In The Light: Kendall Murtha

Photo courtesy of Kendall Murtha

Photo courtesy of Kendall Murtha

Every student enters their first year of college with different sorts of plans, expectations and hopes for their next four years. Some have concrete plans for what they would like to do and study, and others don’t. However, no matter what one believes their aspirations to be, things can always change. This is a narrative with which Kendall Murtha, a senior from Gladstone, N.J., is familiar.

“I always joked that I wanted to be Jack McCoy from Law and Order when I grew up,” she says. “I’ve since changed my focus from law school to PR and marketing – for the past three summers, I’ve worked for various PR firms, specializing in everything from finance to startups to pharmaceutical industries.”

Murtha sees herself working in a more urban environment after graduation, a far cry from the rural Hamilton atmosphere in which she currently resides.

“I want to end up in either D.C. or New York City – in New York, you can’t throw a stone without hitting some kind of marketing firm, so that’s where I’m thinking immediately after graduation,” Murtha said.

However, not all of the plans Murtha had for herself when she started at Colgate have changed. Having been convinced she wanted to go into law, she committed herself to majoring in Political Science. Though her plans for after graduation may have changed, her major has not. This is in large part due to Political Science Professor Barry Shain and the positive experience he provided in Murtha’s first Political Science class, Politics and Moral Vision. 

“It was unconventional, it was difficult, and it took me out of my comfort zone,” Murtha said. “I equated that with the quintessential college experience.”

Beyond her involvements in academics, she has also been involved in a number of extracurricular activities. Although as a first-year Murtha joined twelve clubs, some, like belly dancing, did not necessarily pique her interest. She is now a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and a co-leader of The Network, an organization which promotes awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I became so passionate about the issue that I incorporated it into my Honors thesis for my major,” Murtha said. 

Between her varied activities and academic achievements, Murtha has made lasting friendships that she will miss post graduation. 

“I’m going to miss living so close to my best friends,” Murtha said. “You can invariably find someone to vent about that test or that embarrassing moment you hope no one Yakked about.”