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What have you done since graduating and where are you now?
I am currently teaching 8th grade reading at Denver Schools of Science and Technology: College View Middle School in Denver, Colorado. Previously, I taught middle school language arts for two years in the Mississippi Delta as a 2012 Teach for America Corps Member.
How did RCAH prepare you for what you're doing now?
It’s hard to think of a way the RCAH didn’t prepare me for my current career. Probably the most obvious way was the civic engagement portion of the college. I use the skills I learned in those courses and my field experiences literally every day with my students, my coworkers, and my new community. But, I really think everything I did in RCAH has prepared me for this job. In my classes I was constantly thinking across disciplines and applying my work to the real world. Teaching is a multidisciplinary job and the world is a multidisciplinary place; the RCAH helped develop my ability to “think outside the box” and find creative solutions to problems.
What were your academic interests in RCAH?
I had pretty wide academic interests so I took a lot of different kinds of classes in RCAH. I was a double major with English, so I was mostly interested in literature, but I also took classes on issues in education, language, and culture. I actually considered transferring into the College of Education because I was pretty sure I wanted to teach, but I ended up deciding not to because it wouldn’t have allowed me to take as many classes outside of those things.
What were your favorite aspects of the RCAH experience?
I think just how involved my entire college experience was. It sounds cliché, but the RCAH really gave me an opportunity to “live my learning.” I lived in the dorms with my classmates, and then I lived off-campus with my classmates. I went to lunch and dinner with my classmates. I participated in RCAH Council (which was a blast), and I developed real, meaningful relationships with not only my professors, but the other faculty and staff of the college as well. There were poetry readings in the evening, film screenings, resources in the LMC, visiting artists—I had so many chances to develop myself as a student and a person.
Did you ever take part in Study Abroad/Study Away at MSU?
I did a Study Abroad program in London with the English Department at MSU the summer after my sophomore year. I spent six weeks living in London studying Shakespeare and contemporary British literature. While abroad, I got a chance to travel on our weekends off to Ireland, Scotland, and France with other people in my program. I really felt like I got a different perspective on the literature I studied, and it was an awesome experience.
What words of wisdom do you have for current RCAH students?
Take advantage of the opportunities you have at the RCAH. The clubs, the events, the trips—they’re there for you and you won’t regret the time you spent doing them. And enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.