Jana Loeb '08
Learning in Community
I transferred to Brown in the middle of my sophomore year from a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. I loved where I had been at school, but I had always dreamed of going to Brown. I loved Brown’s size—large enough to allow me to meet new people every semester, but small enough to encourage a strong sense of community. I was inspired by how deeply Brown students cared about learning and how many different paths students forge through Brown’s open curriculum. I took courses in fifteen different departments during my time at Brown and pursued an interdisciplinary concentration in Biomedical Ethics, which helped me see that the gap between the sciences and the humanities was not as wide as I had originally imagined.
I love that Brown has as many curricula as it has students. I also appreciate that the University has a genuine desire to consider students’ perspectives about how the community functions inside and outside the classroom. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to join three students and several professors and academic deans on the College Curriculum Council (CCC). On the CCC, I was introduced again and again to the remarkable ways that Brown students were pursuing their educations. My fellow students consistently wowed me, especially when I reviewed Group Independent Study Projects and Independent Study Projects. My experience on the CCC gave me a front-row seat to the unique academic attributes of Brown’s undergraduate college.
In addition to my committee work, I loved singing in Harmonic Motion, one of Brown’s co-ed a cappella groups, and participating in the Brown/RISD Hillel community. I also wrote an honors thesis for my Biomedical Ethics concentration that explored the complex ethical issues involved in living kidney donation between relatives and strangers.
I transferred to Brown because I knew it was the right place for me, and I felt at home the minute I arrived. At Brown, I was free to be educated on my own terms, to explore and combine interests I did not even know that I had, and to be engrossed in a community that depends on students’ own drive and motivation to shape what it means to be liberally educated.
Jana Loeb graduated in May 2008 with an A.B. degree in biomedical ethics. She currently works in Brown’s Office of Admission.