September 25, 2018

A religious studies major can take you to many places, not only into ordained ministry.

Caitlin Newman ’09 Thistle is one who took a different path—to a career in global health. Thistle currently serves as a family planning and reproductive health research advisor in the population and reproductive health office of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Global Health. The office works to enable men and women to decide freely for themselves the number, timing, and spacing of their children.

Thistle, who also majored in business administration, says Susquehanna gave her the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills to succeed in international development.

“We tackled big questions head-on, questions that have implications for our whole lives. My religion classes honed my critical-thinking skills, and challenged the way I approach life and view the world,” she says.

Thistle, who chose Susquehanna for its liberal arts education and active religious life community, values her close relationship with her professors. She still keeps in contact with many of them today.

“From interesting documentaries to news articles, we continue to share information and learn from each other,” she says.