Pat Nowak

Class of 2014

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.

What was your College Scholar project?
My research analyzed the modern implications of systematic bias in drug law creation and enforcement.  I did experimental research showing that Americans continue to associate illegal drugs with African Americans. My thesis discussed the policy implications of this association and argued that it contributes to modern day statistical disparities in drug arrests, prosecution and incarceration. The disciplines of sociology, criminology, social psychology and political science influenced and shaped my ideas. My honors thesis was called "Group Positioning and Racialized Drug Policy: The Association of African Americans with Drug Use and Its Implications for United States Drug Law Enforcement."

What are you doing now?
I am currently a High School Government and Economics Teacher with Teach For America in Orangeburg, S.C.

How do you think your experience as a College Scholar has shaped your life or your career? Are there ways that you have applied the skills/knowledge/life lessons you learned as a College Scholar throughout your life?
The College Scholar Program allowed me to explore political and social issues that interested me. It allowed me flexibility to take courses across departments and colleges without struggling to complete my course of study in four years.  Through the program, I became a better writer, researcher and thinker.