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Ratte Award Goes to McCartan

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Emily McCartan B.A. ’07 has been described by one professor as the embodiment of “the ideal the liberal arts seeks to achieve” for her ability to balance intellectual rigor and civic engagement. In recognition of her accomplishments, she won the 2007 Rena J. Ratte Award, the undergraduate college’s highest academic honor.

McCartan, a double major in international affairs and religious studies, thrived by taking diverse courses in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. “My favorite thing was being able to make connections between the issues, theories, and phenomena that came up in totally different classes,” she says.

A member of the Pamplin Society of Fellows, McCartan graduated summa cum laude and with departmental honors from the religious studies department. While at Lewis & Clark, she also led the International Folkdance Club and volunteered with Start Making a Reader Today.

While one of McCartan’s professors predicted she “will be a scholar in her own right in the not-so-distant future,” McCartan remains open to several career possibilities. “The next few years may find me as a teacher, a law student, or a policy maker,” she says. “No matter which path I choose, I know it will be a continuation of the scholastic and communitarian vocation that I’ve discovered at Lewis & Clark.”

Rena Ratte was a Lewis & Clark philosophy instructor and professor during the 1960s. Following her unexpected death in 1970, colleagues, students, and friends established the award to honor Ratte’s memory.

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