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Profile - Baldree



WBE
Megan Baldree '10
Linguistics
Orange, Texas

For Megan Baldree, the study of language is one of many ways-and perhaps one of the best ways-of opening doors between different peoples and cultures. "I think studying linguistics is incredibly beneficial for everyday life. You are constantly interacting with people who are different from you. And since our culture isn't homogenous, and it's becoming more and more diverse, issues of different cultures come into play almost every day. So, to know why people believe or act the way they do, you have to know their culture and even the language they speak." Linguistics, Megan says, is very much a study of human beings. "It helps you learn more about why people are the way they are," she says.

Megan has been interested in pursuing linguistics since high school. "I actually came into college wanting to study linguistics," she says. "I discovered in high school that I loved dealing with cultures and languages." She came to Baylor not only because her family's ties to the school, but also because of Baylor's linguistics program. "It's great that Baylor professors do care about you and do know your name and that you're in classes small enough for that to happen. You actually get to do research with your professors and discuss things with them those are some of my favorite things about going to school here."

"My linguistics major is more the intercultural kind, rather than historical," she says. Her linguistics major is a step along a path toward her ideal job. "I'm planning on going to grad school for college student affairs. I really want to work in a university setting in multicultural affairs. I want a job where I can interact with diverse people and different cultures and languages, in a way that lets me help students with their identities in the university setting." Megan has already had opportunities to apply her knowledge of intercultural linguistics in her years at Baylor. "I studied abroad in China. We traveled all over the place and met all different kinds of people; it was a wonderful experience. I think the other linguistics student and I were able to do a little bit more than the other students in the program. We had a different understanding-a different way of relating to people, their cultures, and used that to learn more about the language."

Back on campus, she has also found places to apply her skills. "I'm a community leader, similar to an RA, and linguistics has actually been helpful as I've addressed diversity and intercultural issues." The most rewarding skill she's learned-and the one she will keep using both at work and outside of it-is the point of view she's gained. "I've been able to look at issues and conflicts from perspectives beyond my own cultural background," she says.