Anika Watson ‘18, Skills Program Coordinator and Learning Commons Assistant

Why did you choose to attend Quest?

I have always loved learning and when I found Quest I was excited to discover a school that seemed to put a focus more on the process of learning than the goal of earning a degree.

Since I was nowhere near ready to commit to a major when I was looking into university, I liked the fact that Quest’s academic program would allow me to investigate a wide range of disciplines in both arts and sciences. I was attracted by the fact that students often work closely with faculty, seeming more like collaborators and less like numbers in the system. The Block Plan was also a big plus for me!

 

What was your Question and why?

My Question was, “How can analogical reasoning facilitate scientific inquiry?” I asked this question because I wanted to investigate the way apparently disparate phenomena can share a similar mathematical framework, and what that shared math can teach us about the phenomena under study. Another way to ask this would be, “In what ways is an atom like balls on a spring?”

 

What did you think of the Block Plan?

I loved it because it allowed me to immerse myself entirely in the subject at hand, without needing to put on the brakes and shift my focus to another discipline just because the clock decided that class was over. The one downside was that it was challenging to get through the reading lists in some classes. I can only read so many novels in a week!

 

Why did you choose to return to Quest after graduation and work in the Learning Commons?

To be honest, it was a tough decision because I was excited to begin graduate school. I decided to come back because I am very passionate about Q-Skills and I am thrilled to spend a year learning more about how we learn quantitative skills, and how I can best facilitate this learning.

I believe it’s important for citizens to be quantitatively literate in order to hold decision-makers accountable. For that reason, I like that all students complete Q-Skills, that there is a strong support system in place to help students succeed, and that it isn’t “for grades,” so students have a low-stakes warm-up for the Quantitative Reasoning that their classes will require.

 

What are your future plans/aspirations?

I plan to go to graduate school in Mathematics and Physics and apply what I’ve experienced at Quest to inspire learning wherever I go.

 

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