Graduation Spotlight: Ellen Haag

Ellen HaagEllen Haag

Majors: Philosophy and Religious Studies

Q: Why did you choose this area of study?

A: From the beginnings of my academic journey, I immediately found a love for the humanities. Philosophy quickly became a part of my daily life, shaping my understanding of the world and others within it. Throughout my time at CWRU and with the vital guidance of the remarkable professors of the Philosophy and Religious Studies departments, I began to see the interconnectedness of philosophy and religion. By learning the importance of holistic and interdisciplinary approaches, I was able to build connections between my interests in both areas of study and develop a comprehensive understanding of philosophy and religion as deeply entwined lived practices. 

Q: What are you plans after graduation?

A: I plan on farming. My honors thesis is focused on the philosophy of food – specifically concerning the meaning that humans bring to food and how that meaning shapes a dynamic nexus of relationships that contribute to the human experience. I hope to practice my research through farming. I have considered graduate programs but haven’t arrived at any firm decisions. I also have interest in pursuing a position as a research assistant for projects centered around agriculture, food justice, and the exploration of psychedelics in modern medicine. 

Q: Why did you choose CWRU?

A: I am a scholar of the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative—a program that offered me a bridge between Cuyahoga Community College, where I received my Associate Degree, and CWRU. I never dreamt that I would have the opportunity to attend an institution like CWRU and I am extremely grateful and fortunate for my time here. 

Q: What is your favorite memory of CWRU?

A: My favorite memory is actually pretty recent. In my last semester, I have been able to participate in coursework that primarily centers around all of my interests. I am currently working on my honors thesis, capstone, and participating in an independent study with one of the most insightful and kind professors that I have ever had to pleasure of working with. It blows my mind that I have arrived at a point where I am able to choose the things I want to discuss and study and have the guidance of professors that I deeply admire.

Q: What is the one thing you’d like to share with incoming students?

A: In the words of one of my favorite professors, don’t phone it in. And in my own words, it has been worth it to study something that I’m passionate about over something that I believed to be practical. Get a degree in something that you love. A practical degree might fill your pockets, but it wont fill your soul with joy.