A glimpse of senior Daniel Cochran’s tenure at UR will open the door to UR’s religious community. In addition to being a member of the Religious Studies and Theology Honors Society and the Classics Honors Society, Cochran has made comparative religion the focus of his academic career at UR. Majoring in religion, Cochran is in the process of applying to schools of theology to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree.

Cochran dedicates much of his spare time to his many hobbies, including playing piano and fly fishing. A nature-lover, Cochran hikes often, having made trips up Mount Washington and across much of the Appalachian Trail.

What drew you to studying religion?

I was always interested in history, but the importance of religious history I found particularly fascinating, specifically the rich history of the Judeo-Christian faith and its influence on the western world.

Also, the Theories of Religion class was crucial in exposing me to important scholars of religion and their works, which have influenced my own understanding of what religion is and how it functions. The class teaches you to read very critically the scholars’ arguments for validity. Each academic we’ve read has elements to their arguments that can be argued valid or invalid, depending on the reader’s perspective, which goes to show the extremely difficult nature of studying religion to begin with.

How does divinity school tie in with your career aspirations?

Divinity school prepares you for a career as an ordained minister and opens the possibility of pursuing doctoral work with the goal of performing research teaching. My ideal career would be to serve as a minister for some time and then use my experience and academic interests to teach at a theological institution.

What do you like about hiking?

Hiking puts you in touch with nature, unlike most other sports. It’s challenging and really emphasizes self-reliance. You’re on your own; you have to prepare your own meals. It’s more independent than most other activities.

What’s the last good book you read?

“The River Why?” It’s a humorous but philosophical look at a fly fisherman’s life, which is also a big hobby of mine. One of my other career goals is to become published on the life-cycles of aquatic insects and their importance in fishing.

What is your favorite thing to do in Rochester?

Wander around the Parkleigh Store on Park Avenue. It’s an awesome store.They have everything from truffles to bobble-head Jesus figures to fine chinaware to gourmet coffee. It’s a great place for any Christmas gifts for anybody.

What’s your guilty pleasure?


Fountaine is a member of the class of 2008.

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