Alumni Interviews — Dr. Claire Gubernator (’12)

With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. Each spring we publish brief “Alumni Updates” where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we post interviews with our alumni. Today we are excited to post an interview with Claire Gubernator (’12). We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.

What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?
I graduated Spring 2012. My major was Medical Humanities, I minored in Biology, and I was pre-physical therapy.

What has been your journey since graduating from Baylor? What are you doing currently for work/career?
I took two years between undergrad and graduate school. I took a couple of classes in Exercise Science at Texas State University, traveled the US for 8 months, and worked at a rehabilitation hospital as a therapy aide. I then attended physical therapy school at Pacific University near Portland, OR and graduated with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May 2017. I finally have my first “big girl job” working in a hospital system in Portland.

What do you enjoy most about your work–or what is something you are currently excited about in your work?
I love my work because I get to make human connections every day. My clients are usually in pain and are looking to take control of their bodies. I have the amazing opportunity to teach individuals about their pain, empower them to change it, and get back to what they love. It’s really rewarding work and I learn from every interaction.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor?
BIC gave me the gift of open-mindedness. Being exposed to a variety of literature, religions, and discussing history and life with people different from me has given me the ability to relate and communicate in my professional life. I am thankful for the growth and personal development BIC provided during my time at Baylor and its lasting impression in my life now.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in BIC?
My favorite memories are of our field trips—to the Hindu Temple, the Japanese Gardens, the Synagogue, and the Mosque. After the Mosque, we had a delicious dinner and got to see Dr. Tatum dance—comical and fun!

Is there something you learned in BIC that still sticks with you today?
Maybe not necessarily something I learned, but the experience. The last course I had in BIC was the Bildungsroman with Dr. Paul Larson. Coming-of-age novels were really timely—I was a senior, trying to figure out where life was going to take me next. Discussion around books like The Alchemist gave me the opportunity to learn more about myself and recognize my own coming of age story (which is still ongoing, six years later).

Many alumni recall the theme of the examined life from their time in BIC. How does this concept still influence you today in your life and/or work?
Self-reflection and being intentional in my personal life has enriched my relationships, my understanding of myself, and reinforces purpose. In my professional life, it helps me to learn from my mistakes, keeps me curious and driven, and allows me to better connect with my clients.

What are your goals for the future?
Professionally, I’d like to continue to develop my skills and knowledge as a physical therapist. Personally, I want to travel more—globally and to US parks.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?
Even though you might be bogged down with reading and writing, it will serve you well in your career and will be something you look back on with fond memories. For those of you seeking a science degree: BIC may not seem to be relevant to your future hopes of practicing medicine, but it is extremely valuable in shaping how you experience the world and interact with others!

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