On point: fencer Joanne Carminucci ’19 finds new passion for political research

After four years on the Brandeis women’s fencing team, this senior eyes a career in political research

Joanne Carminucci in fencing attirePhoto/Sportspix

Joanne Carminucci '19

Judges fencing captain Joanne Carminucci ’19 recently completed her final season on the varsity women’s team. The senior foilist helped the Judges capture this year’s New England Collegiate Championship and was also the individual Northeast Fall Collegiate Champion.

When she’s not on the fencing strip, the politics and economics double major from Brewster, New York is likely working with professor Jill Greenlee on research related to political and gender socialization in children.

BrandeisNOW caught up with Carminucci to learn more about her fencing and her academic work on campus:

Did you think you were going to fence in college from the beginning?

When I was just 11 or 12, when I was just starting out, my original club had some posters and info sheets around the club saying "These colleges have fencing teams!" That was something they promoted. So even at that age, I was thinking that, "Oh yeah, that'll help me get into college, it'll be a really good thing."

When I started looking at schools, there were only two schools that I was really interested in fencing for and Brandeis was one of them. I was really happy to have an environment like Brandeis to fence at.

Joanne Carminucci lunges at her opponent on a fencing strip

Joanne Carminucci

What ultimately led you to that choice, applying early decision?

I liked Brandeis the best of all the schools I was looking at. I thought it had really good academics and I really enjoyed the community here, especially when I visited with the fencing team.

It was really great getting to know everyone and having that chance to feel it out. It vibed with me, for lack of a better term.

What else are you involved in on campus?

I work as a research assistant in the politics department, which is fun. Politics professor Jill Greenlee has been working on a research project about political and gender socialization of kids, so I have worked with her for the past year-and-a-half or so on that.

What exactly does that research entail?

At the beginning of last year, we went into elementary schools and we had these surveys and different survey instruments, and we interviewed the kids. The other research assistants and I took all the data from the surveys and put into a database to do statistical analysis on it.

Overall, being a research assistant for professor Greenlee was a really great experience. It was cool to gauge where children get their political ideas from and how they develop.

Do you know what you want to do professionally after you graduate?

We’ll see, but I want to get into economic policy research, social science research, things like that. I’m in the middle of my job search now and a lot of the positions I'm looking for are designed to last a year or two so that you have the flexibility to attend graduate school if you want.

This article was adapted from a Q&A originally published on BrandeisJudges.com

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