January 1, 2012
By Corina Leu '12
As a junior Chemistry and Philosophy major at Mount Holyoke, Rachel Krueger jokes that her majors have no content overlap, yet they perfectly compliment each other. “Philosophy is what we had before science, science used to be called natural philosophy. You tackle the same ideas about your fundamental existence through different ways,” she says. For the past year, Rachel has been editing the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, alongside Philosophy professor James Harold.
Rachel earns her masthead on the journal by editing book reviews for Harold, copy-editing, and ensuring everything is correctly formatted. Rachel is also in charge of the bookkeeping, keeping track of the journal’s books, ensuring books reach reviewers, and keeping in correspondence with book review authors. “It’s a small world in aesthetics and art criticism. It’s nice that Mount Holyoke has that kind of connection to the journal and that I am somehow involved in that. Book reviewing sounds like a mundane job, but it is very important for people who publish the books and for people to find out what new things they need to read,” Rachel says. She finds keeping in touch with contemporary scholarship an interesting addition to her coursework, as professors only have a limited amount of time to focus on contemporary scholarship.
Prior to working with Harold, Rachel used to edit the book review section of Mount Holyoke News, and completed an internship at a local newspaper The Highline Times, where she was introduced to the fine art of copyediting. Rachel was looking for a job when Professor Harold asked her if editing a philosophy journal was something she was interested in. Rachel encourages students to reach out to professors with shared academic interests. “Some jobs are not listed on JobX and you never know what opportunities professors might have hanging up their sleeve,” she says.
While Rachel enjoys her work for the journal, she has plans to focus more on chemistry research in the near future. This past summer, Rachel began an independent study with a computational professor. Her research focused on computational physical chemistry, a branch of science that uses computer programs and mathematics to model chemical behaviors, where she hopes to answer questions like “How might protons move through a crystal?”