Brandon Batham

Sophomore 1

Academic Interests. My plan will likely be in politics & American studies, and will focus on campaign strategy in modern American politics. I've been interested in campaign strategy for the last five years, having worked on various campaigns across the country (including consulting for a U.S. House seat in California and a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, and ghost writing for a mayoral candidate in Los Angeles).

Inspiring Classes. My top three favorite classes have been Voting, Campaigns, and Elections in US History with Kate Ratcliff, Debating the American Dream with Meg Mott, and Cuba: 1898 to Present with Kate Ratcliff and Carol Hendrickson.

On Marlboro. The professors at Marlboro College are superior to every other college in the world. I don't care what any study or survey may show, that is a truth I refuse to let go of. Faculty are invested in your well being and continued academic and personal success, and go through great lengths to show it. A fun story about the faculty I like sharing: During my trip to Cuba in the Spring 2013 semester, I got really badly sun burnt. In Cuba, we shared houses, and I was sharing my house with the professors that accompanied us on the trip. They saw how badly burnt I was, and immediately got lotion, raw aloe, and black tea bags (apparently this works!) and proceeded to rub these items over my soon-to-be-peeling back, face, legs, and arms. Just think about it: at what other college would your professors take such good care of you? I'd bet good money you couldn't get a rubdown like that at any Ivy League school.

Favorite Campus Places. This is a really tough question to answer because there are so many places on campus I love for different reasons. My favorite place to study is the reference room in the library; my favorite place to hang out with friends is on the Howland porch. My favorite place to retreat to when I'm stressed or need to talk is the Student Accounts office, mainly because Kathleen Gurney and Stephen Sirum are awesome.


Community Involvement. I'm currently serving as the Town Meeting Treasurer (which means I'm also on Selectboard), and run the UHaul Car Share Program on campus. Last year, I served on the Curriculum and Environmental Quality committees, and was the treasurer of PRIDE. I'm also going to be leading a Bridges trip at the beginning of this year (the Government one!).

Goals Before Graduating. I would like to intern in Washington, D.C. Also, go out for drinks with my favorite staff/faculty on campus. Oh, yeah, and discover the meaning of life.

Summer Plans. I'm spending the summer at Marlboro, working for the Marlboro Music Festival. I'm also playing Sir Toby Belch in the Vermont Theater Company's production of Twelfth Night for Shakespeare in the Park in Brattleboro. Finally, I'm working on higher education policy proposals for my fellowship with People for the American Way (I start training in mid June).

Advice. Do not...I repeat, do NOT overload yourself on classes during your first semester. I recommend taking 12 or 14 credits at most, because you're going to want to get involved in other activities on campus, and you really can't do as much as you may like to do if you're too busy stressing about classes. You also don't want to go too crazy during the time leading up to turning in your Clear Writing portfolio, which can and will be stressful.

Get involved! Run for committees! Get to know the kitchen staff! Have a conversation with our president, Ellen! You're going to love it here.