Sparrow Gates

Rice College: McMurtry

Degree: B.A.

Major: Religion

Minor: Jewish Studies

When I first got to Rice, all I knew was that I wanted to study religion and its impact on the world. With my schedule fully up to me my first semester, I found myself drawn to fascinating classes, and by the end of the semester was well on my way to earning my Jewish Studies minor. I quickly realized that all of my passions were housed in this program, as were all of the best faculty. With their guidance and the inspiration that came from watching them engage critically and deeply with their own academic pursuits, I graduated from Rice with my Jewish Studies minor in 2017. I am currently earning my masters degree at Yale Divinity School, and I will be applying for PhD programs this fall. My time at Rice with this program transformed my life path from being a sociologist to being a Hebrew Bible scholar, working with leading scholars in the field, and falling more in love with my work every day. More than that, it taught me the importance of travel and intercultural learning, interfaith connection, and gave me life-long friends. Quite a few of my fondest memories from my college experience are thanks to this program, and I am so grateful to have been able to participate so fully in it.