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Student Profile - Nicole Howley, Public Policy


Nicole Howley

Nicole Howley is a third year Public Policy student in the College of Liberal Arts. She has a passion for people and a desire to help make the world a better place. Being an active member of a variety of organizations on campus, Nicole finds a balance between school and extracurricular activities by combining her work with her hobbies. A wonderful ambassador of the college, Nicole shares with us some of her favorite aspects of her major, campus, and her plans for the future.

What made you choose RIT and more specifically the College of Liberal Arts?

I originally came to RIT for the Industrial Design program, with the intention of using the skills I would learn to build playgrounds for adults. Everyone deserves to have a place to play. After a year here, I had to take a sociology class (I didn’t want to take it at all) but I fell in love. I switched into the Liberal Arts Exploration program, which led me to Public Policy.

Do you think your major at RIT is different or similar to a Public Policy program at a traditional Liberal Arts school?

Of course it’s going to be different. RIT’s College of Liberal Arts has many advantages; it teaches experience. The dialogue here is open and understanding, we learn through discussion and example rather than by lecture.

What has been your favorite class or project?

I loved my sociology class; it’s what made me switch into COLA. I think what I enjoyed most about it was the debates we had in class; we talked about contemporary moral issues. I also like to track social and urban issues. You can collect so much information, but even after all data is gathered there’s still room for questions.

What do you like to do outside of class?

I’m the features editor for Reporter and I love it with so much of my heart. I get to be a part of the creative process and get to see the progress being made on the magazine. It also gives me a way of talking about the issues I care about; I try to take responsibility of advocating for students. I’m also a member of the Feminist Coalition, the Women and Gender Center’s student advisory board, and the College of Liberal Arts student advisory board, and I work at the Global Village Market. As you can see, I like to be involved on campus while helping people.

What are your future plans?

I want to apply for just about everything, including graduate school. Education is a passion of mine so I’d like to apply to Teach for America. Eventually I would like to be a mayor or a senator, some kind of advocate, so I can help people. I just want to do something for education, I want to change the system; hopefully it’ll last and people will carry it out in the future. And I still want to build playgrounds for adults.