Hometown: Newberg, OR
Double Major: International Studies + Spanish
Student Path: Civilian
Activities: Rugby Team Senior Captain, Four-time Women’s Rugby Div. I National Champion, Three-time Women’s Rugby All-American, Academic Achievement Center Peer Tutor, Undergraduate Research Ambassador.
A standout rugby player, Hannah Bell discovered her inner scholar during her four years at Norwich. Her journey began in earnest after her sophomore year, when she won a summer undergraduate research fellowship. It was her first scholarly experience. “I learned so much about [the research] process during this time,” she says. Her project analyzed prominent Western women novelists of the 20th century, and Bell was invited to present her findings at the selective “Posters on the Hill” undergraduate research showcase at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. “I spoke with congressmen and their staff about my research and the importance of undergraduate research, which was an amazing experience.”
The All-American rugby player also lead her teammates to four Division I national titles. But she says presenting her International Studies major senior thesis was among her proudest moments at Norwich. “I discussed immigration policy and border security in Spain, which was a timely topic considering our own political rhetoric and the refugee crisis.”
A 2016 Norwich graduate, Bell joined the Teach For America San Antonio Corps after graduation to spend two years teaching in an under-served elementary school. “I grew up in a household committed to social justice. My father is a Presbyterian pastor, and I always planned on … nonprofit work. I have been inspired by many great educators throughout my career and have had so much fun learning. I want to be able to help other kids fall in love with learning like I did. Ten to twenty years from now, I want to be a state prosecutor or a family doctor. I plan on taking the next two years to figure out which path to take.”