Hometown: Portland, Oregon

High School: Cleveland High School

Major: International Studies with a concentration on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution with an area focus on the Middle East

Minor: Arabic Studies

Before coming to the University of Oregon, Ruby was the French Club president at her high school, where she also participated in an exchange program in Turkey. In addition to being the principal second violin in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Ruby was an assistant counselor at the Tryon Creek Nature Day Camp.

What is the UO doing well? One of my favorite aspects of the UO is the Clark Honors College. I love the fact that through the Honors College I am required to take classes that do not apply to my major. I'm interested in so many different subjects and areas of study, and being in the Honors College lets me branch out into different areas of interest without feeling like I am wasting time by taking classes that don't help me advance toward graduating. Additionally, I love the small class sizes, since I think I learn best through discussion.

What are you most proud of accomplishing since you started at the UO? This year, I've been studying abroad in Amman, Jordan, through the CIEE program, and I'm proud of my commitment to learning about and experiencing the region and my significant improvement in speaking Arabic. Though I had only taken Arabic for two years before coming to Jordan, I am already in Superior, the highest Arabic class that my study abroad program offers.

What are some things you’ve been doing outside of the classroom since you’ve been at UO? Since I've been at UO, I've been playing violin in the campus orchestra. Having the opportunity to make music with people on a regular basis is important for me, as playing (and writing) music is a huge part of my life and is one of the most significant ways that I express myself creatively.

Describe a mentor or professor who has positively influenced your experience at UO. I have had many wonderful professors who have positively influenced my experience at UO. Someone who has had a particularly important impact is Fulden Ibrahimhakkioglu, a Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF) in the philosophy department. Her Intro to Feminist Philosophy class honestly changed the way that I look at the world, and she created the most open and welcoming discussion environment that I have ever experienced in a class.

Describe a couple of your favorite classes you've taken at UO? Some of my favorite classes have been Casey Shoop's literature classes for the honors college. Though I am not an English major, reading and discussing literature is one of my favorite things to do, and I learn so much from discussion-based literature classes such as the ones for the honors college. Learning how to analyze a text and write about my analysis is also obviously useful for my International Studies classes, as everything we study is built on language and the words that people use.

What are you hoping to do with your major, both while you work toward graduation and after? In my life, I plan to (and in fact, already do) use my major to interact with the world as someone who is educated enough on the "issues"—particularly in the Middle East—to be aware of how my actions and those of my country relate to and affect the world as a whole. If I am able to work in a career in which I can in some way use the skills I've gained to help others to build peace, then that will be a bonus.