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Kyla Denwood

Stronger TUgether

Kyla Denwood smiling and leaning against building

Kyla Denwood is a fourth-year student from Lombard, Illinois. She is a student intern at the Office of Undergraduate Admission, part of the Tulane University Marching Band, a member of the Club Ballroom Dance team, the Soundwave Pep Band and Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. (Photo by Sally Asher)


Q: What is your hometown and what is your major? Do you live in a residence hall or off-campus?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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


Denwood at desk working from her laptop

Denwood, who is a student intern at the Office of Undergraduate Admission, leads virtual tours and assists the office in answering questions from prospective students and parents. (Photo by Sally Asher)