Mattie Harris

Mattie Harris

Major: Criminal Justice, Sociology and Middle East Studies | Minor: Arabic | Anticipated graduation: Dec 2019


In this conversation, Harris shares her passion for public service and studying the Middle East, how important it is to form connections with your professors, her love of people, and how life’s too short to sweat the small things.


Tell us a little about your academic passions, research and/or what you’re studying within the college. What excites you about this?

I am majoring in criminal justice, sociology, Middle East studies and minoring in Arabic. I have such a wide range of studies. I have always had a passion for the Middle East and public service. I was fortunate to find a degree plan that satisfied these passions, while graduating on time. I am looking forward to the endless possibilities that will arise out of my studies.


How long have you been at Fulbright College? What have you enjoyed most about your time here?

I have been a student at Fulbright College for three years. I have enjoyed forming relationships with the professors and my classmates the most about my time here. 


What has your favorite class been so far and why?

This is so hard. I have had favorites with each major and minor. With criminal justice, my favorite class was corrections. This class was my favorite because of what I gained from it. It did not give me warm, happy feelings by any means because it was all about the prison systems. However, I gained valuable insight about the life of a convict and was able to see them as humans instead of criminals. In sociology, my favorite class was social psychology because I learned so much about myself through the topics we studied and really appreciated my professor, Mr. Worden. In Middle Eastern studies, my favorite class was the Bible and the Koran. Dr. Allen’s puns and dad jokes definitely were part of the reason. I also learned so much about the Koran and Islam, which I knew very little about before taking the class. I thought I knew a lot about the Bible before taking the class, but the class made me realize just how much I did not know about the Bible. It was awesome, because we looked at it from a literature perspective.


What advice would you give to new students about to join the college?

Don’t be afraid to form connections with your professors. Do the reading! I know it’s hard when you have so much reading, studying and papers, but the reading is very helpful not just with doing well in the class, but with life. The things I learned in my textbooks, I have used in everyday conversation or life experiences. Also, never limit yourself. Apply for everything, and don’t let rejection keep you from applying for the next thing.


What do you like to do during your time outside of the university?

I love people! My mom would probably say that I am always hanging out with friends. It is true; I am always with people whether it’s my family or friends doing something.


When do you anticipate graduating, and what’s up next on the horizon for you?

I anticipate graduating December of 2019, a semester after I return from being abroad for a year. As far as my next steps, I will be looking for a government job, in order to begin my career and to fulfill my federal service requirement. I hope to find a job where I will be able to utilize each major and minor. I also hope to get in some more travel.


Is there anything else you’d like to add or let readers know?

Life’s too short to sweat the small things. Find something you’re passionate about, and pursue it.


Author: Andra Liwag | Oct 1, 2018 | Dean's Corner, Faces of Fulbright, Q & A