Giving a voice to the stories of the past

Helen Shears '12

Helen Shears ’12

History and French Double Major
Cameron Park, California 

I chose Puget Sound because of its location (close to Seattle, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest) and how flexible the curriculum is. I wanted a school where I could pursue all my interests—where I could participate in theater even if I wasn’t a theater major, for example.

I like history because it is a story—full of vivid characters, structure, rising action, denouement—all the elements of a good plot. Our job as historians is to interpret the meaning of the story and try to tell it responsibly. We become the narrators for the characters of the past.

I added the French major because the French department at Puget Sound is top notch, with a wide range of specialties. Studying in Dijon for a year changed my life in every possible way. I had an amazing host family, and I learned so much about myself as an individual and as a student.

I would describe myself as an artistic realist. I work hard in school because I like learning, because I feel passionate about what I’m studying. I believe in the role of art in a well-rounded education. I was heavily involved in theater in middle school and high school. At Puget Sound I’ve been in one play, but have discovered writing as my primary passion. I love writing about everyday life, the little tragedies and the comedic twists. I also love traveling (and writing about traveling), reading, and singing. On campus I’m a writing advisor and a French tutor. I’m a member of a few academic honors societies, I give campus tours, and I’m a member of Lighthouse, a nondenominational Christian organization on campus.

I like being a student so much I might not stop. Right now I plan to pursue a graduate degree, most likely in European history, although I plan to take a year or two off in between. My dream job would be to work for TED, a nonprofit dedicated to “ideas worth spreading,” but I’d also love to be a professor at a school like Puget Sound. Whatever I end up doing, I want to make an impact in some way. I feel like anything is possible with a liberal arts education, and Puget Sound has given me that.

Photo by Ross Mulhausen

More About Philip

 

"The man about whom the drama of Glass's opera is twisted, Orphée, is sung by baritone Philip Cutlip, one of the best among America's generation of talented young singers."

Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts

 

"The star of the evening was Cutlip, whose commitment to the tormented character of Maurice Bendrix was moving beyond words, his diction as well as his sweetness and lightness of timbre ideal."

Opera News

 

"Cutlip is remarkable. He looks more like a movie star than an opera/oratorio specialist. But when he lets the pipes loose, the windows rattle and he shows why he is in demand on stages at the top venues in the world. This guy can sing."

Walt Amacker, Richmond Times-Dispatch