The Fab Five
Liberal Arts Fellows study, intern, travel abroad, and leap majors in a single bound!
Kerry Murchie ’12
There’s a back corner in Dimond Library with a big table where Kerry Murchie, from Portland, Maine, likes to write. Generally she starts at 10 p.m. and continues until around 2 a.m. when the library closes.
“No one’s going to call me after 10,” says Murchie, who’s writing her honors thesis on the evolving relationship of the Boston Irish community to the Irish Republican Army during the twentieth century. “Once I sit down and my books are spread out, I get in the zone. My verbal patterns are very different than my writing patterns. When I write it’s very fluid. It’s one thought process. Although, if I have class the next day that’s unfortunate.”
The Honors Program student thought she’d be a political science major when she came to UNH. It was part of the plan. Murchie says she always has a ten-year plan and lives by her color-coded day planner. She also creates numerous detailed PowerPoints organizing her research on everything from cars to potential law schools.
But, at Orientation, after scanning the courses, she was drawn to history and changed her mind. Unusual for Murchie, but she went with her gut feeling. Then, to stay grounded with her goal of becoming a lawyer, Murchie made it a dual major with justice studies, adding two minors, classics and sociology.
An internship at the Strafford County Courthouse confirmed for her that law was the right direction.
“I’d always thought that to have a compelling legal career meant practicing in a major city,” says Murchie. “But I found that Strafford had a ton of interesting and really important cases.”
Her experiences with UNH’s successful Mock Trial team provided a further test of her interests. This year for the first time the team went to the nationals, a.k.a. Golds. Murchie played the part of a witness, first for the defense, then for the prosecution.
This year really tested even her organizational skills. Her position as student director of the Honors Program Peer Mentor Program prompted her to list all 100 mentees on an Excel spreadsheet. She also learned how to delegate thoughtfully. Then, she put her stamp on the program by adding a community service element. “I took on the position because I’ve loved the program,” Murchie says. “And, I wouldn't have done it without meeting my peer mentor.”
Murchie participated in two Alternative Spring Break Challenges, traveling to Kentucky and Georgia. And she squeezed in a study abroad semester in Ireland (after researching the best Irish college for completing her gen eds). To top it off, she is the community assistant in the Gables, a UNH-owned apartment complex.
No wonder she developed her library strategy. But, Murchie has a great sense of humor. How did she get interested in becoming a lawyer? “I grew up watching JAG. I know, hilarious,” says Murchie.
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