I want to revolutionize the way we think about the legal system and its impact on the mentally ill,” explains Welsh.  “I think our system of putting people in prison is really bad and we need to re-evaluate the prisoners.”

When Welsh came to Earlham she already knew that the best way to follow her dream was to pursue a degree in biochemistry. “I want to know how the body and mind interact – including outside influences such as food, chemicals, and drugs,” she says. 

Welsh is also extremely interested in learning new things about the technical side of biology and chemistry. “We are learning new things every day about how they interact, and new material is discovered based on working from past research,” she says.

Apart from her passion for science, Welsh is a dedicated athlete and the co-convener of the Student Activities Board (SAB), the organization responsible for student activities on campus.  Her devotion to service and a strong desire to achieve the goals she sets speaks of Welsh as an accomplished leader who is ready to invest her time and energy in things that truly matter to her.

As the co-convener of SAB, Welsh wants to see more students involved in the activities and its organization in the future. “I hope that I can bring new ideas into the program and help other students make the activities great and what they want,” says Welsh.

As an athlete, Welsh works hard to continue improve her tennis skills. “I love the rush of winning.  I was a state champion in high school, and I hope to achieve something of the same [level] in college if I can,” says Welsh.

“Being co-convener means putting a lot of mental effort into the role, whereas tennis is very physical – it gives me a great balance on campus, even though it will be really hard,” says Welsh.

Welsh says at Earlham she has experienced the moments that keep her motivated and inspired as she continues to accomplish her goals.  She says she is excited about “Starting to really matter in the world, starting to make a difference beyond myself, and starting to really understand how each individual impacts the connections worldwide.”


Claire Welsh

Claire Welsh 2016

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Interests: Forensic Psychiatry, Student Activities Board, Tennis

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