Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Lasting impressions

Sarah Collins ’13 

  • International relations and  biology major
  • Bhutan participant, fall 2010

“I wrote a research paper for a class I took in Bhutan with Professor Bianca Cody Murphy. I was interested in the generation that has experienced the rapid modernization of the country since 1960. So, I interviewed a daughter, mother and grandmother of three different families to compare their similarities and differences in experiences and values.

For the past two years, Professor Murphy and I have continued to work on this project. We received a research grant, which allowed us to travel back to the country in 2012 to conduct more interviews.

In March of 2012, I presented my paper at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, in Utah, and my paper was recently published. We continue to work on this project and plan to write more papers on the topic.

I am looking forward to combining my interests in international relations and biology in the future in the field of sustainable development, and I believe that Bhutan has served as a great case study to assess the ways in which countries could go about modernizing while maintaining their traditional values and beliefs.

The fact that I am still constantly reading and writing about Bhutan through my work with Professor Murphy was definitely unexpected. I took away a great long-term research experience from my semester there. Beyond that, I learned a lot about myself—that I am capable of adapting to new environments more than I previously thought.”

About Sandy Coleman

Sandy Coleman is the editor of the Wheaton Quarterly and Senior Associate Director in the Communications Office.