Abbey Coe ‘21

Geography and International Affairs Majors
photo of Abbey Coe


Bow, N.H.

What made you choose UNH?

I am actually a transfer student and I initially went to a school in Washington, D.C., but ended up choosing UNH because I love New Hampshire and I was really interested in the geography program here. I was at a big school in the biggest major, so I was missing smaller classes and the opportunities they provide. At UNH, I still get all of the resources and community of a big school, but in the geography program, I get the academic support and connection of a small one.

How did you choose your major and why?

I was initially just an international affairs major at my old school, but I've been interested in geography since I was little, even if I didn't know it. I always loved the classes that dealt with maps, culture, politics, and power, and so I was really excited to see a program that combined all of that, plus so much more. In the U.S. at the college and K-12 levels, there isn't much geography education, and often if there is any it is called "social studies," so the fact that we even have a Geography Department is pretty unique.

What do you enjoy most about being in the College of Liberal Arts?

A liberal arts education gives you knowledge of so many topics. COLA has prepared me to think critically about the world around me and how different people experience it. It is a place where you are encouraged to push yourself to think deeply and pursue any interest that you have. I've had the opportunity to further explore topics I was already interested in and discover ones that I had never thought about before and I am grateful to COLA for those opportunities.

Have you undertaken any experiential learning (internships, study abroad, research, etc.)?

Last year I interned at Congressman Pappas's office in Dover, which was a great experience that taught me a lot about writing, constituent relations and working in an office. My favorite experience has been being a TA for Elements of Weather this semester. Professor Stampone teaches the class and she is a great teacher. I love working with her, as well as helping my peers understand material that I think is really cool and show them what a geography education is like.

Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?

I have been in Geography Club since I came to UNH and I am currently the president. It is a great group of people (not just geography majors) and it has become one of the best parts of my UNH experience.

How is COLA preparing you for career and professional success?

COLA is preparing me to be a strong writer and communicator, a thoughtful professional and a well-informed citizen. I've learned how to be a critic of my own work, to argue my point effectively and to research when there is something I don't know. My learning and my education are not finished, but COLA has given me the tools I need to excel.

What are your post-graduation plans at this point?

I've applied to a Master of Liberal Arts program at Dartmouth. I am really excited for that program and for the chance to further my liberal arts education.

What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I've been a powerlifter for about 8 years. I've competed before, but recently I've just enjoyed getting stronger because I want to, not to compete.