Commencement '22: newly minted graduates tell their stories

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Sara Campbell  
Valley Stream, New York
Morse College  
Ethics, Politics, and Economics

Was there any professor, fellow student, or course that changed your trajectory while at Yale?
For sure. I would say Professor Michael Fotos [’78]. I took American Political Institutions with him in the fall of my junior year. Professor Fotos in particular has a very wonderful way of encouraging students to pursue studies that they are actually interested in. I took the course because it was a prerequisite, not expecting to love it as much as I did. Professor Fotos was so encouraging in allowing me to find an element of American political institutions that aligned with my academic interests.
I ended up getting to write a really wonderful final paper that explored how Black American political institutions have been formative in modern American legal movements. Professor Fotos is someone I continue to be really close with, probably my favorite professor at Yale so far. . . . I mean, it’s over now.

Is there anything that you are especially going to miss?
I’m going to miss Hillhouse [Avenue]. For my first year and my last year I had so many classes on Hillhouse, and that walk is just beautiful. Throughout the year, Hillhouse is gorgeous. There’s a sense of nostalgia, considering my first classes at Yale—my econ class, my math class, my intro classes were on Hillhouse—and now, as a senior, being able to make that walk almost every day has made me very appreciative of the space, and very reflective when I’m walking to class. I’m really going to miss that.