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How did you decide on RCAH?
I loved the sense of community that I felt during a visit day, and I kept this in mind when making my decision. Other schools that I visited like Michigan and Western didn’t have anything that captivated me quite like RCAH did. I spent a long time looking at the list of majors at MSU and narrowing it down to make sure RCAH was what I wanted to study. In the end, options like History, Chemistry, Art History, Mathematics, or Spanish, seemed silly because I could pick up a textbook and learn that stuff without paying tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, I wanted an experience that was going to prepare me to think critically, problem solve, work collaboratively, and make things with my own hands. I wanted to become an innovative and creative individual who could tackle the world’s problems when I graduate. So, I chose RCAH.
What are your academic interests?
I like learning most things, but in high school I liked history and English classes the best. The great thing about RCAH is that you can take classes about so many different areas of interest. I’ve taken classes about African diaspora, the Cuban revolution, the production of culture, social justice and civic engagement, the creative process, cities and urban spaces, nonprofit management, art and cultural exchange, intercultural communication, etc. After three years of classes both in RCAH and other colleges at MSU, I’d say that I’m academically focused on writing and rhetoric, creative place-making, and arts administration.
What are your favorite aspects of the RCAH experience?
1. Being a part of a small community within a larger university context. Class sizes are small, and you know all of your classmates and professors pretty well.
2. Access to resources and learning spaces like the Language and Media Center, the Art Studio, the Lookout! Art Gallery, and the RCAH Theater.
3. Professors who connect with you and act as mentors during your undergraduate experience.
What are your future plans?
I’ve had many different ideas throughout undergrad: moving to a big city to work in the arts and cultural sector, staying at MSU to get a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management, starting my own business or arts practice, staying in Lansing and getting a job using the network that I built over several summer internships in the city. All that I know right now is that RCAH has prepared me to do all of those things. The hard part is choosing what to do next.
What are your hobbies/interests within and outside of RCAH?
In my spare time, I work with a theater group that works out of the RCAH Theater called the Roial Players. Mainly, I act or direct, but I’ve filled all sorts of technical and public relations roles too. It’s great because you can work on any aspect of a production that you want, and it’s completely run by students. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve as assistant director for a couple shows at Riverwalk Theater in downtown Lansing.
Additionally, I help install art in the Lookout! Art Gallery and serve as a consultant in the Language and Media Center. In these roles, I get to work with visiting artists and provide assistance to people working on media projects. You learn a lot from working with so many creative people.
Have you ever taken part in Study Abroad/Study Away at MSU? If so, which programs?
While at MSU, I’ve studied away twice. The first time was for RCAH’s Freshman Study Away in Detroit: Cultures of Creativity. This program is a must for incoming students who can’t wait to start their freshman year. We travelled around Detroit exploring creative hubs and design firms, meeting artists, and eating great food. It helps you make friends and connects you to a number of interesting projects and resources in preparation for your arrival on campus.
Secondly, I went on a study away to New Orleans called “Think Globally, Act Locally” through the College of Social Science, where we did a number of service projects including installing energy efficient light bulbs in people’s homes, serving people dinner in the Mission, and rebuilding houses in the lower ninth ward. A lot of what we learned connected to RCAH’s emphasis on civic engagement and social justice.