Like most students, Carlyle Turner ’19 arrived at Bates with certain traits already at work, like curiosity and a desire to learn.

Bates has helped him build on those traits. A psychology major from Baltimore, he learned essential skills for today’s world, such as how to be constructively skeptical and critical — “to think for myself and not just accept what someone tells you, but challenge it.”

Video by Theophil Syslo.

In addition to his studies, Turner has been a member of the squash team and, last summer, had a Purposeful Work internship at Columbia University.

There, he joined a study looking at the long-term effects of stress and toxic chemical exposure on the health of New Yorkers who were under age 17 during the 9/11 attacks. His work involved field interviews with study subjects.

“It’s been very powerful hearing the life stories of such a diverse group of people,” he said. “I was put to the test in terms of thinking on my feet and remaining professional at all times.”

At the same time, he says, the experience helped him “become a more empathetic person.”

Credit for these liberal arts skills — critical thinking, healthy skepticism, and human empathy — goes to Turner’s professors, including his thesis adviser, Professor of Psychology Amy Douglass, as well as other adults at Bates and beyond. “Without them, I wouldn’t love Bates as much as I do,” he says.

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