For Taylor Rugg ’17, a single class during her first-year at HWS has led to an ongoing, interdisciplinary investigation into how individuals experience the effects of war.
The 2013 course, “Gender and Terror,” taught by then-Fisher Center Fellow Brianne Gallagher, peaked Rugg’s interest in the military and the effects of war.
“From the first class, I was hooked,” Rugg recalls. The following spring, she took another of Gallagher’s courses, “Wounded Bodies of War,” which focused on the physical and psychological repercussions of training and combat zones, which in turn led to Rugg’s individual major, “War, Warfare & the Soldier Experience,” as well as her Honors project.
Rugg developed her studies under the direction of her Honors adviser Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Ben Ristow and her academic adviser Professor of English David Weiss.
While she was building a course list and proposal for her individual major, Rugg met with Amy Teel, programs operations manager at the Center for Global Education, and found that studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, would be “the icing on the cake for my major,” with four courses addressing different aspects of her interests.
Melding psychology, English and history, Rugg’s major has focused primarily on the soldier and veteran experience and how elements of heroism, terrorism, physical and/or mental injuries affect soldiers, veterans and civilians.
After graduation, Rugg plans to attend a doctoral program in rhetoric or linguistics and hopes to explore how the military and society communicate and can improve on those systems of communication.
On campus, Rugg is a member of Hai Timiai, the Laurel honor society, HWS Chorale and Cantori, for which she serves as president. She is a senior leader of the William Smith PLEN chapter; a writing fellow and study mentor in the Center for Teaching and Learning; and works for the William Smith Dean’s Office, Registrar’s Office and the Office of International Student Affairs. She is a student representative on a writing and rhetoric tenure subcommittee and a member of the Student Advisory Board for Student Health 101.
In the photo above, Taylor Rugg ’17 talks with her Honors adviser Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Ben Ristow.