Ana Rabut ’16 has been told that she is the glue that holds friendships together.
“I guess that’s true,” she says. “I bring people together who otherwise wouldn’t interact with each other. I love learning about people, learning their stories and learning of our shared experiences. I like finding things about people to like and enjoy. Even with people others find hard to get along with, I still find things to like. It’s hard for me to not like someone.”
With this love for people, she decided in high school that she wanted to study the social sciences and discovered the sociology/anthropology (SOAN) major at Earlham.
“When I found SOAN, a whole major dedicated to people and social interactions of people, I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do,” she says. “I love talking to people, and relationships fascinate me.”
In addition, Rabut has a passion for Latin America that stems from the five childhood years she spent in Venezuela.
“In the innocence of childhood, Venezuela may have charmed me more than it should have, but I would not be the person I am today without the Venezuela experience,” she explains. “As a four-year-old I was charmed by the country and its people.”
Despite the entire family contracting Dengue Fever within days of arriving, the mosquito nets and outside bathrooms, Rabut came to appreciate the Venezuelan way of life, which, she says, is not focused on technology.
“In Venezuela, dance is a huge part of the culture, and that’s where my passion for dance started,” she says. “Kids are raised dancing at family parties, and I was surrounded by that for so long that I love to dance.”
On campus, Rabut is a member of Earlham’s dance group the Earthquakers and participates in Dance Alloy. She also works at Runyan Desk.
“Runyan Desk is perfect because of its flexibility between doing homework during the quiet times and talking with people walking by,” she says. “It is a very social job. We can get into very long conversations, which suits me because I don’t ever remember not liking to talk to people.”
Rabut says that as a junior it is hard for her to imagine what career she will pursue.
“The good thing is that SOAN trains you to have certain skills that prepare you for a wide variety of jobs and careers,” she explains. “The skillset, I would say, includes being perceptive, aware and noticing intricate human behaviors.
“When anthropology and sociology are grouped together, there’s a little ambiguity in what we are being taught. Sociology is the study of patterns and statistics and arriving at conclusions. Anthropology is more about specific people and individual stories that produce social facts.”