Looking for a college where you can nurture your creative side with scholarship funding? At the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University, discover how your passion for art pairs with your purpose in life with a bold double major. Today, we are talking to three students currently double-majoring at Southwestern.
My name is Cassidy Mayfield and I am a Business and Theatre major at Southwestern University. I am from China Spring, TX where I went to China Spring High School. I have been in theatre since 2nd grade.
My name is Olivia Gray, I'm from Wimberley, and I'm double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Studio Art with a possible focus in painting.
My name is Maureen Rendon, and I am double majoring in Music and Political Science. I am from Laredo, Texas, but I grew up in Nuevo Laredo (bordertown in Mexico).
What made you decide to double-major?
Cassidy: I took a few business courses to see if I would really like the business major and I ended up falling in love with it. I didn’t know double majoring was possible for me until my advisor and I talked about it at the end of my first semester. She was extremely supportive in my decision and helped direct me on the double-major path!
Olivia: I felt like double majoring would allow me to explore more of what I'm interested in. I could broaden my horizons by studying a bigger range of information and I know that professors at Southwestern and my advisor will help me through any complications scheduling for both majors. Double majoring allows me to focus on two very different areas and integrate them both into my life.
Maureen: I decided to double-major because ever since I was a child, I always knew I wanted to study music in college. However, during my last year of high school, I became interested in politics, so I decided it would be interesting to study Political Science. Another part of it was my parents' encouragement to study something else besides music—they always told me I needed to look after myself and my future (not to say that music does not offer bright futures, but I did not see myself performing and/or teaching as a full-time job). I do not regret choosing two majors of different disciplines—I've learned how they intersect and they both have given me the ability to stay creative and curious. Southwestern also makes it easier for students to double major because of the amount of attention we receive from our departments, and they make sure we do what we want to do.
How do you plan to utilize your majors after graduation?
Cassidy: I plan to use my theatre major to help me continue to think creatively, radically, and effectively. My business major will stand as a structural unit that helps me understand the organizations and people I interact within a professional aspect.
Olivia: I want to use my knowledge to make a positive impact on the world. I plan on working to move towards a more sustainable future with my environmental major. And I will continue to make art for my whole life, hopefully inspiring people to create.
Think back to when you were 18 and deciding where to study for your undergraduate program. What were some of the major factors that helped you choose Southwestern?
Cassidy: I loved the Paideia aspect of Southwestern. I was happy to know that I would earn a well-rounded education whilst being able to focus on the specific academics I wanted to. Theatre was my go-to, but if it wasn’t for Paideia I might not have found my Business major!
[Paideia is student-led discussion based around a text, where students develop critical thinking skills by sharing observations and responding to others' opinions.]
Olivia: My mom's friend, went to Southwestern and she brought the school to my attention. She told me about her time here and I decided to tour the campus. I was really attracted to the small class sizes and the beautiful campus. It seemed that everyone I talked to loved the school and it seemed like a great fit for me.
Maureen: One of the major factors (or people) that helped me choose Southwestern is my piano professor, Dr. Tamagawa. Piano has always been a priority for me, and before choosing Southwestern, during one of my visits, we met in his office to speak about the structure of the lessons and I immediately knew he would help me foster the skills I need to become a better performer. Another major factor was the scholarships that Southwestern offered me, especially the Sarofim scholarship from the music department. The personal attention from the music faculty, staff, and political science professors were also a key factor and the class sizes as well.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve gained at Southwestern so far? (study abroad, friendships, faculty, etc.)
Olivia: I've made some great connections to the people here at Southwestern. I'm able to talk one-on-one with professors and really engage in the material we're learning. The student organizations are also really fun and have allowed me to make like-minded friends and get involved on campus.
Maureen: The most valuable thing I've gained at Southwestern has definitely been study abroad, and this encompasses fostering friendships and a good relationship with my professors since my first year-- without the support of the Music and Political Science departments, I would not be in London at this moment. Study abroad has given me a whole new perspective of the world, the way I view myself, my education, and it has allowed me to really rethink my priorities for the future. I got the opportunity to foster amazing friendships with other SU students, travel with them, and learn abroad with them. Same thing with the professors. They were amazing at working with us and letting us have enough time to have our own learning experiences outside the classroom, and they organized their classes so we could connect the concepts from class to our experience in London. Studying abroad really helps you know yourself, grow, and ultimately find yourself. Southwestern really does have an abundance of opportunities for their students, and if we look for them, ask about them, and work for them, they become available to us.
What would you tell people considering Southwestern University?
Cassidy: I recommend Southwestern to anyone who is looking to enjoy academia as a whole. It’s great to have a defined major, and there’s no doubt you’ll find one that you love, but it is so valuable to find interests and respects in other departments as well. I couldn’t be happier with my education here. All faculty on campus are cheering you on and are willing to go the distance to make your education unique and worth your while.
Olivia: If you want to have a well-rounded education that emphasizes connections between subjects then this is the place for you. The people here are all very helpful and easy to talk to and the sense of community is really nice. I would say to take a tour of campus and definitely consider Southwestern as a place to gain independence and grow as a person.
Maureen: You don't have to have it all figured out, and it's normal to feel like you don't know what you're doing. We have a great Office for Career and Professional Development with amazing staff that can personally give you guidance and help you find what you are passionate about. Be ready to find an abundance of resources at SU, and do not be afraid to ask questions.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
Cassidy: I am a performer, stage manager, pianist, and a big Star Wars nerd! Back at home I have a 25 lb cat named Wicket. I have sewn over 300 surgical caps for Baylor Scott & White’s Children’s Hospital in Temple.
Olivia: My home in Wimberley is a farm where we have goats, quail, chickens, dogs, cats, and a tortoise. My family built our house by ourselves and we're always working on projects around the property.
Maureen: I love to go salsa dancing!
Now some fun facts about Southwestern!
- Southwestern is just 25 miles away from Austin, TX - the "Live Music Capital of the World"
- Forbes and U.S. News named Southwestern as the #1 undergraduate liberal arts college in Texas
- Southwestern University was named a 2019 “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
- With a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, our focus is on you
- Southwestern has the 6th best Career Services office in the nation and #1 in Texas
- Southwestern is a sustainable campus, running 100% on wind power