A Major of Her Own


Edie SherburneBecause she double majors in psychology and interdisciplinary studies, Edith Sherburne ’18 of Saugerties, N.Y., takes classes “in just about anything” that interests her. Although her path to a psychology degree is fairly straightforward, the addition of her interdisciplinary studies major allows Sherburne to design an education that is tailored to her specific needs and career desires.

“Being able to take classes that interest me but don’t directly relate to my majors is the reason that I thrive here,” Sherburne explained. “I wasn’t forced to give up my love of writing or music; and I was encouraged to explore new disciplines, like business.” While her interdisciplinary studies program is focused on business management, “I also take classes from other disciplines that pull it all together. This allows me to create a major of my own, which makes my studies much more interesting.”

Sherburne’s main goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with her own practice, where she can facilitate group work with families, couples, and others, as she also brings the community together. The reason for wanting to help others in this way stems from her childhood.

“When I was in elementary school, my father was very sick,” Sherburne explained. “He was in a hospital two hours away from my house, and my mom would make the commute multiple times a week. My little brother and I would stay at friends’ houses when she could not be at home.”

One time, when her mother was away for a particularly long period of time, Sherburne was called into the principal’s office at school. “He pointed to a box of food sitting on the bench outside his door, and explained that the community put it together for my family because they knew my mom had not had much time to grocery shop. It was such a small act of kindness, but it saved my family a lot of time and money when we didn’t have much to begin with,” she said.

In that moment, Sherburne realized how easy it was to make a difference in the lives of others; something she seeks to do as an MCLA student through her work as a peer advisor. “When I was a freshman, I struggled to adjust, but, once I found someone else to lean on, I regained my footing. I want to be that person for first year students,” she said.  “I highly recommend being a peer advisor. It gave me an opportunity to make what I hope will be a lasting impact.”

Sherburne – whose many activities include undergraduate research, participating in the Wind Ensemble where she plays the trumpet, serving as an admissions ambassador, as well as clubs and organizations like Environuts and Christian Fellowship – recommends the College to others.

“I have nothing but good things to say about my academic experience here at MCLA. I’ve had seven semesters worth of passionate and driven professors who make the classroom experience something special,” she said. “At MCLA, I discovered my passion for education and learning. I’m not just taking classes to get a degree and find a job; I’m becoming a well-educated individual with a diverse knowledge base and skills.”