Our Stories

Class of 2012 takes promising first steps after graduating from Willamette

Heidi Hall

  • Hometown: Snoqualmie, Wash.
  • Major: Politics
  • After graduation: Working for Sen. Mark Hass of Beaverton, Ore. as a legislative aide
  • Senior thesis: "How international criminal courts understand the relationship between individualized guilt and mass participation in violence, and the subsequent implications for impunity"
  • Activities and Honors: Chamber Choir, Up Top, intern for Rep. Tobias Read, full-time intern at The Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. for a semester, research assistant for two professors

What are you doing after graduation, and what’s your overall career goal?

Since January I have been working for Sen. Mark Hass as a legislative aide. I will continue with this job after graduation and will also begin running his reelection campaign. It’s a fun opportunity to get to see the inside workings of state government and hopefully help improve Oregon’s education system.

This fall I plan to apply for political science PhD programs. I want to continue studying international relations with a particular focus on international courts and human rights studies. Eventually I would either like to teach at the university level, do human rights research, or both.

What do you value the most about your Willamette experience?

Willamette’s professors are incredible and care deeply about their students’ success. The support and personal attention I have received during my four years here sets my college experience apart from anything I ever could have imagined. At Willamette, doors are always open and someone is always willing to support you in whatever project you find worthwhile. 

The support I have found at Willamette has helped me learn that if you have goals and ideas and are willing to work for them, you can make just about anything happen. The liberal arts model, in combination with supportive faculty, has opened my eyes to new possibilities and allowed me to pursue a variety of passions all at once.

What will you miss about Willamette?

I think that I will miss the academic community most. I love running into people I know all over campus and being able to ask their opinion about ideas I’ve been thinking about — whether for class, thesis or just curiosity. Even if people have no idea what depressing thing I’m talking about this time — I study genocide, after all — they are happy to chime in and encourage me to keep digging. I have friends in almost every department and love that even though we study different things we can still bounce ideas off one another and contribute to each other’s education.