Ruth Liebendorfer

Ruth Liebendorfer BA '22

Degree and Class Year

BA ’22


Seattle, Washington

Current City

Weatherford, Texas




Psychology Club, Hillel

Overseas study

Alicante, Spain

Job Title, Organization

Adult Case Manager at Pecan Valley Centers for Behavioral and Developmental Healthcare

Continuing Studies

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Underrated, Creative, Supportive

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Originally I didn’t think much of Lewis & Clark. It was just another school on my top 10 list. What bumped it to top 5 and ultimately #1 was that I felt like Lewis & Clark wanted me for me, not just my money. I was given a generous merit scholarship and when I attended a prospective students event on campus, I remember feeling a really good feeling about the place. It was that kind of gut feeling that you can really only get by visiting a school and being around the people, the buildings, everything.


What have you been doing since graduation?

Soon after I graduated in December 2021 I started applying for jobs in my area, and that’s how I ended up at my current job, which is where I’ve been since January 2022. I went through the admissions process for grad school last fall, in an attempt to get into a PhD program in Clinical Psychology. I applied to some of the most competitive programs in the country, and was not accepted into any of them. I realized, though, by being rejected by all those schools, I was not heartbroken, and that a PhD was not where I was meant to be, at least not yet. I did some soul searching, because despite not being heartbroken, I still had a mini existential crisis due to not having any idea what I was going to do now that I had nothing to do in the fall. That’s how I ended up finding the CIEE Teaching English in Spain program, and that is what I will be doing from September 2023 to June 2024. It’s a very different course than I once imagined, but it will allow me to explore other areas of interest in my life and take time away from worrying as much about “what am I meant to do with my life?”


How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for job?

All of my professors and classes, all of the support I received from career center staff, all of the little moments here and there of assistance from members of the Lewis & Clark community — they all made a huge difference and in a multitude of ways prepared my for my current job and career plans. I know that’s pretty vague, but I guess that there were so many great conversations I had with various people at L&C over the years I was a student, and through them I gained a great amount of insight and wisdom about life and having a career, too much to put into a few simple sentences here.


What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

There will always be people out there who are just as curious and academic as you, and there are also always people out there who are very different from you that will allow you to explore the many facets of yourself and grow into your whole being.


Why did you major in Psychology?

Originally I wanted to major in English, as English has always been my favorite subject and creative writing has always been my greatest artistic passion. However, I decided to major in psychology instead, and did so for a few reasons: I wanted to be able to get a decent, non-academia job right after undergrad, and I wanted to study a subject that interested me just as much as English. That is how I ended up choosing Psychology for my major, and I’m very happy with that choice.


How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I get the alumni email newsletter and the magazine in the mail.


How do you describe the liberal arts?

I would say that the liberal arts refers to the various subjects one studies in order to get a fulsome and diverse education. For example, to get a liberal arts education means studying math and science as an English major, or literature and psychology as a computer science major. By getting this kind of diverse exposure, students can better home in on their interests and appreciate the value of interdisciplinary work.


What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

This is an impossible question! I had so many favorite classes, I can’t pick just one! My favorite psychology classes, though, would have to be: Abnormal Psychology and Psychiatric Health, taught by Dr. Amelia Wilcox; Social Construction of Madness and Personality Theory, taught by Dr. Tom Schoeneman; Psychology of Sustainability (Capstone), taught by Dr. Jolina Ruckert; and Behavioral Neuroscience, taught by Dr. Yueping Zhang. My favorite non-psychology classes would be: Intro to Poetry, taught by Dr. Mary Szybist; and Key Monuments, taught by Dr. Dawn Odell.


Where did you find your community on campus?

Mainly through the campus’ Hillel


Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

I feel like I had multiple mentors, so I can’t choose just one! I would say my mentors were Drs. Jolina Ruckert, Amelia Wilcox, Yueping Zhang, and Tom Schoeneman. These were the professors who I was able to turn to for grad school advice, career advice, and just life advice in general; they always were and continue to be there for me.


How did you choose your overseas program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience?

I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain in Spring 2020. I chose this program because I had been taking advanced Spanish courses and this was the more advanced Spanish study abroad program offered by L&C for Spain. I chose Spain versus a different Spanish speaking country because I had always wanted to go to Europe and Spain in particular, due to the history, art, food, music, and overall culture in the country.