Friday Feature with Bates' Sophie Claus

Sophie Claus, Bates

The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Bates' Sophie Claus, a women's rower.

Sophie Claus, Bates Sophie Claus, Bates College
Senior, Women's Rowing
Beverly, Mass./Beverly High School
Major: Politics, French and Francophone Studies
Minor: Religious Studies

Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
In high school, I had always been involved in athletics, whether it was soccer or tennis. Thanks to my great memories in sports prior to college, I knew that I wanted to continue to have similar experiences at Bates, while still holding academics as a top priority. Thanks to Division III, not only was I able to balance athletics and student life, but I was able to try out a new sport and join the women’s rowing team as a novice, a choice I probably could not have successfully made at a Division I or II school.

What are the three top things on your bucket list?
1. Fly a seaplane
2. Compete in a triathlon
3. Visit all 50 states

What has been your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
One of my first classes at Bates was Chemistry 107, the introductory chemistry course. While I did not end up in a STEM field, I will always appreciate this course for teaching me valuable lessons about ionic compounds and showing me what I do not want to do when I grow up. Had it not been for this course, I would have never ventured into other fields of study or stumbled upon the Politics Department, which is now one of my majors.

Who is your favorite professor? Why?
Professor Clarisa Pérez-Armendáriz has been one of my favorite professors in the Politics Department since my first year at Bates. She is one of the most invested teachers that I have had and truly takes the time to speak with and understand her students. Professor Pérez-Armendáriz truly values the opinions of her students and constantly takes their knowledge into account when creating lessons or shaping assignments.

Have you studied abroad during your collegiate experience? If so, where and what did you study there?
During the fall of my junior year, I was fortunate to complete a homestay in Paris, France for a semester. I took classes that focused on French film and politics, while also learning about the famous architecture and history of the city.

What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
In the spring of 2018, I had the opportunity to intern at Pine Tree Legal Services, a law practice established for low-income clients. As a volunteer, I was able to witness the lawyers and paralegals interact with clients, work in the Lewiston District Court, and resolve a number of different cases. I learned about the internal operations of a small law office while also exploring possible career interests and becoming more involved in the Lewiston community.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
The combination of academics and athletics in my life has helped me to understand the value of a team and a support system. I don’t think I could have had such a successful experience at Bates without the friends I have made from the team and the role models that this sport has given me, which have pushed me to work harder every day.

What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
Don’t be afraid to take a break and have fun!

What is the best gift you have ever received or gave? Why?
Last fall, while trying to recover from a back injury that only allowed me to sleep on my stomach, my roommate surprised me with a pillow that is shaped and looks like a doughnut (complete with pink frosting and sprinkles) so that I could still breath while sleeping!

What is your favorite place on your campus and why?
I love spending time in the Davis Fitness Center weight room, whether I’m lifting or working at the desk. It’s always motivating to be surrounded by strong, hard-working women and men pushing themselves to be better.