Magazine On-line [summer 2010]
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Where will they go from here?

elijah truman and family Graduate Elijah Truman, a history major from Lexington, is joined by family and friends, from left, his mother, Cheryl Truman ’79; Delcie Truman, his grandmother; Conley Wilkerson ’51; and Nash Cox.

Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Wake Forest University, and the University of Chicago are among the prestigious schools associated with the graduate plans of members of the class of 2010.

candace johnsonCandace Johnson, a business administration major (marketing emphasis) and English minor from Symsonia, Ky., was accepted to the Wake Forest University School of Law. She chose the school over offers from the University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, University of Kentucky, Emory University, and Vanderbilt University.

Johnson is planning to use a law degree to pursue in-house business law.

“Eventually I would like to work as an in-house lawyer with a corporation—combine my business experience with a law degree,” she said. “I think if I’m an in-house lawyer with my company that I’m representing, my work will be a lot more enjoyable and meaningful than if I had some random client come in and pay me.”

She said working in marketing while at Transy heightened her appreciation for business. She did an internship at Smith Management Group, where she helped the consulting firm redesign its marketing materials, website, and cut sheets.

“All of the things that I wanted to do—interact with people and be creative and do it in a way that is analytical—I’ve gotten to do all of that through marketing,” she said.

janelle johnsonJanelle Johnson completed a self-designed international affairs major and was accepted to the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies. The Louisville native will enter the master’s degree program with a focus on international policy.

Her Transy experience was highlighted by a semester studying abroad in Amman, Jordan. There she attended classes in subjects ranging from Jordanian economics to foreign policy to social welfare policy. She was able to travel and see the Great Pyramids, visit the Arab League, and go to Luxor, Egypt, to see the Valley of the Kings. She even learned how to make papyrus paper.

Her goal is to work in foreign relations, such as for the United States Department of State, and she found she has a keen interest specifically in the Middle East.

“I had a host family for about five days when we stayed in the northern part of the country, which is more rural and pretty poor compared to the middle class family I was staying with in the city,” she said. “Just talking to my host mom about the everyday life there and her hopes and aspirations for herself and her children, it’s one of those moments that make you appreciate being human.”

chris monsantoChris Monsanto, a computer science major (minors in mathematics and music) from Frankfort, Ky., will begin the Ph.D. program in computer science at Princeton University this fall. He chose Princeton over other acceptances at Yale University and Brown University.

At the suggestion of one of his Transylvania professors, he completed two summers of undergraduate research, both times with funding from the National Science Foundation. He first went to Auburn University to investigate power consumption issues, then went to DePauw University to work on functional language programs.

“I used my work at DePauw as the basis for a paper I presented at the International Symposium on Implementation and Application of Functional Languages, held in New Jersey, where I was the only undergraduate in attendance,” Monsanto said.

One of his goals is to develop programming languages that will close what he sees as a “disconnect” between the way people think and how a computer thinks.

“I think everyone should have the ability to program a computer to customize what they’re working with, to make sure they’re as productive as they can be,” he said. “I want to make it fundamentally easier to program computers. I’m very excited about the research I’ll be getting into at Princeton.”

ashley ramchandaniAshley Ramchandani will be attending the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies, where she will study public policy.

The self-designed criminal behavior major from Louisville hopes to one day work for a non-profit or a government organization in victims’ advocacy or other social issues.

“Ideally I would like to work for an institution doing research and advocacy work for people who are wrongfully convicted or families that find themselves continually involved with the system,” she said. “I think a lot of my interest comes from believing in justice being served and individuals getting proper opportunities to be everything they want to be, free from social problems such as lack of education, health care, that sort of thing.”

Ramchandani did internships with the Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and volunteered at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Health Department and the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, but her favorite learning experience was an internship with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.

“I really enjoyed my time there,” she said. “I interned there in my first year and learned about the determinants of criminal behavior and social behavior in general.”

This summer Ramchandani is working for the Freedom School in Louisville teaching literacy to inner-city youth.

josh schwartzJosh Schwartz, who completed a double major in biology and chemistry and a minor in philosophy, will begin the Ph.D. program in biological chemistry and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University this fall.

The native of Florence, Ky., is primarily interested in neuroscience and hopes someday to be a professor at a research university.

He found that coming to Transy gave him the advantages of a small liberal arts college and the chance to do research at large universities over the summers. He was at the University of Cincinnati, Brown University, and Stanford University during his Transy summers.

“Another great advantage I gained from going to Transy instead of a larger school was the faculty interaction,” he said. “Having faculty know you and spend time with you has been great. They wrote recommendation letters for me that were very personable.”

At Johns Hopkins, Schwartz is looking forward to learning more about the brain and mental processes at the biochemistry level.

“I want to understand synaptic plasticity,” he said. “Our brain is plastic and able to change in response to environmental stimuli. I want to study learning and memory on the molecular level. That’s just fascinating to me.”

Photos by Joseph Rey Au

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