Why I Chose Hood Again

By Ingrid Gooch ’16

When I was a senior at Hood College, I received the incredible news that I had been nominated for The Best of Hood. My beloved alma mater, one of the top liberal arts colleges, considered me one of its most outstanding constituents.  I was overwhelmed, and tremendously honored.

Several academic experiences at Hood have stayed with me in my post-baccalaureate career. During a year-long fellowship with the National Institute of Health (NIH) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), I was introduced to the leading health disparity research. The overwhelming majority of research on effective means of reducing disparities involves application of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, a concept with which I have been fascinated since I first studied it in Survey of Clinical, Community, and Counseling Psychology with Dr. Wanda Ruffin. Not only have I continued to reference this theory when discussing health issues in my non-professional life, but its widespread application among top scientists at NIH demonstrates the incredible value of holding a degree in psychology from Hood College. Of course, the psychology department offers its students even more than the exemplary coursework! My scientific career truly began with Dr. Elizabeth MacDougall in her Geriatric Assessment Research Lab (GARL). The lab offers its students applied training opportunities in which they gain experience and insight into real, scientific experience (survey data acquisition, data analysis, manuscript preparation, poster preparation, and so forth). The department’s genuine care for students’ success and well-being is unmatched.

I’m pursuing my Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Hood, but I cannot leave out my deep adoration for the Department of Foreign Language and Culture, specifically the French department. Each and every class I took with Dr. Didier Course and Dr. Lisa Marcus was an exciting foray into European and Francophone history, language, economy, literature, perceptions and culture. My favorite project I had as an undergraduate student at Hood was my Independent Study with Dr. Course entitled, Voix Français d’Immigration (French Voices of Immigration). Following the November 13 series of coordinated terrorist attacks, there was a rise in political and social concern surrounding immigration policy in France. While conducting a Departmental Honors Project with Dr. Diane Oliver in the Psychology department, I had the pleasure of spending my senior year French study feverishly researching political science (not my major!), 20th century French society, the religious history and current application of Islam, 20th century Middle Eastern political history and society, and most importantly, influential current events such as former president François Hollande’s decision to put forth the first draft of the constitutional act la déchéance de Nationalité (deprivation of nationality).  The knowledge I gained through my work on this paper will not only stead me well when discussing political, economic, and humanitarian issues with my peers, but I am confident it will greatly enhance my post-master’s education and career though its modern understanding of cultural diversity.

Not every undergraduate program is alike. Hood offers a breadth of top-tier resources and experiences that train its students for prosperous, well-rounded careers. I’m not speaking from a bubble. I am speaking from experience. I highly recommend Hood College to anyone interested in becoming one of our society’s most invaluable members.


The Graduate School at Hood College will hold an  Instant Admission Event on Oct. 11 to show prospective students how it can help them advance their careers and grow as people. Hood College will hold an open house on Saturday, Oct. 14 to give prospective students and their families an opportunity to learn more about what Hood has to offer.

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