Jade Thurnham ’20

Oxy student Jade Thurnham
Student | Biology | Class of 2020

As a biology major, Jade has enjoyed classes such as Biodiversity in Marine Ecosystems and Flora of Southern California, but the variety afforded by a liberal arts education is not lost on her.

She points to “Asian American Literature,” “The Transformation of Urban and Rural China,” and Neuroscience as her favorite classes so far.

“These subjects are so completely different, yet that’s the beauty of Oxy. I thrive in all of these environments.”

As a participant in the United Kingdom’s Sutton Trust U.S. Programme (a Fulbright partner), Jade Thurnham moved across the pond to attend Occidental. Being far from home can be challenging, but being on the women’s rugby team helps her connect to her peers, while reminding her of her UK roots. “Rugby empowers women, encourages strength, and radiates support and diversity. The team continually makes me realize why I came to Oxy—it is a home in itself. I’ve met some wonderful people who make me forget about my label as an ‘international student.’”

Jade isn’t wasting any time. Her responses to this interview came to Oxy from Guizhou, China; she is on a trip that is part of an Oxy Chinese history class taught by Professor Alexander Day, where Jade is using Chinese language skills that she began learning when she came to Oxy.

Jade plans to show appreciation for her Oxy education by making the most of her opportunities here. “Seeing people I know go off and do incredible things truly inspires me—from internships with marine companies; to research experiences in Ecuador, Australia and Iceland; to summer employment turned full-time employment at law offices, and more. If my Oxy peers can achieve these things, then I’m just as capable. This drives me to make the most of my time here.”

Thank you quote: “I am truly overwhelmed by everything alumni and supporters do for this school, and will continue to appreciate their work far beyond my four years at Oxy.”