Triple major Sadie Parent, a third-year student at the W.A. Franke Honors College at the University of Arizona, is pursuing degrees in Gender and Women’s Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law, and Italian. Recently, Sadie was selected as one of approximately 20 undergraduate students from universities nationwide to attend the 2024 Duke/University of North Carolina PPE Colloquium on Humanities and Philosophy.

Reflecting on her experience, Sadie expressed gratitude for being nominated to represent the University of Arizona at the colloquium. She described it as a valuable opportunity to engage with fellow students and scholars on cutting-edge topics such as artificial intelligence and theory of mind.

“Artificial intelligence is a rapidly advancing field, and there’s a lot we should be thinking and concerned about with regard to issues of consciousness, including how it might impinge on human liberties and its ethical consequences,” she says.

The two-day colloquium at Duke University featured six facilitated discussions exploring various philosophical, ethical, political, social, and economic aspects of rapidly evolving technologies—participants prepared by reviewing background articles to enrich their understanding of the topics. Sadie found the discussions intellectually stimulating and informative, mainly due to her interest in exploring the intersections of identity with law and government.

“The students drove the discussions, which were engaging and thought-provoking,” Sadie noted. “I came away appreciating the importance of learning from diverse perspectives and engaging in thoughtful, informed conversations on complex issues.”

Sadie Parent, second row from the bottom, third from the left, and her fellow undergraduate colloquium attendees.

Complementing her academic pursuits, Sadie is a Research Assistant in the Decision and Economic Sciences Laboratory, directed by Mary L. Rigdon, Freedom Center Director and Associate Professor of Political Economy and Moral Science. Sadie was a student in Mary’s PPEL 418 Political Economy Through Experiments course and became very interested in Mary’s groundbreaking research on gender competitiveness.

“I think it’s powerful to work with people like Dr. Rigdon, especially as a young woman in economics,” Sadie said. “She is inspiring to me in both a personal and professional sense, and it is exciting to work with her to advance this important research. Dr. Rigdon is a fantastic mentor, and this work will help open doors to what I see myself doing in the future.”

Sadie’s efforts have also made an impact on Mary.

“Sadie brought intelligence, energy, and curiosity to the Decision and Economic Sciences Laboratory, and we share a desire to help close the gender wage gap by better understanding how social incentives drive competitiveness in women,” Mary says. “It is a pleasure working with Sadie. Her potential is limitless.”

Looking ahead, Sadie aspires to pursue a career as a lobbyist or policy advisor, focusing on the intersection of law and economics to advance equity and civil liberties. She believes her experiences at the University of Arizona, working alongside Dr. Rigdon, and participating in the Duke/UNC undergraduate PPE colloquium have equipped her with the knowledge and skills to effect positive societal change.