Q: What is your hometown and what is your major? Do you live in a residence hall or off-campus?
A: My hometown is Lombard, Illinois, and I’m pursuing a dual degree in international development and economics with a minor in Spanish. I live off-campus on beautiful Carrollton Avenue!
Q: How was your experience studying abroad in Scotland (at the University of Edinburgh) in the fall? What did you study?
A: My experience studying abroad was definitely unforgettable. I was able to explore the city of Edinburgh, learn more about Scottish culture, and meet people from around Europe. I decided to study economics in Scotland because of the country’s connection to Adam Smith, the “father of economics.” I decided to take two economics classes, Global Issues in Economics and the Economics of Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as Swahili I.
While in Edinburgh, I was heavily involved in the Olympic Weightlifting Society. We had virtual skills training sessions and outdoor conditioning practices throughout the semester. It was a great way to stay in shape while also meeting new people in a safe environment. Since school was completely virtual for me, I was able to meet other students through various Facebook and WhatsApp groups. In the end, I was able to find my core group of friends, and we even ended up having a U.S. election watch night and a Thanksgiving dinner.
Q: What is the best part about being back on campus this semester?
A: The best part about being back on campus is being surrounded by familiar (masked) faces. In the virtual learning environment abroad, I didn’t have the chance to formally meet any of my classmates and professors. We only had synchronous class once every few weeks, and the rest were hours of pre-recorded videos. It is nice to be back in a classroom with classmates and professors that I have become familiar with over these past few years, engage with the material, and see my friends around campus again.
Q: You’re in the Tulane University Marching Band and a student intern in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Are there other extracurricular activities/organizations you are a part of? What do you like most about being involved in them?
A: I am also a member of the Club Ballroom Dance team, Soundwave Pep Band and Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. I like spending my time with like-minded people in organizations like pep band and my fraternity. I joined Club Ballroom Dance to take a step out of my comfort zone, and I soon realized I actually have some moves! If I ever need to go to a ball sometime in the future, I’m all set to take on the dance floor.
During this past year, I have become more involved in research and professional development opportunities. I became a research coordinator for Professor Patrick Button in the economics department, where I lead a team of 15 research assistants in a project measuring discrimination in access to mental health appointments. I have also become heavily involved in a Washington, D.C.-based organization called Black Professionals in International Affairs. This organization seeks to increase the involvement of African Americans and other people of African heritage in international affairs. I am now the chair for their Communications Committee, where I run all of their social media platforms!
Q: As a senior, how do you plan to make the most of your last semester at Tulane?
A: I plan on reconnecting with a few close friends and spending more time outdoors in Audubon Park or City Park. I also plan on exploring more of the food culture in New Orleans this semester by ordering in from Black-owned restaurants.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: That’s a good question! I have no idea. I have been applying to plenty of fellowship opportunities and reached the semifinalist rounds for both the Fulbright and the Expo 2020 Dubai Youth Ambassadors Program. Hopefully, I can pursue an opportunity abroad or move to Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in international development before applying for graduate school in international economic policy.
Interview by Alicia Serrano