In The Light
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012 17:11
Hailing from outside of Philadelphia, senior Julia McMillan, a Peace and Conflict Studies (PCON) concentrator on the pre-medicine track, has spent her time at Colgate involved in several academic disciplines and in diverse activities.
McMillan is a Benton Scholar, works for the PCON department, assists with an organic chemistry lab, is a tour guide, a co-leader of Oxfam, the Chair of Publicity for the Newman Board, part of The Network, a member of the Bellydancing Club and a participant in Model United Nations (MUN), in which it is her eighth year participating. In addition, McMillan lives in the Positive Sexuality house and is involved with its initiatives on campus.
“I really like the Positive Sexuality program,” McMillan said. “I think it’s an important topic for students on campus to be talking about.”
During her junior year, McMillan studied abroad for six months at Birzeit University in Ramallah, West Bank. At Birzeit, she took Arabic classes as well as the modern history of Palestine and its culture, which were taught in English.
McMillan is not a stranger to the Middle East. During the seventh grade, she attended a peace conference with her politically-interested mother in Jerusalem. The summer before her senior year of high school, McMillan, her brother and her mother lived with a family in Bethlehem. And, following her first year at Colgate, she spent a summer in Amman, Jordan studying Arabic.
She is currently writing her thesis for PCON on Israeli prisoner exchanges. She was in the West Bank for the prisoner exchange between Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, which prompted her interest in the topic.
After Colgate, McMillan’s current goal is to pursue psychiatry.
“I discovered that psychiatry is a good mix of PCON and science,” McMillan said. “In PCON, you look at the effect of war on the human spirit from a social perspective, and then in psychiatry from the scientific perspective.”
For McMillan, Colgate was the perfect atmosphere in which to attend college.
“I like having small classes and being able to approach my professors,” McMillan said. “And, you’re always meeting new people but also know a lot [of them].”
To underclassmen, McMillan advises finding a balance between classes, extracurriculars and the social aspects of college.
“Take advantage of everything Colgate has to offer,” McMillan said. “Be willing sometimes to study a little less to attend an interesting lecture being brought to campus, but also make time for friends.”