Cultivating curiosity about the world

Rachel Martin '96


Rachel Martin ’96

National Security Correspondent, National Public Radio
Washington, D.C.

A Puget Sound education cultivates a deep sense of curiosity. I realized during my time at Puget Sound that the more ideas I was exposed to, the more I wanted to learn. Journalism ended up being the perfect job for me because it gives me an excuse to pursue almost anything that provokes and intrigues me.

What I loved about my UPS education was the ability to stretch beyond a chosen course of study. I was a politics and government major, but I took many English literature courses and remember one in particular, taught by Frank Cousens. We studied the works of novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch. The course literally changed my life. Not only did Frank teach me how to write, but through that course I learned to question long-held assumptions—to question the obvious and the obscure, to dig deep in order to discover the truth of an issue or a person. These were lessons that would serve me throughout my life and career.

In some ways a liberal arts education is under attack right now. There’s a new line out there in these dire economic times that it may be better to pursue a more technical degree. I just think this is flat-out wrong. If you want to be successful—no matter what industry you end up in—you need to know how to think critically.

I have to say, the N.Y.C. and D.C. power circles—in finance, media, and government—are filled with graduates of East Coast schools. A degree from the University of Puget Sound catches people’s eye. It says: this is someone who has chosen a different path. This is someone who is worth getting to know.

More About Rachel

  • Hometown: Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Covers the Pentagon, the military, and the U.S. intelligence community for NPR
  • Previously covered the White House for ABC News
  • Master’s degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Photo courtesy of Rachel Martin ’96