Activism takes Fisher to Oxford

Fisher, with her exceptional academic record and impressive variety of extracurricular activities, was an ideal candidate. She has been involved with the Student Health Educators, the Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect and the Amherst Feminist Alliance, all of which pertain to her interest in and passion for the field of social policy.

Exploring the system

Although her stellar academic record and resume might strike some underclassmen as intimidating, Fisher is in many ways a model Amherst student. Coming from just outside Boston, Fisher has received some public and some private secondary education. Her decision to come to the College was an easy one. “I chose Amherst to really learn how to read, write and speak,” Fisher said. Those goals seem to have been reached. She is more than satisfied with the education she received, and especially with the opportunity to explore the fields of study that truly interest her through the interdisciplinary major program.

Her decision to be an interdisciplinary major came naturally as she spent her freshman year exploring different fields of studies, from political science to French. The course that most crucially impacted her academic career was Social Class, taught by Associate Professor of Sociology Ronald Lembo. “It was one of those classes that was not only intellectually challenging but also very fascinating, an eye-opener,” she said.

Fisher explored broadly not only within the College curriculum, but also among the Five Colleges, taking Advanced Social Psychology at UMass and Deviant Behavior at Smith College. In fact, she highly recommends that everyone take advantage of the opportunity that the Five College system offers: “Do your homework and ask around [about] what are some of the good classes out there, not only at Amherst but also in other colleges.”

Personal growth

Fisher has a few other recommendations as well: “I regret not having met more people. People here are all so talented and interesting-I should have been more open to making new friends and just meeting new people around here.” Fisher thinks that after two or three semesters at the College, people tend to stop trying to make new friends, which is understandable due to Amherst’s small size. But she believes that branching out to meet more people, continuing to push one’s horizon not only academically but also socially during college, is very important. “While Amherst is the place to learn what it means to be an academic, it is also place where you learn who you are as a person,” she said.

But this doesn’t mean that Fisher believes the College to be a utopian community. She thinks that Amherst shares a lot of problems that other colleges do-namely, some students putting a lot of pressure on themselves and having bad stress management skills. She also thinks there are massive eating issues at Amherst, “a culture of thinness.” Although it is certainly not unique in fostering negative body image, the College strikes Cricket as creating a certain “break between mind and body” that can be unhealthy.

That is perhaps partly why she loves living in the Zu so much-it is a place designed as an environment where students can relax, have fun (and good food, mind you) and enjoy having more of a home instead of a dorm. “Everyone there gets so close, and I truly think of everyone at the Zu as my family.” Nadia Marx ’05, the RC at the Zu this year, said of Fisher: “Cricket can only be adequately described in superlatives. She is the most ambitious and dedicated student, the most loyal and supportive friend and the best neighbor a girl could hope for. And when she rubs her legs together she makes a beautiful chirping sound!”

As for life after Amherst? “I see myself five, six years from now, designing family intervention programs to reduce youth violence in urban communities and working directly with families and violent youth in low-income urban area. My next few years pursuing Oxford’s Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy program would be a critical step towards my goal, ambition, my dream,” said Fisher. Considering her enthusiastic personality and eagerness for challenge as well as self-improvement, we can indeed see her a few years from now exactly where she aspires and deserves to be.