Senior Spotlight: Sophie Nugent ’22

May 25, 2022

Sophie NugentOregon native Sophie Nugent graduated in only three years but still managed to design her own major, work in multiple offices on campus, conduct academic research, complete an off-campus internship, and take on leadership roles within campus clubs. 

In addition to working as an Admissions Ambassador and Residential Advisor on campus, Nugent was one of the first Gender Equity Peer Educators at the College’s recently launched Gender Equity Center (GEC) directed by Whittier Professor Ann M. Kakaliouras. 

“I want the GEC to provide resources for departments to make every space on campus safe, inclusive, and EDUCATED on gender equity issues,” said Nugent. “Creating concrete policy change for students is crucial for the protection and progress of these groups. Additionally, the GEC is a space where students should be able to share unfortunate experiences that they had on campus and for us to provide support and guidance.”

Nugent was also active with the Women’s Leadership Association, a student group devoted to uplifting women through education, resources, and community.

“The most interesting thing I learned [as a GEC intern] is that there is still progress to be made, Whittier has done a great job at cultivating safe spaces for LGBTQ, women, and other marginalized and minority groups. However, it is time to make those safe spaces campus-wide. Students of all identities should feel safe and seen when interacting with all departments,” added Nugent. 
Nugent majored in Sustainable Management through the Whittier Scholars Program (WSP) and served as a WSP ambassador and student board member. 

According to Nugent, the best thing about majoring in WSP is the “freedom of creating your own major and the ability to incorporate multiple majors into one and not feeling limited by one discipline,” said Nugent whose major, Sustainable Management, combines her interests in sustainability, environmentalism, policy, law, advocacy, and community outreach.

As a complement to her studies, Nugent was a member of the sustainability club and completed two off-campus internships in 2021, serving as a sustainable research and community outreach intern at Sünny Period and clean energy advocate at Common Energy.
Nugent had some advice on getting the most out of your time at Whittier: “Get involved early and learn how to use Engage. Engage is an amazing online platform to see what you have access to on campus. Not just clubs, but other resources such as the career center, CARE, counseling, etc. All you have to do is reach out and ask what services they have available for you. These resources can allow you to plan, prepare, and accomplish everything you want to during your time at Whittier.”
Eventually, Nugent sees herself working in the sustainability sphere, likely in environmental law. Her immediate plans include moving back to Portland to find a job in law that will help her decide if law school is in her future.