Hello! I am Catherine Matrai, and I am an Interdisciplinary student at UCF studying Biomedical and Physical Sciences with a minor in both Hospitality Management and Health Sciences. While at UCF I hope to gain valuable insight into careers and ways I can integrate different disciplines effectively. This e-portfolio will introduce you to my different learning experiences and how I have been molded as a person, as well as my future aspirations to better myself.
course of study
Below are courses I have already completed or in the process of completion for Interdisciplinary Studies. My areas of study include: Life and Biomedical Sciences and Physical Sciences, with a double minor in Hospitality Management and Health Science.
Below are courses I plan to take for Interdisciplinary Studies.
My original plan, before entering IDS was to become a Physical Therapist and go through the Pre-Health Clinical major. I entered UCF, right out of high school with nearly enough credits towards my AA. I was pressured to decide fairly quickly. My uncertainty and many interests then led me to Interdisciplinary Studies. I’m still working on prerequisites towards Physical Therapy graduate school, which is why I chose both Physical Science and Life and Biomedical tracks. I also chose Hospitality Management as my minor, as well as the Health Science minor. It was suggested to me that perhaps I would could have my own therapeutic spa or resort, integrating both health science and hospitality.
I have gained more life experience through informal education than in formal education. Formal education has only helped foster development in continuing formal education. However, participating in events outside of school and classes has given me more valuable knowledge, at least in my opinion. Within Bulldog Catering, the high school culinary club, we had to arrange events and manage finances. Within the CHEMLive club I had participated in at Daytona State College, our professor/mentor had taken us around Central Florida to different expositions and taught us how chemistry can be used outside of the classroom and laboratory.
I find it more rewarding and worthwhile to have little excursions outside the classrooms and textbooks in order to learn and appreciate certain subjects. Most of my life however has been spent inside a classroom, reading a textbook about how the world works – which I’m sure is entirely productive. Everyone learns differently, and yet we are stuck in the same system. I suppose that the things taught in the classroom are a basic foundation that we need to know before we go out into the “real world”, but I wish there was a combination where education and learning is more meaningful and motivates students to learn.
statement of interdisciplinary understanding
If I am honest, Interdisciplinary Studies was always an enigma to me. I had never understood the potential of Interdisciplinary Studies until this class. Persons with Interdisciplinary Studies are able to communicate more effectively with those outside of certain disciplines – we work together and learn from many different ideas and thoughts.
I have grown to realize that students and scholars who have learned through interdisciplinary studies may be more adaptive to certain situations than their peers whom are focused on one discipline. For example, while in a job for let’s say business, your boss may ask you to create a presentation relating to a certain audience. If you have the knowledge to integrate and understand the other discipline from their point of view, you are connected to the audience on a level that someone with no experience can have. We have gained a “better overall comprehension of global interdependencies”. In my opinion, I am more motivated to do work that is interesting and fits to my personal interests than following a path set by someone else.
When I tell someone what my major is, they often say “what’s that”. After completing Cornerstone Experience, I am able to efficiently and correctly inform them. I have often suggested to my fellow classmates and friends to join Interdisciplinary Studies because I think it is a wonderful program and allows students to follow what inspires them most, gaining a better understanding of the world around them.