Alumni Story


Bethany Boyer-Rechlin (C ’10)

“What in the world can you do with a Global Perspectives major?”

Bethany Boyer-Rechlin got that question a lot, often from well-meaning, slightly worried friends. But talk to this 2010 graduate for a couple of minutes, and you’ll soon realize the answer is: PLENTY!

“I feel I can’t avoid using it. It applies to everything,” exclaims Bethany. “Its relevance to the world is its very strength.” She should know. . . . 

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Bethany has just been assigned to Peounga, a village in the West African country of Benin. Before that, she worked in the International Service Department at The Mother Church, which supports “the growth of Christian Science in developing countries.” During her two-year assignment, Bethany will serve as a community natural resources advisor, supporting women’s gardening groups and environmental education activities.

“I wrote my senior capstone on women’s roles in community-based solutions to deforestation, and am very excited with this ‘on the ground’ opportunity,” Bethany says.  In fact, her paper was published in abbreviated form in the Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, as a result of presentations made at conferences in Sweden and Norway. Bethany directly credits this experience and exposure to the “constant encouragement” and high standards of her capstone advisor, Dr. Faith Paul.  

“I loved the liberal arts education at Prin,” Bethany says.  “Drawing connections among the academic disciplines, developing the ability to speak and write effectively, learning to think creatively—these summarize Prin. I developed a broad toolkit for whatever I may encounter.”  That’s no exaggeration! The Global Perspectives major draws from various disciplines—history, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, religion, and world languages. In addition, Bethany minored in three areas—French, Environmental Studies, and Asian Studies. 

“My French education at Prin was excellent,” she notes, “and it has proved to be enormously useful” in Benin, a former French colony. (She is currently learning Bariba, the language spoken by most inhabitants in northeastern Benin. )

While at Principia, Bethany also interned on an organic farm near the College campus; volunteered with Christian Science churches and Habitat for Humanity to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina; served on the PAC executive board; was metaphysical head for her dorm and the entire campus; and read for the CSO services.

Is Bethany concerned about spending the next two years in a remote village with only 8,000 residents, no electricity, and no running water? Not at all! Check out why, and follow her adventures, on her blog: