Spotlight on Humanities Alumni: Raisa Dukas
Education (UR and additional): BA (Spanish & Interdepartmental Studies), University of Rochester, 2007; degree from Georgetown University 2012
Current city/state of residence: Washington, DC—Metro Area
Job Title: Principal Research Analyst
When and how did you choose your major?
I chose my majors as a freshman. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to study international affairs and Spanish. Energy and the environment were also topics of interest. As a freshman, I declared my Spanish major in the fall and then went on to create an interdepartmental major in “International Environmental Politics,” combining classes in political science, chemical engineering, anthropology, and philosophy.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
The activities I was involved in really enriched my undergraduate experience and/or were related to my academic interests: Gamma Phi Beta, Interpres Yearbook, Modern Languages and Cultures (MLC) Undergraduate Council, Political Science Undergraduate Council, Women in Leadership, Sustainability Task Force, and MLC International Film Series founder.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
I found that the skills gained in writing term papers and my honors thesis were invaluable to me in beginning my career. Being able to integrate material from various courses shaped my thinking. Seeing interconnections between seemingly disparate material and sources of knowledge has enhanced my ability to be a good research analyst. Studying Spanish has given me the discipline to now learn a new language.
Where would you like to be in five years?
I see myself in a career that allows me to live overseas within the next five years. During my time at UR, I studied abroad in three countries, and enjoyed fantastic experiences in all of them. I just got back from six months overseas in the Middle East thanks to a national fellowship and cannot wait to return!
How are you still connected with the University?
I stay connected to UR by trying to be involved in alumni events. I was part of my class’s Fifth Year Reunion Planning Committee and I help with admissions acceptance congratulatory calls every year. Additionally, I attend UR Alumni events in the DC metro area whenever I am able.
What advice do you have for current students?
Follow your passion. UR resources really enable you to do anything you set your mind to do.