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Ally Wong

2017 Graduate
Majors: Philosophy, History

Ally Wong

Hi there! My name is Ally Wong, and I am 2017 graduate of Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts. I double majored in Philosophy and History, and I am a second-year law student the University of Southern California.

When I arrived at Purdue, I knew that I was going to be in the College of Liberal Arts, but I was unsure as to what exactly I would major in. That quickly changed after my first day of Ethics with Professor Patricia Curd. Her enthusiasm for the subject matter and her passion for teaching made me realize philosophy would be the perfect major for me. I had a background in Latin, so I naturally was attracted to ancient philosophy. Additionally, I thought that I may want to pursue law, and I knew that philosophical thinking would help me excel in that field.

I fell in love with history after taking History of Christianity. It was an incredibly compelling course, and the next year I decided to dive in and complete the History Honors Thesis Program. I was nervous to enter the program, but Professor Melinda Zook was an incredible instructor who shaped me into the researcher that I am today. My thesis, entitled The Celestials at Purdue University: An Examination of Chinese Students During the Exclusion Era 1882-1943, reviewed the experience of Chinese students at Purdue through both the lens of the minority students and the student body at-large. To this day, I am still asked about my thesis, what my findings were, and how I discovered this topic.

As a CLA student at Purdue, I felt like I could do anything. The staff and faculty always reached out to you with opportunities, made themselves available to meet with you, and genuinely wanted you to succeed. My formative professional experiences are all attributable to some outreach or nudge from a liberal arts professor or academic advisor.

For example, my sophomore year, I received an email from Professor Curd suggesting I apply to work as a legislative intern at the Indiana State Senate. Little did I know, her message prompting me to apply for the internship would change the trajectory of my professional life. It led to numerous other internships, research opportunities, to my full-time position in a congressional office after graduation, and to my recent legal clerk position on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

My advice to prospective students is to follow your passion and to take advantage of the College of Liberal Arts team that is dedicated to your success. CLA offers students countless networking, professional development, and academic enrichment resources, and I implore you to use them! There are so few times in your life where you are going to be surrounded by so many professors and staff that genuinely want to help you achieve your goals, and I encourage you to reach out to them, attend office hours, schedule meetings, take on the research assistant position, and explore the possibilities!