I am a rising senior in the English Department pursuing certificates in Theater, African Studies, and African American Studies. As an English Major, I have had the privilege to interact closely with faculty who encourage students to use English as a tool to explore and unify their other interests. Many of the English classes I have taken, including Some Contemporary Shakespearean Afterlives, Reading Literature: Drama, and African American Literature: Origins to 1910, have overlapped not just with my certificate programs but with my campus activities. As the President of the Black Arts Company Drama, a student theater group on campus, I have deeply appreciated how much the support from the English Department extends to extracurricular interests as well.
Last summer I was awarded from the department an A. Scott Berg Fellowship to travel to New Orleans for research on my play, The Red-Light District, which is set at the historic Bourbon Hotel, site of numerous Quadroon balls in the French and Spanish colonial period. This creative work has since evolved into my senior English thesis. This summer, again with the generous assistance of a Berg Fellowship, I will be traveling to Ghana and Sierra Leone to immerse myself in the African Theatrical Tradition as preparation for another play I am writing, a drama set in a fictional African country grappling with the aftermath of a bloody tribal war. This is such a wonderful department that is truly invested in every student: I am so happy to be a member of it!