Mina Makarious '06, JD '09

Mina Makarious profile photoMunicipal and Environmental Lawyer

Thesis Title: Democracy in the Grandstands: Social Capital Development in Minor League and Amateur Baseball

Social Studies taught me how to focus on a precise question, but to think broadly. I was able to take my varied interests in urban politics, sports culture, and religion and distill them into a set of questions to guide my thesis research, but first I got to explore a large cross section of communities and ideas. The interdisciplinary focus of the program allowed me to take courses on topics as varied as community organizing, the African American church, teacher's unions, and local government while helping me see the connections between them.

I'm now a lawyer practicing local government and environmental law and I believe the skill to see how disparate topics connect and to bring to bear an experience from one field to another has helped make me a better counselor and problem solver. Social Studies also undoubtedly made me a more passionate student of group dynamics (on the small and large scale). I often find as I work with clients ranging from airport and town boards to my own partnership that I am able to recognize that the structure of a group's relationships often dictates outcomes much more than the substance of their discussion.